Field Experience

Field Experience Profiles

CABH Partners

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The University of South Florida CABH Program partners with community, youth, and family agencies across the United States and internationally to provide field experience opportunities for our graduate students.

Community partners receive the help of talented graduate students and their academic mentors in support of their agency mission and service delivery goals. By participating as a Field Experience site, our partners help build the quality and diversity of the child and adolescent behavioral health workforce.

The CABH online program is looking to partner with public and private non-profit agencies that serve children, adolescents, and their families to offer field experience to our talented students as they complete their Masters program.

Recent Field Experience and Testimonials

Jocilynne Jepson/ Children's Mental Health Network

Project Overview: Jocilynne completed her field experience focused on prevention services for children and adolescents. Read her Children's Mental Health Network Morning Zen article.

Cathy Day/Bay Area Early Steps

Project Overview: Cathy completed her field experience focused on improving progress-monitoring systems. Read more.

Cherith Belmonte/Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County

Project Overview: Her field experience took place at the Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County, where she studied the interest level of adolescent mothers in a peer support specialist program. Read more.

Amy Eldridge/Division of Children, Youth, & Family Services at Northwestern Counseling and Support Services

Project Overview:  In her position as a service coordinator and
mentor on the Early Intervention Team, Amy identified the opportunity to
improve the new employee onboarding and mentoring process and workflow
efficiency. Read more.

Nekesha N. / Children's Mental Health Network

N. NashProject Overview: This project focused on examining the issues of mass shootings, doing analysis of policy issues related to the behavioral health outcomes of children and adolescents impacted by mass shootings, and disseminating information pertaining to participation in the development of the Gun Violence Task Force to the stakeholders of the Network.

Project Results: There are a lot of aspects that go into the creation of a task force such as the design of the group, planning/scheduling, funding, assigning roles, defining the process, and defining the methodology. The group was able to define the problem focus being the negative behavioral health outcomes for children and adolescent survivors of school shooting, and is well on its way in identifying a methodology, a process, and firming the roles of each member.

View more info on the work of Nakesha and other CABH interns with the Children's Mental Health Network.

Claudia E./ The Ronik-Radlauer Group, Inc.

Florida SealProject Overview: The state of Florida has recognized the immense need statewide for family involvement in the planning process in order for the child and the family to achieve their goals and find success in their lives. The state recognizes that natural supports, family support partners, and community are integral to helping children and their families. To that end there is a statewide initiative to offer training to professionals in the High-Fidelity Wraparound process as coaches, trainers, and facilitators. The Ronik-Radlauer Group is the grant recipient and is providing the training throughout the state of Florida over the course of three years ending in June 2020.

Project Results: Claudia worked with The Ronik-Radlauer Group under this grant to support training professionals in High-Fidelity Wraparound; maintain an active database of Wraparound trainers, facilitators, and coaches statewide; and to provide state approved literature about Wraparound to organizations, families and community partners. The comprehensive database provides DCF a comprehensive listing of all agencies across the state certified to provide High-Fidelity Wraparound thereby ensuring that families in need of High-Fidelity Wraparound have access to the program.

Shawna W./ Child Welfare Case Management Agency in Pasco County, Florida

S. WoodProject Overview: Using available data collected and maintained by Youth and Family Alternatives, and through interview and observation data, this project evaluated the implementation of the pilot Training Academy Program and its impact on staff retention, caseload size, and staff and management perceptions during the calendar year of 2019. Successful implementation of this program has the potential to better understand the needs of newly hired staff, how they can be supported by their agency, and whether this up-front support leads to a more stable workforce. 

Project Results: The results of this program indicate a slower increase in case volume, a lower rate of terminations, and positive staff and management perceptions. Further research and implementation evaluation are needed to determine the true level of program success, as this program was temporarily postponed by the agency to accommodate an influx in caseloads during this evaluation period.

Kayla G./ Champions for Children

K. GonzalezProject Overview: One of the newest community campaigns is the TALK READ SING (TRS) Tampa Bay, a community awareness campaign focused on educating the community, majorly the parents and caregivers within the community, about the importance of developing a child’s brain from birth involving talking, reading, and singing. Developing social media marketing strategies for TRS Tampa Bay is one of the most important strategies that must be done and maintained in order for the campaign to thrive and prosper.

Project Results: The main three goals of this project were: 1) to create an Instagram profile for TRS Tampa Bay while growing the TRS Facebook, 2) establish a following audience by creating, producing, and providing TRS related content and messages for the Instagram/Facebook profiles; and 3) to help create and develop the new website for TRS Tampa Bay.

Past Field Experience and testimonials

Field Experience

Tajhah K./Success 4 Kids & Families

Project Overview: The purpose of this project was measuring the implementation of Systems of Care values and principles in a direct service practice, and pilot testing a revised evaluation tool that comprehensively measured the delivery of SOC.

Project Results: The project resulted in promising findings for the revised evaluation tool. Preliminary results indicated consistent scores between the original and revised evaluation tool. Additionally, testing with a larger sample size was recommended.

