Doctor of Social Work

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    (2022-08) Thomas, Evans
    Entities within the world of criminal justice share a unified goal to reduce recidivism amongst the justice-involved population. Research has shown a multitude of criminogenic factors and reentry barriers that must be addressed through an effective therapeutic process in order to reduce recidivism rates, support desistance, and to undertake the social work grand challenge of promoting Smart Decarceration. To address recidivism in San Bernardino County in direct partnership with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department (SBCSD), the Family Attachment Intervention Through Healing Solutions (FAITHS) Throughcare Program was launched to provide rehabilitative programming to the justice-involved population. Community engagement to guide FAITHS interventions has been a culmination of input from the justice-involved population, SBCSD, and community stakeholders over the last several years. In addition to input from relevant parties, FAITHS is driven by social work theories, Throughcare principles, and a theoretical model conceptualized by the co-founders of FAITHS. Adhering to the aforementioned theoretical elements and synthesizing holistic rehabilitative programming with reentry partnerships yielded from community engagement led to the social innovation of the Custody to Community Track (C2C). C2C involves providing various types of rehabilitative programming beginning in custody and continuing in reentry community programming while the participant is released on ankle-monitoring, in addition to direct engagement from reentry resource partners. This case study evaluates the impact of C2C on participants’ therapeutic experiences through the 12-item Working Alliance Inventory-Short Revised (WAI-SR). Analyzed through IBM SPSS descriptive frequencies, C2C participants (n=5) had an average score of 3.6 or higher on all WAI-SR items across the assessment’s Task, Goal, and Bonds scales regarding the therapeutic alliance between the participant and FAITHS facilitator. This study will continue with future C2C cohorts as further research is needed to determine the effects of pilot C2C programming on therapeutic experiences of participants. C2C has produced a strong therapeutic alliance so far with most participants and may lead to being a sustainably viable option for recidivism reducing programming within the world of criminal justice and the field of social work.
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    (2022-08) Serrano, Teresa
    Background and Purpose: Historically, academics have recognized that adolescents who become pregnant tend to struggle with financial stability, are more likely to drop out of school, make less income, are less satisfied in relationships, and are less likely to graduate (Hoffman et al., 1993; Watson & Vogel, 2017). This study was inspired by the American Academy of Social Works and Social Welfare's "Grand Challenges for Social Work" project, which aims to solve the most challenging social problems in the United States (Grand Challenges for Social Work, 2021). Ultimately, it is critical to investigate the impediments that hinder teen parents from completing their education because of the lack of education's negative impact on the family, from health disparities to socioeconomic instability. Community Engagement: The study incorporated community input and literature review information as a cross-reference to identify gaps. A qualitative method with open interviews was used to gather data and analyze themes and subthemes. The data collected served as feedback on the literature reviewed and resource accessibility of this population. A complete picture of community collaboration will be outlined by cross-referencing the survey results with the literature, using a theoretical foundation of social learning theory and an analysis of the problems described. Conceptual Model: This research and project development foundation was grounded in social learning theory. Social learning theory helps individuals understand how the behaviors of children, adolescents, and adults are influenced by their environment, family dynamics, peers' interactions, and negative or positive visuals. Social Innovation: The proposal of a social innovation project was driven by the gathering of literature review, community participants, and stakeholders to develop a grandparent engagement program named "Building a Legacy." Assisting grandparents in understanding their roles will influence academic motivation through a social learning theory model that leads to academic success for teen parents. Evaluation: After each training, a post-evaluation will be given to help the facilitator determine if this curriculum will work. The goal of the post-evaluation is to find out if this curriculum gave helpful background information if it changed their point of view, and if it helped participants learn more about how to deal with being a teen parent and how important education is. Using the SPSS program, a quantitative study design will be used to measure the impact of grandparent support on the curriculum to help teen parents. Conclusion: Even though the rates of teen parenting have decreased, there is not much being done in terms of community-based support or grandparent engagement for teen parents to increase their likelihood of obtaining a higher education. Grandparents are associated with higher educational outcomes for teen parents, but the community programs do not have grandparent participation in helping explain the impact and outcomes. It is essential to investigate strategies to reduce obstacles and boost grandparent engagement for adolescent parents to increase the likelihood of better academic futures.
