Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Webinar: Using a Positive Youth Development Approach to Foster Healthy Futures for Maltreated Youth






TUESDAY AUGUST 10TH, 2021 | 12 - 1 PM MT / 2-3 PM ET




During this seminar, Heather Taussig, PhD, will discuss the development and testing of the Fostering Healthy Futures (FHF) preventive intervention, designed to promote prosocial development and reduce problem behaviors in maltreated youth with child welfare involvement. FHF, which uses a combination of mentoring and skills training with children, has been tested in three rigorous randomized controlled trials. The program has been designated evidence-based due to its mental health, delinquency and child welfare outcomes. FHF is now being implemented by community-based agencies including Adoption Options in Denver. Megan McLean, LCSW, Executive Director of Adoption Options will discuss the decision in becoming an implementation site. Considerations included reviewing the potential benefits to youth and families as well as the anticipated costs and challenges. In the time leading to launch this fall, Adoption Options has secured funding through grants and county contracts, hired graduate-level interns (youth mentors), and begun training with the FHF dissemination team. Adoption Options looks forward to beginning FHF programming with youth this fall.


Heather Taussig, PhD is a Professor at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work and an Adjunct Professor at the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect at the University of Colorado. Dr. Taussig’s research focuses on developing and testing prevention programming for maltreated children with child welfare involvement. She developed and directs the Fostering Healthy Futures (FHF) program, an evidence-based mentoring program for children with child welfare involvement. FHF is being disseminated through community-based organizations and a trial of a teen adaptation is nearing completion. Dr. Taussig conducted a 10-year longitudinal study of youth in foster care and is currently examining outcomes for youth and young adults across a host of domains. She is committed to using positive youth development strategies, especially mentoring, to empower youth to foster their own healthy futures. Dr. Taussig serves on several national review panels as well as on the Research Board of the National Mentoring Resource Center. She served on Colorado Governor Ritter’s Task Force on Foster Care, is an awardee for her research from the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, and is completing a Fulbright Scholar Award in Wales this summer.


Megan McLean, LCSW is the Executive Director of Adoption Options, a foster care and adoption agency operating in Colorado for 40 years. Megan has a passion for supporting youth that have experienced trauma and loss. She developed and implemented a program providing therapeutic grief support and education in schools and community centers, worked as an intensive community-based family interventionist, and generally believes in the importance of meeting youth where they are literally in order to best meet them where they are therapeutically. She is excited to be working with the Fostering Healthy Futures Dissemination team to implement the program with the youth Adoption Options’ serves.


Cosponsored by


Questions? | ashley.pennington@cuanschutz.edu