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The Alliance is in partnership with The Center of Child Policy, which is targeted to help policymakers make evidence-informed policy decisions and to help professionals in the field apply research to best advantage their practice and the children and families they serve. The Center for Child Policy will address critical dilemma issues, identify the scope of both knowledge and ignorance in the field, and provide guidance for child welfare policy and practice. For more information, click here.

The Center of Child Policy Committee:


The Center for Child Policy helps policymakers make evidence-informed policy decisions and to help professionals in the field apply research to best advantage their practice and the children and families they serve. For more information, click here.

Amy Baker

Director of Research of the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection

Dr. Baker is Director of Research at The New York Foundling Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection. She earned her doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College of Columbia University in 1989. Dr. Baker is the author or co-author of over 115 articles as well as several books including Research Methods in Child Welfare (Columbia University Press, 2008). Areas of research expertise include parent-child attachment, early intervention, parent involvement, mental health of youth, and child welfare.

Marla Brassard

Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College of Columbia University

Dr. Brassard is Professor in the School Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research focuses on psychological maltreatment (PM) of children by parents, teachers, and peers. She has received a number of research grants, co-authored four books, two on PM, many articles/chapters, co-wrote the forensic Guidelines for the Psychosocial Evaluation of Suspected Psychological Maltreatment (APSAC, 1995; 2017), and is an expert witness in capital and custody cases involving Psychological Maltreatment.

Byron Egeland

Irving B. Harris Professor Emeritus of Child Development at the University of Minnesota

Dr. Egeland was the co-principal investigator of the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation, a 40+ year study of high risk children and their families. He has published extensively in the area of child maltreatment, with a specific focus on material unresponsiveness. He is the co-developer of the STEEP program.

Martha Farrell Erikson

Director Emerita of the University of Minnesota's Children, Youth, and Families Consortium

Dr. Erikson is the Director Emerita of the Irving B. Harris Training Programs in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. She is a co-developer of the STEEP program.

David Finkelhor

Director of Crimes against Children Research Center

Dr. Finkelhor is a Professor of Sociology at the University of New Hampshire. He has been studying the problems of child victimization, child maltreatment and family violence since 1977. He is the author or co-author of numerous books and articles on the subject.

Christina Fiorvanti

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Dr. Fiorvanti is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She works as a licensed supervising psychologist and HealthySteps specialist at Montefiore Medical Group in the South Bronx, NY.

James Garbarino

Author and Professor at Loyola University Chicago

Dr. Garbarino has specialized in studying what causes violence in children, how they cope with it and how to rehabilitate them. Dr. Garbarino has served as a consultant or adviser to a wide range of organizations, including the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, the National Institute for Mental Health, the American Medical Association, and others. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including his 1986 book The Psychologically Battered Child.

Danya Glaser

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Dr. Glaser, initially a developmental pediatrician, then trained as a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. She has practiced, taught, researched and written widely on various aspects of child maltreatment including sexual and emotional abuse, neglect, and fabricated or induced illness (FII).

Stuart Hart

Deputy Director of the International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD)

Dr. Hart is Principal of Strategic Initiatives for the International Institute for Child Rights and Development, Victoria, British Columbia; Founding Director of the Office for the Study of the Psychological Rights of the Child and Professor Emeritus of the School of Education, Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis; and a licensed psychologist, health provider status, Indiana.  He is the present Co-Chair of the Child Well-Being and Advocacy Task Force and Past President of the International School Psychology Association, the Past President of the National Association of School Psychologists (USA), Past-President of the National Committee for the Rights of the Child (USA); and Past-President of the Indiana Psychological Association.  He was a member of the NGO Advisory Panel for the UN Secretary-General’s Study on Violence Against Children and co-chair of the drafting committee for the primary UN guidelines on child protection: General Comment 13 the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence.  He co-directed, with Marla Brassard of Columbia University, a national study that produced the operational definitions for psychological maltreatment of children now used in many parts of the world. He has conducted research, provided education, and published extensively on psychological maltreatment and on children’s rights.   

Kelli Hughes

Program Director of APSAC’s Center for Child Policy

Ms. Hughes is a licensed attorney and researcher at the North American Resource Center for Child Welfare (NARCCW)/Institute for Human Services (IHS) in Columbus, Ohio. Her primary work is focused on applied statutory analysis, policy analysis, and research on best practice on a multitude of child maltreatment related issues. She performs case consultation and strategic organizational development for IHS/NARCCW and partner organizations. Ms. Hughes earned her J.D. from The Ohio State Moritz College of Law, and her B.A. in English Literature from Princeton University.

Jody Manly

Clinical Director of Mt. Hope Family Center

Dr. Manly is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in New York State. She has been involved with the implementation and evaluation of evidence-based interventions for high-risk children and families since 1991. Dr. Manly has been a Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on several federally-funded research projects on the linkages among trauma, depression, child maltreatment, poverty, domestic violence, and community violence from infancy through adolescence.

Ron Rohner

Author of Interpersonal Acceptance-Rejection Theory (IPARTheory)

Dr. Rohner, former President of ISIPAR, is a recipient of the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology.  He also received the Outstanding International Psychologist Award from the USA, and the Henry David International Mentoring Award. Over the course of six decades, Dr. Rohner has created 33 self-report questionnaires and other measures for the national and international study of interpersonal (especially parental) acceptance-rejection. Some of these questionnaires are available in up to 60 languages and dialects worldwide. He has written 17 books and Special Issues of journals, and over 450 articles, chapters, reviews, and technical reports on interpersonal acceptance and rejection.

To view Dr. Rohner’s TEDxUCONN talk “They Love Me, They Love Me Not— And Why It Matters” Click here.

Mel Schneiderman

Senior Vice President of the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection of the New York Foundling

Dr. Schneiderman is Senior Vice President and co-founder of the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection. He is the former Senior Vice President of Mental Health Services at the New York Foundling. Dr. Schneiderman is on the Executive Committee and a Board Director of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) and Prevent Child Abuse New York. He is currently Member-at-Large for Advocacy of Division 37 of the American Psychological Association and past president of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children-New York.  He has worked in the area of child abuse for more than 30 years. Dr. Schneiderman founded the first child sexual abuse treatment program located within a child welfare agency in 1986. He has presented at over 50 conferences and workshops and is the recipient of numerous foundation grants.

Amy M. Smith Slep

Professor in the Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care at NYUCD

Dr. Slep received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Stony Brook University in 1995. Along with her collaborator, she co-directs the Family Translational Research Group, which comprises an interdisciplinary team of researchers focused on understanding violence in families. Dr. Slep’s research focuses on many different aspects of conflict and violence in relationships and families: the development of dysfunctional parenting, the connections between parenting and partner conflict, the dynamics of conflict escalation and de-escalation in productive and destructive conflicts, what facets of exposure to conflict impact health and how these impacts can be buffered, and how to best prevent family problems and improve health. She is also focused on how communities can improve population risk profiles and best implement evidence-based prevention practices. Her work on definitions of maltreatment has resulted in definitions that are now being used throughout the U.S. military, are being implemented across the state of Alaska, have influenced the DSM, and are being included in the ICD-11. She has overseen a number of community-based prevention trials and longitudinal studies of representative samples. She has published over 100 scientific articles and book chapters and has received more 50 federal research grants to support her work. She is a licensed clinical psychologist.

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