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    “Yotes Matter”: Using Art to Reduce Mental Health Stigma at California State University, San Bernardino
    (2022-08) Sawaf, Sarah
    Mental health stigma (MHS) is a social justice and human rights issue as it contributes to stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, and marginalization of individuals with mental illness. With nearly one in five American adults living with a mental illness and 75% of those illnesses beginning by age 24, college students are a critical population to promote mental health and reduce MHS. Furthermore, mental well-being impacts college students’ relationships, substance use, transitions into adulthood, academic performance and progression, engagement in classrooms and campus activities, drop-out rates, and graduation rates. Additionally, counseling centers are increasingly overburdened and under-resourced to adequately meet their students’ mental health needs. This, combined with the impact of MHS preventing students from reaching out for help, emphasizes the importance of educational institutions, social workers, and people of faith enhancing stigma reduction efforts across university settings to address this social problem. Therefore, this comprehensive project developed an innovative art-based pilot program, “Yotes Matter,” for the California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) to combat MHS as a social problem in higher education and contribute to several objectives in the Social Work Grand Challenges. This comprehensive project examined MHS through social learning and sociological imagination theories. It also utilized a faith-informed community-based participatory research framework to engage CSUSB community members in the program development process. Community members provided their insights about MHS on campus, lived experiences with mental health, perspectives on the campus climate surrounding mental health, and recommendations on developing the “Yotes Matter” program. “Yotes Matter” is a two-part education-based and contact-based MHS stigma reduction program for CSUSB. It will be piloted in May 2023. It incorporates various art forms to display campus community members’ lived experiences with mental health. A survey with 4-point Likert Scale questions and open-ended questions was developed to assess program effectiveness and impact. Pre- and post-surveys will be distributed before the “Yotes Matter” program begins and after each component concludes. A focus group with CSUSB campus partners will also be facilitated to debrief on the pilot program. It is hypothesized that “Yotes Matter” will result in immediate and short-term effects in reducing MHS and, if implemented annually, will result in long-term reductions in MHS at CSUSB. If the program evaluation results support the hypotheses, “Yotes Matter” can be adapted and scaled to colleges and universities across California. Social workers, educators, researchers, mental health advocates, and program developers are urged to continue examining MHS as a social problem in these institutions, specifically focusing on their subpopulations. Exploring which factors contribute to differing perspectives and experiences of MHS among campus constituents with and without lived experience is also recommended. Finally, it is necessary to evaluate which interventions are most effective with campus subpopulations. These findings can shape future MHS reduction programs to meet each campus’s unique needs and maximize their effectiveness.
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    Unsheltered Peoples Center (UPC)
    (2022-08) Sanquist, Jeramy
    The Vision of the Unsheltered People Center (UPC): This project is designed to advocate for the development of a one-stop drop-in center designed specifically for unsheltered individuals who are 25–65 years old. Homelessness is a global humanitarian crisis. As a result, people struggle to survive and provide for their basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, and medical treatment. Helping connect unsheltered people to critical resources may help to mitigate the negative impacts of homelessness and restore individuals to healthier status. From 2000 until 2022 the Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) model was used to engage the community of San Bernardino to address homelessness. CBPR involves building rapport with community leaders and individuals, learning from organizations that provide services for the homeless, and directly engaging with community members, housed and unhoused, in order to obtain a broad perspective of the needs of the community. Pandey (1983), identified Social Stratification Theory as a model to better understand the challenges of poverty and homelessness. A second key theory to understanding homelessness is Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which indicates that in order to achieve self-actualization, a series of foundational needs must first be achieved. The project uses medical anthropologist, Paul Farmer’s implementation of “accompaniment” to pair peer advocates with unsheltered partners to help them walk through each step. The peer advocate is trained in using Amador’s (2012) LEAP to partner and accompany the person until recovery from homelessness and a plan to address mental health is established. The program is evaluated based on the partner's individual recovery from homelessness and mental illness. This project uses the Mental Health Service Act (MHSA) funds to develop and support a one-stop drop-in center to empower unsheltered individuals in their recovery. The potential implications of a drop-in center like this are far-reaching: improving the situations of the unhoused increases their quality of life, could potentially reduce the financial burden of homelessness for local communities and increases the chances for long-term, sustainable recovery.
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    Assessing Mental Health Symptoms to Reduce Prevalence of Depression and Anxiety Among Perinatal Patients
    (2022-08) Sandoval-Simon, Keren
    Post-partum depression (PPD) is a problem that affects many women. Research has established that the proportion of new mothers who are affected by PPD will increase as long as this illness remains undetected (Cai et al., 2019). PPD, a severe form of mental illness caused by pregnancy and childbirth, has become more prevalent. The purpose of this project is to create a mental health assessment tool that will measure mental well-being throughout a women's pregnancy journey. It is designed as a preventative measure for post-partum depression and to measure symptoms related to perinatal mood and anxiety disorders within women who have suffered pregnancy loss or are at risk of post-partum depression. Early detection of PPD is essential to allow for enough time for further evaluation, treatment and support (Horowitz et al., 2012).