Jenny B./ Children’s Mental Health Network

Project Overview: The purpose of this project was to research the issue of licensing standards and oversight regulations for residential care facilities for youth because of disagreements among advocates, professionals, and administrators regarding the best way to provide this type of mental health care.

Project Results: This project resulted in the discovery that there is no standard definition of residential treatment and therefore variations in licensing across the nation. These findings can be used to promote stronger legislation towards a standardized definition and continued advocacy.

Giselle T./ Inwood Academy for Leadership School

Project Overview: The purpose of this project was to enhance a mentoring program based on results of feedback from previous mentors. The feedback stated the need for training which focused on honing the participants’ leadership skills so they could better support their mentees.

Project Results: The project resulted in the development of a mentoring training curriculum which lead to participants feeling more confident in their leadership roles. They were also able to establish more cohesive relationships with their mentees.

 Amanda B. /Florida Department of Children & Families

Project Overview: The purpose of this project was to equip child protective investigators with the skills to identify developmental milestones and provide a screening tool to identify indicators of developmental disabilities.

Project Results: The project resulted in pre-service training and in-service training for the child protective investigators. Results indicated that many of the CPIs had no formal training and they felt they did not have the information needed to identify developmental milestones. The trainings and screening tool assisted the CPIs in working better with families.

 Ahline F./ Gordon School of Beth David, Miami, FL

Project Overview: The purpose of this project was to develop and implement an afterschool art program for children with autism to improve social and communication skills in a group setting.

Project Results: The results of this project indicated that not only did students gain more opportunities for social and communication interactions, but the results demonstrated an increase in total interactions for each student. The results support the use of this nontraditional method for improving social and communication skills for students with ASD.

 Deborah S./ Bay Area Early Steps (USF COPH)

Project Overview: The purpose of this project was to provide additional supports to improve the agency’s training strategies and employees’ daily work practices to meet agency goals and objectives.

Project Results:This project resulted in the development of staff training and the creation of a written procedural manual to improve staff training. Procedural and training manuals were disseminated to the agency management team. Direct staff training on person-focused competencies was also provided.

Greta V./ School of Academic and Behavioral Learning Excellence (SABLE), Manatee County School District

Project Overview: The purpose of this project was to organize an intensive MTSS Team to facilitate small group and individual student academic and behavioral problem-solving by utilizing progress monitoring to determine student success.

Project Results: Project results included the creation of MTSS Teams and the development of resources to assist the agency in being more efficient and successful in working through problem-solving processes.

K. Koesel/ Citrus County Teen Court

Project Overview: The purpose of this project was to develop a needs assessment to identify focus areas specific to program participants. Project activities included the identification of the needs of the target population, identification of needed curriculum changes for improved program implementation, and development of data collection tools.

Project Results: Findings were presented to agency staff and recommendations were made for utilization of findings to expand on focus areas and make curriculum improvements.

 Casey F./ Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance

Project Overview: The purpose of this project, Analyzing Cost of Children in Hillsborough County’s Family Dependency Treatment Court, was to assess the available data regarding the cost placed on the system and community for having a child enter foster care, specifically being involved in family dependency treatment court (FDTC).

Project Results: Following a cost analysis, recommendations were made for the inclusion of cost analysis in routine program evaluation.

Madeline B./ Champions for Children

Project Overview: The purpose of the Champions for Children Community Advocacy and Initiatives project was to build and expand the organizations’ Community Initiatives and Advocacy Plan.

Project Results: Recommendations made related to creating a partnership survey, creating a set of white papers, and the planning and disseminating an identified evidence-based program.

Haley C./ Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics

Project Overview: The overall goal of the project, Importance of Referrals and Collaboration in Mental Health, was to examine whether collaboration between nearby pediatric providers and Keystone is an essential part of service delivery. The project aimed to determine whether pediatricians refer to their patients to mental health clinics and whether pediatricians’ referrals to behavioral health facilities increased following outreach efforts.

Project Results: The results of this project have provided evidence for the need for efforts to raise awareness on the community about the agency’s services and to ensure that collaboration is involved throughout assessment and treatment. Recommendations were made with regard to collaboration with schools to provide comprehensive services.

Rachel L./Children's Mental Health Network

Project Overview: The purpose of the Resources for Families Considering Youth Residential Facilities project was to contribute to the organization’s goal to make information readily available for families that are in crisis so that they feel prepared to make the decision to admit their child to residential/wilderness camps, if necessary.

Project Results: This project resulted in a report documenting minimum standards to ensure safety and wellbeing of youth in residential facilities, as well as the collection of information to create a search engine for families to search and see reviews for residential facilities nationwide and a ‘Questions to Ask’ document for families to reference when in crisis. Interviews with parents and various stakeholders were conducted to identify changes they would like to see.

 Aniya B./ Children's Mental Health Network

Project Overview: The purpose of the Family Separations and Trauma: Effective Treatment Services project was to describe the impact of family separation, the trauma that stems from the family separations, and effective treatment strategies to use to support the children and their parents who have experienced this separation.

