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Boston College School of Social Work

Research Program on Children and Adversity Internship Application, Boston College School of Social Work

The Research Program on Children and Adversity (RPCA) focuses on understanding trajectories of risk and resilience in children facing multiple forms of adversity, including poverty, conflict, and infectious disease. Through quantitative and qualitative research methods, the program investigates key mechanisms shaping child development and mental health. The program develops targeted psychosocial interventions that support positive life outcomes that can be effectively delivered at scale in low-resource settings. Overall, the program team works to develop evidence-based, transdiagnostic interventions that are feasible and cost effective, to support positive life outcomes.  These outcomes are key to child health, social services, and the economic development agendas.

The program is funded by NIH, the World Bank, USAID, and private foundations.  Research projects are based here in the U.S. as well as in Sierra Leone and Rwanda and abstracts on each research project are below:

i) Sugira Muryango, based in Rwanda, is a deployment focused, scalable home-visiting model that promotes positive parent-child relationships and fosters child development. It is based on the Family Strengthening Intervention (FSI) model originally developed and tested in Rwanda to improve communication and parenting in HIV/AIDS-affected families with school-age children.  The Sugira Muryango program offers coaching to caregivers of young children to promote early stimulation and responsive parenting and reduce family violence.

ii) Youth FORWARD, based in Sierra Leone, is a coordinated plan to establish model research partnerships and a regional hub for the advancement of implementation science focused on scaling up evidence-based mental health interventions for youth exposed to compound adversity via youth employment programs in West Africa.  The Youth Readiness Intervention (YRI) is a cognitive behavioral therapy-based empirically supported intervention with treatment elements for delivery in community settings by a lay workforce.

iii) Her project based in New England addresses mental health disparities in refugee children through family and community-based prevention.The study involves community-based participatory research (CBPR) with refugee groups resettled in New England (Somali Bantu and Bhutanese) to develop and evaluate the impact of a Family Strengthening/parenting intervention (FSI-R) done by refugees for refugees. 

Instructions: Applicants should prepare their resume and a one page cover letter prior to beginning the application. There are two short answer responses on the application which you may want to review before beginning.

All applicants should be aware this is an unpaid internship. We are happy to work with students who wish to request academic credit through their home institution. While we hope to obtain funding support for the internship program in the future, currently we regrettably do not have funding available. The hours and schedule are flexible.

Application deadline: Rolling basis

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