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    Cultural Humility Training for Medical Professionals Serving African American Women with Lupus
    (2022-08) Robinson, Tanisha
    Background: African American women with lupus experience poor health outcomes, including organ damage, depression, and higher mortality rates. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) or lupus is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disease described by a multitude of unpredictable symptoms in timing and severity (Martz et al., 2019). As culture informs many aspects of life, including how health and illness are perceived and understood, cultural humility training for medical professionals may improve these outcomes. African American women face further challenges in gaps in care between themselves, their providers, and the healthcare system. Thus, there is a need for cultural humility training aimed at understanding African American women with lupus. Community Engagement: To help health outcomes for lupus patients, Mrs. Kimberly Howse of the Lupus Howse Foundation and Dr. Long Pham of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Department of Rheumatology, have offered their knowledge and time to contribute to the process of developing the cultural humility training. Both community members were interviewed and shared valuable information to assist in creating the innovation, a cultural humility training specifically for medical professionals who treat African American lupus patients. Conceptual Model: Cultural humility training is driven by a clear conceptual framework and is informed by three theories: Historical particularism, learning theory, and the socialization model. All three approaches support the need for an understanding and openness among health care providers to improve health outcomes for African American women in the lupus community. Social Innovation: Cultural humility training explores and deconstructs personal biases toward different ethnic or cultural groups that will allow medical students, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to expand their knowledge of various cultures, influencing them to be more sensitive when serving their patients. Evaluation and Implications: Students studying to be health care professionals were evaluated by completing a pre-and post-measure during the soft roll-out presentation of the cultural humility training. This assessment was utilized to inform and create the modules and explore areas where students may lack knowledge of lupus, cultural humility, and the tools to address healthcare disparities. Implications for this include improved health outcomes, early diagnosis, decreased mortality rates, lessened organ damage, and enhanced patient and provider relationships. Conclusion: The cultural humility training aims to improve health outcomes, decrease health disparities, and bridge the gap between healthcare providers and African American women with lupus.
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    (2022-08) Roach, Monique
    Background: Historically, African American women have been underserved, misdiagnosed, and underdiagnosed, and in many instances, this leads to numerous health and health care disparities that contribute to severe mental health illnesses and chronic health conditions (Nelson et al., 2022). African American women continue to experience substandard health outcomes compared to other ethnicities. African American women endure mental health inequities due to varying risk factors contributing to their underutilization of mental health services (Watson-Singleton et al., 2017). Regardless of the benefits associated with mental health services, African American women still resist engagement in mental health services. Research indicates that “African American women do not seek professional psychological services,” causing their mental health needs to be unaddressed and heightening their risk of psychological disorders (Watson & Hunter, 2015, p. 604). Their decreased engagement emphasizes the necessity of developing individualized support and a deeper evaluation of the intersection of their knowledge set, belief systems, strong Black woman ideology, religion, and cultural, socioeconomic, and environmental factors that contribute to their poor mental health outcomes. Community Engagement Efforts: The researcher conducted stakeholder interviews and partnered with Mt. Zion Baptist Church’s women’s ministry to engage participants in a questionnaire that explored varying factors that negatively and positively affect engagement in mental health service, thus providing insight into barriers to care. The study evaluated the effectiveness of a mental health video campaign focusing on increasing mental health literacy and awareness of mental illness. The mental health videos will assist African American women during different phases of the change process. Ambivalence is frequently a roadblock to overcoming psychological problems. The mental health videos are an additional tool that could assist African American women in further exploring their ambivalence as a critical step in the change process, especially in the precontemplation and contemplation stages (Miller, 2012). Utilizing the videos will assist with clarifying discrepancies between the contradiction of their perceived mental health status and their actual mental health needs. Most importantly, they will develop distinctions to elicit “change talk.” Conceptual Model: The conceptual framework in this innovation incorporates social exchange theory and the Black feminist thought perspective to form the development of the innovative Sister Exchange Connection Model. This model includes cultural identity, belief systems, biblical principles, socioeconomic and environmental factors, and the spirit of sisterhood and empowerment. Evaluation: This mixed-methods study will involve African American women aged 18 or older attending church-based women’s Bible study and participating in an innovative mental health video campaign to increase mental health literacy and help-seeking behaviors. The researcher will conduct pretest and post-test assessments and complete a 6-month follow-up to evaluate the effectiveness of the videos. Conclusion: This research will expand the development efforts regarding traditional and nontraditional therapeutic services and activities that assist African American women through the change process
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    (2022-08) Plascensia, Angelica
    Problem Identification and Background: Adolescent pregnancy rates have dropped to record lows in the United States in recent decades; however, these pregnancy rates continue to cause concern because of the substantial brief and prolonged effects on adolescent mothers and their children. Early childbearing can lead to significant challenges when completing high school and pursuing higher education. Research has demonstrated that educational attainment has a long-term impact on the quality of life of young mothers and their children; however, multiple barriers exist for adolescent mothers in achieving academic success. Although federal and state regulations protect pregnant and parenting adolescents, difficulties in accessing these programs and services negatively affect adolescent mothers’ academic success. Community Engagement: This innovative project engaged community stakeholders, including Riverside Unified School District employees and other community stakeholders, to obtain feedback to inform the development of a workshop series to support adolescent mothers in continuing their education. Through community engagement efforts, 22 responses were gathered from stakeholders with the use of surveys. Surveys included questions regarding resources, barriers to education, mental health needs, and cultural components to obtain feedback to inform the development of the innovative project. Conceptual Model: Rational choice theory and social learning theory both provided a framework for the content and delivery of this workshop to help address the gap in support for adolescent mothers. Through the lens of rational choice