The "Relationship Project" will take a
program called Parents Interacting With Infants and adapt it to the
specific needs and efforts of Crisis Nursery. U of I faculty in the
Department of Special Education, the School of Social Work and graduate students will work alongside staff at Crisis
Nursery to conduct parent-child groups and home visits with clients.
Families who seek help from Crisis Nursery may be dealing with one
or more problems, including parental stress, court-related issues,
home crises, domestic violence, family mental health and substance
"The Relationship Project is being
developed with special sensitivity to the needs that parents and
children experience in the midst of a crisis," said Connie Shapiro,
professor of family studies in the Department of Human and Community
Development at the U of I and co-chair of the Cross-Campus
Initiative for Promoting Family Resiliency. "Utilizing family
strengths, Crisis Nursery professionals and UI graduate students
will reach out to local families, using what they learn as they work
with these families to strengthen and further refine the
interventions that form the core of the Relationship Project."
A second project seeks to decrease the
isolation of culturally diverse families in the community.
Representatives from the College of Nursing, Family and Graduate
Housing, and the Department of Human and Community Development at
the U of I are partnering with a number of local family and health
care agencies with the primary goal being to educate students and
health care providers on how to better meet the needs of their
"Although rich in many resources,
Champaign-Urbana is still lacking sufficient health, mental health
and parent education services for low-income and underrepresented
groups, including international families," said Laurie Kramer,
professor of applied family studies in the Department of Human and
Community Development and co-chair of the Cross-Campus Initiative
for Promoting Family Resiliency. "We want the outreach, research and
educational projects that stem from this initiative to represent the
best new ideas from a variety of disciplines while also being
sensitive to families' cultural background."
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These two projects are the first to be
funded as part of this U of I cross-campus initiative. Another
opportunity to submit proposals will be available in fall 2004.
The Pampered Chef Family Resiliency
Program hosted several events this academic year to support the
creation of new multidisciplinary collaborations aimed at supporting
local families. These events brought together representatives from
more than 25 local social service agencies and schools with faculty
and staff from more than 35 U of I academic and service units.
The next event is scheduled for
Tuesday, May 4, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Levis Faculty Center. A panel
discussion will be conducted to discuss the current needs of
children and families in Champaign County. Representatives
from VOICES from Illinois Children, Project 18, Success by Six, the
U of I School of Social Work, the Champaign County Mental Health
Board and United Way of Champaign County will report the results of
recent needs assessments and will lead a discussion of ways to
better serve families and children in our county.
For more information and a complete
listing of the funded projects and cooperating agencies, visit
[University of Illinois news