Joy S. Kaufman PhD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry; Director of Program and Service System Evaluation at The Consultation Center; Director of Evaluation Research, Division of Prevention and Community Research; Director of Psychology Training at The Consultation Center; Deputy Director for Operations, The Consultation Center

Research Interests

Integrated systems of care; Data in program and policy decision-making; Risk and protective factors of children exposed to violence and/or have severe emotional and behavioral difficulties

Current Projects

Identification of risk and protective factors in young children with severe emotional and behavioral difficulties.

Identification of risk and protective factors for children and youth exposed to violence.

Evaluation of integrated service delivery systems for children with severe emotional and behavioral difficulties and their families.

Development of program evaluation methodologies that are context specific, culturally competent and include community members as partners in all stages of the evaluation.

Development of methods of reporting evaluation and research findings to diverse community groups.

Research Summary

Dr. Kaufman and her team conduct program evaluations, needs assessments, and evaluations of service delivery systems. The team provides consultation and technical support to state departments on issues such as the development of performance indicators, training and technical assistance plans to train community-based organizations to implement mandated reporting requirements, and utilizing data to inform program and policy development. In addition to our research on evaluation methodology our team works to identify risk and protective factors for children exposed to violence and for children at risk for severe emotional and behavioral difficulties.

Extensive Research Description

Our team's interest and expertise is in the design and implementation of effective evaluations that inform ongoing program development, demonstrate outcomes, and impact policy. We are interested in working with state-level departments to evaluate service delivery systems and community-based organizations that are in need of an evaluation. We view the role of evaluation consultant as a change agent. It is a privilege to be invited into a small organization or an entire system of care and to have those involved in the program from clients receiving services to the director to front line staff share their experiences with the goal of improving the program. If the evaluation consultant has a clear vision and is able to work with all individuals involved in the system of care, there is an enormous opportunity to impact on not only the current staff and recipients of services but those who will seek services in the future. Our work to date has involved state departments and programs in multiple states including current projects in Connecticut and Rhode Island. We are committed to this work and to sharing our methodology through conference presentations and publications.

My research program utilizes data from rigorous evaluations of community-based programs to examine contextual factors, such as exposure to violence, substance use or familial stress that impact outcomes for populations at risk. In collaboration with community-based organizations, state departments, consumers, and other investigators Dr. Kaufman and her team design evaluations that have the goal of informing program and policy development.

Area of Expertise:
Evaluation of integrated systems of care,
Building organizational capacity to utilize data in program and policy decision-making,
Risk and protective factors of children exposed to violence


Selected Publications

  • Schlauch, R., Levitt, A; Kaufman, JS. The moderating effect of family involvement on substance use risk factors in adolescents with severe emotional and behavioral challenges. Addictive Behaviors, in press.
  • Whitson, ML; Bernard, S; Kaufman, JS. The effects of cumulative risk and protection on problem behaviors for youth in an urban school-based system of care. Community Mental Health Journal, in press. DOI: 10.1007/s10597-012-9535-9
  • Snyder, F., Roberts, Y. H., Crusto, C. A., Connell, C. M., Griffin, A., Finley, M. K., . . . Kaufman, JS. Exposure to potentially traumatic events and the behavioral health of children enrolled in an early childhood system of care. Journal of Traumatic Stress, in press.
  • Vaughan, EL, Feinn, R, Bernard, S, Brereton, M, Kaufman, JS. Relationships between Child Emotional and Behavioral Symptoms and Caregiver Strain and Parenting Stress. Journal of Family Issues, 2013, 34(4), 534-556.
  • Roberts, YH; Crusto, CA; Kaufman, JS. Traumatic impact of young children’s exposure to arrest. Journal of Trauma and Treatment, 2012, 1:e108. doi:10.4172/2167-1222.1000e108
  • Whitson, M; Connell, CM; Bernard, S; Kaufman, JS. An examination of exposure to traumatic events and symptoms and strengths for children served in a behavioral health system of care. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. 2012, 20(3), 193-207.
  • Whitson, ML, Martinez, A, Ayala, C, Kaufman, JS. Predictors of parenting and infant outcomes for impoverished adolescent parents. Journal of Family Social Work, 2011, 14(4), 284-297.
  • Kaufman, JS; Ortega, S; Schewe, PA; Kracke, K. Characteristics of young children exposed to violence: The safe start demonstration project. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 2011, 26(10), 2042-2072.
  • Whitson, M; Connell, CM; Bernard, S; Kaufman, JS. The impact of youth and family risk factors on service recommendations and delivery in a school-based system of care. Journal of Behavioral Health Services Research. 2011, 38(2), 146-153.
  • Crusto, CA; Whitson, ML; Walling, SN; Feinn, R; Friedman, SR; Reynolds, J; Amer, M; Kaufman, JS. Posttraumatic Stress among Young Urban Children Exposed to Family Violence and Other Potentially Traumatic Events. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 2010, 23(6), 716-724.

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