theory, adolescent mothers will make decisions based on their available options. Social learning theory also provided a framework for this project by explaining how the social environment of an adolescent affects their educational choices. Social Innovation: The workshop series, Education for OUR Future, was developed to close the gaps in services for adolescent mothers and their children by providing them with information within their reach. The workshop primarily aims to increase knowledge of existing supports and provide students with information in a centralized location. The workshop also discusses the importance of mental health support and social support. It provides connections to service providers that specialize in these areas so students can receive more specialized support. The workshop aims to address this social problem by providing support for adolescent mothers in an accessible way through their school districts. Evaluation: Pretest and posttest surveys will be incorporated to assist in evaluating the effectiveness of this workshop by measuring pre- and postintervention knowledge of workshop participants through a Likert scale survey. The tests will serve as tools to measure the workshop’s success in meeting its purpose and assess the level of knowledge gained by participants. The workshop facilitator will provide tests at the beginning and end of the workshops following a review of the content. Conclusion and Implications: Some services exist to support adolescent mothers in their academic success; however, few programs are easily accessible for adolescent mothers. This workshop incorporates knowledge from the literature, biblical perspectives, and community feedback and was informed by theory to address the current needs of adolescent mothers. Providing accessible and practical support for parenting students can empower them and increase their opportunities for academic success.
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    (2022-08) Penner, Jennifer
    As awareness about both the impact and complex nature of adoption has developed, so has the understanding that the effect of adoption is lifelong, requiring lasting support. Furthermore, the adoption landscape continues to shift with the largest population of adoptees coming from the foster care system. A growing body of research necessitates post-adoption support provision; however, research also demonstrates that post-adoption support is inaccessible, unavailable, or lacks competent service provision. This project presents the creation of a socially innovative approach to address the gaps in post-adoption service provision and is rooted in biblical leadership principles and principles of Community Based Participatory Research. Both informal and formal community engagement strategies solicited feedback from professionals and individuals with lived experience to better inform the socially innovative model. A Quality Improvement research process utilized two focus groups, one comprised of professionals in the social work field and the other of adoptive parents. Semi-structured interviews elicited feedback from each focus group participant regarding their lived and professional experience to help inform and improve the proposed innovative model. These findings were used to inform and improve the development of the Hat Box Approach. A Logic Model presents the interactions within systems to bring about changes in the narrative of adoption work leading to the creation of the Hat Box Approach: A Community and Research-Based Capacity Building Approach to Post-adoption Care. Utilizing best practices in adoption and post-adoption care, this approach provides a framework for agencies and faith-based communities committed to adoption work to evaluate current infrastructure and capacity to infuse post-adoption care into their adoption programming or ministries. While a tailored approach can be applied to each agency or church for evaluation, this approach encourages a mix-method approach to evaluation. The initial implementation plan is to present the proposed framework to the Inland and Desert Communities of Olive Crest with the hopes of the agency adopting the approach. Once implemented, considerations will be made for expansion into other regions. Should the implementation show promising change and impact, presenting this model to other agencies and faith-based communities would encourage a grander scale cultural shift in adoption services. There is potential for a greater narrative to shift in adoption programming and ministry to see post-adoption work as inclusive of adoption, creating better access and awareness related to the post-adoption needs of families.
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    (2022-08) Nevels, Rashael
    Background: African Americans are disproportionately affected by homelessness within the United States. Specifically, in Los Angeles County, African Americans account for more than one-third of the unhoused population despite accounting for less than eight percent of LA County’s population. Contributing factors, including poverty, have led to a disproportionate number of unhoused individuals within the African American community. Many unhoused individuals face barriers in accessing services and often utilize emergency services to meet their needs. Community Engagement: This researcher met with unhoused individuals, community members, and stakeholders to understand the impact of homelessness and work collaboratively towards a solution to address homelessness. This study examined primary data from 43 participants (31 health care workers and 12 unhoused African Americans) at a psychiatric urgent care center in Los Angeles whose ages ranged from 18-74. The data results indicated that healthcare workers and unhoused individuals share similar perceptions regarding the barriers unhoused African Americans face in obtaining permanent housing and accessing outpatient mental health/healthcare services. Conceptual Model: The Jabez House is guided by clear conceptual frameworks, including the Human Becoming Theory, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and the Socio Ecological model. All three theories inform the need for a Housing First approach to improve the quality of life for unhoused individuals experiencing mental illness within the African American community. The Jabez House will seek to meet the needs of residents, recognizing each client as a holistic human being, helping them obtain critical material necessities, and recognizing the multiple layers of full recovery. Social Innovation: The Jabez will be an interim housing program that provides immediate housing and supportive services for ten unhoused individuals within the African American community who are 18 years and older, chronically unhoused, and high utilizers of psychiatric services. This housing program aims to assist unhoused individuals with the tools to obtain permanent housing and divert emergency psychiatric visits. The Jabez House will partner with existing organizations in the community to provide mental health care, medical and dental treatments, and substance abuse programming alongside faith-based services to residents. Evaluation: To evaluate the effectiveness of the innovation, this researcher will survey residents and healthcare workers who reside at the Jabez House to ensure residents’ needs are being met. The results of the surveys will be used to improve the quality of service for residents. Developing an advisory board will help support and hold the Jabez House accountable for providing effective services to residents and the community. Implications: There are numerous implications of the Jabez House. The improvement for the lives of individuals includes obtaining permanent housing, improving their mental health, building and possibly rebuilding supportive relationships, and securing employment to help maintain their improved health status. Communities will be impacted as local citizens find and utilize these resources Lastly, the Jabez House might help to boost community morale, reduce government interventions and minimize the cost of utilization of emergency services.