Project Results: This project resulted in a thorough review of the literature and a description of effective treatment strategies to support children and their parents who have experienced separation. Strategies included: providing effective and culturally appropriate services for people with co-occurring disorders, educating behavioral health professionals in culturally appropriate services, working with children and families from culturally- and linguistically-diverse backgrounds, and utilizing strengths-based approaches in the delivery of care in a way that empowers families.

Karen E./ Florida Department of Health, Broward County

Project Overview: The purpose of this project, Sex Education: A Needs Assessment, was to conduct a needs assessment in order to identify, analyze, and prioritize the needs of a priority population, school-age children between the ages of 11 and 18, and analyze their knowledge and perceptions of the need for school-based sexual health education.

Project Results: This study helped to identify the need for making sexual education available to the students of Florida. Based on the results from this assessment, recommendations were made with regard to increasing student knowledge of STIs and overall health and improving student satisfaction with sexual education.

Lisa A./ USF Office of Student Affairs

Project Overview: The Campus Liaison Initiative examined the need for services and supports and made recommendations for developing centralized services to foster care alumni currently enrolled at USF.

Project Results: A program planning and improvement assessment and final report provided recommendations for developing services for alumnus of the foster care system within the USF learning community.

View Testimonial

Kristina H./ Children's Home Society of Florida, Inc. (Maitland, FL)

Project Results: The Telehealth Training project focused on improving access to mental health services for children and families and supporting an educated workforce through the development of telehealth training.

Project Results: An eLearning course will be used in Children's Home Society divisions statewide to teach, inform, and coach CHS staff in the proper delivery of telehealth services.

Jenna P./ Champions for Children, Inc. (Tampa)

Project Results: The Community Advocacy as a Function of Champions for Children's Strategic Plan project focused on developing an agency advocacy plan in accordance with the Council on Accreditation's Community Change Initiative Standards.

Project Results: A Community Advocacy Plan was developed to provide the framework for the agency's community advocacy intentions, activities, and procedures.

Leela R./ The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay (Tampa)

Project Overview: The Volunteer Training Manual project identified strategies for successful orientation and training of new volunteers.

Project Results: A Volunteer Handbook addressed organizational policies, procedures, job descriptions and responsibilities, and additional documentation provides volunteers a smooth transition into the CCTB organization.

Melissa S./ Project Hospitality (Staten Island, New York)

Project Overview: The Quality Improvement Project: Supporting Effective Emotional Development (S.E.E.D.) focused on developing a program to better meet the needs of homeless youth experiencing anger and frustration resulting in verbal and physical altercations.

Project Results: The S.E.E.D program was presented to key agency staff including Executive Team, Deputy Director, Area Directors, Senior Program Directors, and Program Directors at the Project Hospitality Annual Quality Improvement Learning Fair.

Enya V./ Frameworks of Tampa, Inc.

Project Overview: The goal of the Evaluation of Teens in Action: A Social and Emotional Learning Program with a Service-Learning Component in a Community Setting project was to conduct a qualitative process evaluation of the Teens in Action program. The goal was to gather information via focus groups about the participants' experiences with Teens in Action and their service-learning projects in order to improve program implementation and curriculum and to assess whether any program modifications could be made.

Project Results: Qualitative results support the perceived value and effectiveness of Teens in Action program. Additionally, modifications were made to the program's curriculum including the addition of a "risky behaviors" workshop.
Presentation of Results:
American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA (2017, November).
30th Annual Research and Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health, Tampa, FL (2017, March).

Lauren J./ Mendez Foundation

Project Overview: The A Mixed Methods Evaluation of the Adolescent Delinquent Act Citation Program in Hillsborough County evaluated the implementation and effectiveness of the program during its pilot year. The program was initiated as an alternative to punitive consequences for adolescents found to be in possession of marijuana within the county. Adolescents deemed eligible for the program were instead diverted to substance use treatment, rather than criminal prosecution.

Project Results: Following the evaluation of the program's pilot year, the program was fully adopted and implemented within the county.Presentation of Results:
30th Annual Research and Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health, Tampa, FL (2017, March).


Caitlyn Mankin

"The flexibility of an online program allowed me to continue working and living elsewhere in Florida while also obtaining a master's degree from one of the highest-ranking universities in Florida. This program is designed for students to learn and practice the skills they are learning through different projects and collaborations." Read more.

Christine Gitch

"My very first semester in the MSCABH program, I sought out any professors in the program who would willingly let me get involved with their research. The more experience I gain working with individuals with developmental disabilities, the more my thirst for knowledge and research continues to grow." Read More.

Anileidy Perry

"As soon as I read about the program, it automatically caught my attention and I felt that this was the program for me. Today, I am glad to say that I wasn't mistaken because it is truly the best program that I could of have chosen. It is giving me the necessary tools and knowledge that I need to be successful." Read More.

Kari Klein

"I would say that if you are looking for a degree that can train you to create change in mental health, then apply for this program. If you are an avid learner and want to take that love for improving the lives of those affected with mental health by becoming a director or supervisor, then this is the program for you." Read more.