This is a question we all have to answer – probably more than you realize. On average, due to the things I’m involved in and where I’m at in life, meeting new people pretty frequently, I answer this question at least once a week. And sometimes it’s telling someone again. I would be very interested to see how many of my friends could answer the question “What does Katy do?”. Not that they are bad friends or to accuse them of not caring – honestly, even I have trouble explaining what I do. But we recently acquired a visual that may help, so I thought I’d share.
Ultimately, the overarching goal of my office is to end child abuse and neglect. Each year, nationally, millions of reports are made to child protective services and thousands of children die due to maltreatment. Depressing, yes. But we are working to change that. Our office houses one of many parenting programs that teaches skills to parents to prevent maltreatment. I, specifically, am a research coordinator overseeing just one research project involving this program, and my project is looking at two of these parenting programs braided together and being delivered to parents in 3 states.
The video below shows a little history of these programs. My project braids our program, SafeCare (the green dot), and an older program, Parents as Teachers (the purple dot). All of these programs have their strengths and none is perfect, so we aim to give families the most comprehensive program possible. This still probably doesn’t fully explain what I do, hopefully it gives you an idea! And it’s just pretty cool to visually represent the rise of home-based models.