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    Examining Provider Comfortability to Improve Healthcare Outcomes Among Black Indigenous People of Color: A Comprehensive Project
    (2022-08) McIntosh, Erica
    Background: Disparities in healthcare exist because of discord between provider bias, beliefs, cultural humility, and attitudes regarding physician-patient communication interaction. This paper seeks to promote closing the health gap and eradicating racism, two of the 12 Grand Challenges endorsed by the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, by meeting the community's social, physical, and economic health needs by enhancing provider- BIPOC client communication to reduce health inequity. Community Engagement: A community-based task force, JEDIS HEAL (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Systems, Humility, Engagement, Advocacy, and Liberation ), consisting of researcher/scholars, mental and physical healthcare students, providers, multiple discipline educators was created to promote implicit bias awareness, critical thought, and discussion to build on culturally competent education influenced by cross-cultural experiential learning to produce the Comfortability, Awareness, Reflexivity for Equity Tool (CARET). The task force employed the Community-Based Participatory Research approach by fostering a partnership with the task force as key stakeholders in improving the quality of the proposed care intervention through development, feedback, and future dissemination. Conceptual Model: The researcher designed the framework Cultural Humility and Critical Race-Centered Design (CH-CRCD), informed the development of the Comfortability, Awareness, Reflexivity for Equity Tool (CARET) assessment tool by extrapolating tenets of critical race theory and cultural humility with the conceptualization, creativity, and implementation of human-centered design to inform the research delivery. Social Innovation: The Comfortability, Awareness, Reflexivity for Equity Tool (CARET) addresses implicit bias in provider interaction. CARET is a paper-based, web-based online screening tool that identifies provider communication biases while interacting with BIPOC customers. A comfortability and reflexivity score will identify areas for quality improvement. This innovation fills a significant gap in literature exploring the impact of provider comfortability and reflexivity with Black Indigenous People of Color clients for future diversity education. Evaluation Plan: The projected evaluation plan will address the questions: (1)Does the social innovation show a relationship between clinician comfortability, cultural reflexivity, and Black Indigenous People of Color engagement attempts? (a) To what extent do the quantitative findings generalize the qualitative results? (2) How do clinician comfortability and cultural reflexivity compare across the education levels and healthcare disciplines? (3) Did the intervention lead to an increase in clinician comfortability and reflexivity when engaging BIPOC clients? Through exploratory factor analysis, this projected cross-sectional mixed methods study will examine baseline data collected related to clinician comfortability and cultural reflexivity of provider engagement with Black Indigenous People of Color clients. The projected outcome of this study is to guide the quality improvement of cultural competency programs. Future Directions: Additional research is crucial to improving cultural competency curricula for improved provider-BIPOC client communication to impact BIPOC health disparity outcomes directly.
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    The National Fatherhood League: Increasing Father Involvement in the Black American Community
    (2022-08) King, Autumn P.
