Faculty & Staff


Robert Friedman, PhD

Robert Friedman, PhD

Professor Emeritus

Phone: 813-974-4640

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Dr. Friedman is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Child and Family Studies, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI), College of Behavioral & Community Sciences at the University of South Florida. 

Dr. Friedman is a clinical psychologist who received his B.A. from Brooklyn College, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Florida State University.  From 1984 until 2009 Dr. Friedman served as Director of the Research and Training Center for Children’s Mental Health, one of two such centers in the U.S.  From 1991 until he assumed the position of Interim Dean in August, 2006, Dr. Friedman was Chair of the Department of Child and Family Studies at FMHI.  He is a researcher, author, policy analyst, and consultant on issues such as the development and evaluation of community-based systems of care, prevalence of emotional disorders in children, new developments in service delivery, and the relationship between the mental health system and other systems.  Dr. Friedman has published and presented more than 150 papers and articles, and over 30 book chapters.

Dr. Friedman is co-author with Beth Stroul of, “A System of Care for Children and Youth with Severe Emotional Disturbances,” a monograph on systems of care which has been widely used across the country to plan service delivery systems.  He is also co-editor of a Paul H. Brookes book series on systems of care, co-editor of several special journals on children’s mental health, and co-editor of a book entitled, “Advocacy on Behalf of Children with Serious Emotional Problems.”

In 2003, Dr. Friedman initiated the Alliance for the Safe, Therapeutic, and Appropriate Use of Residential Treatment (A START), a group of professionals, parents, young adults, and advocates who are committed to ensuring that youth in residential treatment remain safe from abuse.

Dr. Friedman has served on many national committees including the Planning Board for the Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health and the Advisory Council of the Center for Mental Health Services. He has chaired task forces and review panels for the federal government, and has provided Congressional testimony on several occasions. 

Dr. Friedman served as Principal Author for the Children’s Workgroup report of the Florida Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse in 2000, and served on the Subcommittee on Children and Families of the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. Dr. Friedman has received numerous awards including the Nicholas Hobbs Award for distinguished contributions to children and families from the Division of Children, Youth, and Families of the American Psychological Association in 2005.