    Background: Father absence is a worldwide phenomenon associated with poor academic performance, negative social skills, poor mental health, delinquency behavior, incarceration, and substance abuse in children. In America, 46.3% of Black American children live without their fathers and are at greater risk for social problems and developmental difficulties. On the contrary, actively involved Black American fathers who discipline their children by setting limits and boundaries have socially and emotionally stable children who can form meaningful relationships with others and remain steadfast in challenging situations. Furthermore, the Bible calls for individuals to take up the fatherless cause. Thus, it is essential to increase father involvement in the Black American community to ensure children's positive growth and development. Researchers have developed effective interventions and fatherhood programs that increase a father's involvement with his children. However, Black American men's participation in these effective programs is significantly low. Therefore, it is imperative to discover practical ways to increase the participation of Black American men in effective fatherhood programs to increase father involvement in the Black American community. Community Engagement Efforts: A qualitative thematic analysis examined the research question of what mission, elements, and outcomes an effective fatherhood program encompasses for Black American men's increased participation. This project engaged the Black American male community by utilizing focus group meetings and transcribed and analyzed the focus groups using the latest Nvivo software, where the respondents' views emerged four major themes leading to sub-themes followed by initial codes. The study's results informed a social innovation to increase father involvement in the Black American community. Conceptual Model: Albert Bandura's (1977) Social Learning Theory guided and informed this study in creating a fatherhood coalition culturally tailored to Black men that aids in increasing a father's involvement with their children. Social Innovation: Theoretically, this research has led to the proposal of a social innovation called The National Fatherhood League (TNFL), a non-profit fraternity organization geared toward increasing father involvement in families and the community and promoting the development of men individually. A critical component of TNFL is its structured nine-month mentoring program that initiates members into the fraternity. During the nine-month mentoring program, mentees develop two fatherhood goals and one personal goal to ensure the mission and vision of TNFL are met. Evaluation: To evaluate the effectiveness of The National Fatherhood League, a quantitative study using surveys will investigate the impact The National Fatherhood League has on its members and analyze if TNFL services increase father involvement. Conclusion: The researcher summarizes the data collection results and discusses the implications and future research of TNFL.
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    (2022-08) Jones, La Cena L.
    This is a mixed-methods research project aimed at examining the contributing factors to racial disparities in home removal practices among child welfare agencies combining a scoping review of the size and scope of the problem while identifying a way to innovatively address the issue utilizing innovation and qualitative data as a foundation of the innovative solution. Reviewed will be an assessment of the potential of the Jones Universal Bias Detection Measure in reducing disparities in the home removal processes by child welfare agencies in California. The result of a scoping review on the contributing factors to racial disparities among home removal practices by child welfare agencies, the goal is to Beta test the questionnaire by inviting social workers to understand the intersection of Critical Race Theory, Social-Ecological Theory, and Labeling Theory as a space to improve the current process of Structured Decision Making: a tool currently ineffective in its mission of improving racial disparities in home removal processes among child welfare agencies. The research includes a scoping review that extends understanding of the interchangeable use of terminology that may skew current research demonstrating disparities across home removal data points; however, at the intersection of racism, latent functions and malfunctions of capitalism, and implicit bias are where the complex and layered factors contributing to racial disparities in home removal practices by child welfare agencies exist. Contributing factors include not only biases and perceptions of the families by the worker, which may encompass training and supervision opportunities or lack thereof, but also systems and structures of racism such as pro-racist policy and programming fueling social systems of care, and manifestations of stratification resulting for unintended consequences of capitalism those such as food and housing insecurities.
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    (2022-08) Johnson, April C. E.
    Problem Identification Macro, mezzo, and micro gaps in social service solutions demonstrate the need for innovative approaches to achieve food security. This comprehensive project endorses Maslow’s theory of human motivation, empowerment theory, and theory of planned behavior and empirical data supporting physiological drives for food as motivation for behavior changes. Further evidence supports that through empowerment, individuals will examine and acknowledge control over their environment, feel a sense of security through virtual resources, and develop conscientious approaches to foods they consume, influencing food-secure behaviors and healthier outcomes. This researcher conducted a scoping review of 119 articles examining the impact of nutrition on low-income Latinx and African American households with children in rural and urban areas, finding gaps in scholarship and practice including themes of cost, convenience, lifestyle, behavior, and direct access to food. Genesis HOPE (Helping Others Persevere by Empowerment) Inc., a nonprofit organization, was created to address gaps in scholarship and assess community needs in San Bernardino County, California. This project utilized the community engagement and social innovation (CESI) model as the basis for establishing rapport and incorporating a collaborative approach in the community. Social Innovation Genesis HOPE is a direct resource through organizational partnerships and provides access to nutritional services, supporting healthy food choices for African American and Latinx households. Genesis HOPE’s innovative strategy consisted of implementing a website and resource directory linking core elements supporting nutrition, community, and mental health with objective outputs encouraging wellness and healthy lifestyles. This innovation utilized qualitative data from self-piloted focus groups and survey creation for needs-based collaboration, forming the “Make Nutrition Your Intention” Virtual Resource Center hosted by Genesis HOPE. Genesis HOPE and the Make Nutrition Your Intention sites provide directory assistance to individuals and families along with access to nutritional tools and food sources, encouraging self-sufficiency, nutritional education, empowerment, and mental stability to improve lifestyles and capacity for making better food selections. Community Engagement Utilizing the CESI model, this researcher obtained data from self-piloted focus groups and survey questions to identify innovative solutions that meet the needs of Latinx and African American communities. Focus group findings resulted in themes regarding participants’ perceptions about food security and were associated with unemployment, emergencies, economic issues, and the cost of food. Survey findings included perceptions relating to poverty, food deserts, community programs, education, cost of food, COVID-19, access, stigma, culture, and disability. Additional engagement included partnerships and collaboration with other nonprofit organizations and school districts for information gathering to create the Make Nutrition Your Intention resource center and directory. Future Research and Evaluation Future research and sustainability efforts could include continual evaluation through questionnaires, community engagement, and replication among organizations through consultation and training, along with continuity through improvements, updates, and organization. Additionally, the resource center allows for scaling through ongoing provider membership campaigns, fundraising events, expanding organization and directory to nationwide locations, soliciting grants, and creating partnerships with additional providers. 
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    (2022-08) Jackson, Corey
    African Americans face multiple inequalities in nearly every category tracked in society (Katz et al., 2005). Although many legal and formal barriers were dismantled by rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court and various acts of Congress, profound inequities continue to persist in the African American community due to systemic racism and racist social attitudes (DeGruy, 2017). In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, this researcher has sought intentional, explicit, and effective ways to address these historic inequities in the inland region of Southern California, also known as the Inland Empire. As a social worker, this researcher has utilized the community-based participatory research (CBPR) model as a foundational research design due to its promising uses throughout the nation when addressing the needs of the African American community. Although CBPR is often seen as a tool to address health disparities, it is also a social change model that empowers communities to build political power and the capacity to address community needs (D’Alonzo, 2010). Therefore, this research project sought to empower African American organization executives by building their program or organizational capacity to build agency in the community through Afrocentric practices.
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    (2022-08) Gordon, Kristina
    Child maltreatment is a universal problem with severe life-long effects. One thousand six hundred sixty children were placed into foster care from January 2021 to December 2021 in Riverside County (California Child Welfare Indicators Project, n.d.). Child maltreatment prevention efforts have moved beyond a public awareness tactic to highlight the essential responsibility of the community, early intervention, and parenting education to help keep children safe from maltreatment. Literature has shown that home visiting interventions aim to improve protective factors for parents by having a lay or nurse home visitor provide support and education to parents in areas such as child health and development, attachment, and parenting education (MacLeod & Nelson, 2000). While child maltreatment continues to be a public health concern, innovative approaches to preventive programs are necessary to better serve the at-risk families and children against child maltreatment. This project utilized the community engagement and social innovation (CESI) model as the framework for engaging with the community in a comprehensive and collaborative approach to creating an innovative approach to home visiting. Following the observation and identification stages, integration, engagement, and assessment came from a formal relationship with a study conducted with stakeholders. Results of the study provided implications for home visiting programs, including the importance of understanding the program regardless of role and a clear strategy of how the program challenges child maltreatment occurrence. An innovative home visiting model was created to incorporate intergenerational relationships in a home visiting program to reduce child maltreatment. The home visiting model was founded on a theoretical framework with the theory of change, the theory of human motivation, the social-ecological model of health theory, social learning theory, and intergenerational practice. It Takes a Village services follows a general framework of a home visiting program with added mentorship and advisory board components. Successful intervention implementation is intended to enhance Child Welfare outcomes related to child safety and child and family well-being. To evaluate the innovation, three types of evaluations will occur in the pilot of the model. The first evaluation will answer the research question: Is there an association between supportive relationships and the manifestation of child maltreatment? The second evaluation will answer the research question: What are the perspectives and experiences of at-risk families who engaged and established a relationship with an older volunteer? The third form of evaluation will be based on program performance. The innovative approach of intergenerational relationships in home visiting offers implications for future research on the effectiveness of the relationships associated with child maltreatment. Other areas of interest for future research include specific components of intergenerational relationships and their effect on parent engagement and retention rates. The examples and relationships older volunteers can provide for families can help tackle the social problem of child maltreatment with the decrease of child abuse and neglect in the communities.
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    (2022-08) Fraley, Delyn
    Poor care coordination is a significant contributor to poor health outcomes, including death, due to care delays, duplication in tests, and a general poor comprehensive conceptualization of an individual’s medical and psychosocial needs. Many strategies have been developed to improve care coordination; however, most of them focus on providers already in the workforce. This project sought to address internal cognitive factors among providers via a training curriculum on professional centrism provided to health care students during interprofessional education coursework. Individuals from varying levels of participation in the health care system were engaged to obtain their perspectives on the contributors and barriers to care coordination and collaborative practice. Medical professionals, mental health providers, patients, caregivers, educators, and health care students were engaged to ensure this project is relevant to their needs. Additionally, students participated in an initial viewing of the training curriculum and provided preliminary feedback. Challenges in collaboration and care coordination stem from a lack of communication between providers. Social identity theory posits that groups of individuals develop a cohesive set of cultures, norms, and values that informs their identity formation and can lead to distrust and competition between identity groups. Intergroup contact theory provides a basis for understanding the behavior change process that leads to reduced bias and prejudice, resulting in improved relations between groups and increased collaboration. Through a prior scoping review of the literature and community engagement, a training curriculum was developed titled Working Together. This curriculum is an interactive training provided in small groups or classrooms to students in interprofessional education. The curriculum is designed to increase awareness of centristic tendencies and the need for collaboration. The content includes information regarding collaboration, barriers, professional identity formation, professional centrism, and foundational skills and strategies to reduce the impact of professional centrism in collaborative interactions. The curriculum also includes a reflection workbook for participants to complete throughout the training and reference once in practice. Evaluation of the curriculum will occur in two ways. Participants will be asked to complete an anonymous pretest and posttest survey examining attitudes toward interprofessional education, collaboration, and other professional groups. The survey questions are a compilation of the Interprofessional Education Perception Scale and the interprofessional bias subscale from the Interprofessional Attitudes Scale. Second, participants will be asked to complete a training evaluation to ensure relevance to their roles and assess the value of the presentation style and materials. Interprofessional education is an effective strategy to improve quality of care and collaboration in health care. By supplementing this strategy with the Working Together curriculum, the hope is that participants will be better equipped to work collaboratively through the development of internal awareness and teamwork skills. Expansion of this training into existing health care group settings and community-based organizations will further support the grand challenge of closing the health gap by improving collaboration between individuals in the medical and social care fields to provide comprehensive, whole-person care.
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    (2022-08) Buitron, Guadalupe
    As society continues to recover from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is an increasing need to support the financial capability of vulnerable communities like first-generation college students (Office of Human Services Policy, 2021). The sooner college students can achieve financial stability by making better decisions regarding debt acquisition, credit cards, savings accounts, and financial goal-setting (Eichelberger et al., 2017), the sooner they will establish a sustainable economic foundation for their futures. First Gen Money is an innovative solution to help first-generation college students become financially capable. This online program promotes the financial capability of first-generation college students by increasing access to quality financial education and financial coaching services and providing a safe space online for first-generation college students to learn, grow and connect. This project will contribute to the literature on financial capability and offer an alternative approach to addressing financial capability among this population. In addition, this project, First Gen Money, shifts the focus from financial literacy alone to engaging with multiple aspects of financial capability.
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    Cultural Bias Among Healthcare Treatment Providers
    (2022-08) Browning, Monique S
    Often healthcare treatment professionals neglect to acknowledge the effect of inequality among BIPOC communities. This study uncovers features of social bias among healthcare providers through practices, education, and behavior change. Healthcare providers' harmful characterizations and biases influence opinions and policies that lead to health disparities. In this qualitative exploratory study, a purposive sample is drawn to provide information about healthcare providers' perceptions (Reeves et al., 2013). The identified themes: Cultural Diversity, Ensuring Appropriate and High Quality Services for BIPOC clients, Services and Resources available for BIPOC clients and Stimulants of Cultural Humility and Cultural Literacy; show that there is little training on cultural humility and competence in addition to the complexity of implicit bias and its impact on provider-patient interactions. These elements allowed the study to examine barriers to mental health in BIPOC communities, motivating researchers to expand future studies of cultural bias among treatment providers to promote ongoing change.
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    (2022-08) Borcsa, Estera
    In countries affected by fragility and conflict, pursuing the goal of creating more peaceful societies is a challenging task to accomplish because individuals’ quality of life is affected by unequal access to health care, minimal social services, and lack of employment. The Global Goals were assumed by all United Nations member states in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. Member states of the United Nations have reported that it is difficult to implement due to conflict between the government and community. Diplomats often do not understand the impact of trauma to help bring peace between nations and make more significant progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as identified in the SDG Progress Report (2019). This study used the conceptual framework of community-based participatory research, informed by several theoretical concepts including Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, to understand how the diplomatic community can overcome barriers to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and improve quality of life of marginalized communities globally. Prior research has shown the need for inclusive dialogue and reconciliation between the government and the people. The proposed innovation, Peace Unleashed, is a global diplomacy training program for diplomats and heads of state to teach them how to meet the needs of the community, utilize their internal resources, value civil society and community members by amplifying their strengths to work together toward solving problems, and ultimately, move closer toward successfully reaching the current Sustainable Development Goals. Peace Unleashed will be delivered in two phases. Phase I will be a 2-week training, consisting of 6 days total, 3 days per week. Phase II will be a 6-month coaching program that will help diplomats and government officials implement what they learned in the training by properly engaging stakeholders in the community by building trust though their newly found skills in trauma-informed conflict resolution and neuroscience techniques. This research involved creating a thorough evaluation plan to identify the effectiveness of the training and support future dissemination efforts. The learning outcomes of Peace Unleashed focus on improving quality of life for all citizens, especially those from marginalized communities. Furthermore, these results can inform further research and the development of programs that address multifaceted issues related to life satisfaction, such as marginalization, severe poverty discrimination, oppression, and poor access to health care.