California Center Advisory Council

The field of infant-family, early childhood mental health is in a dynamic period of development with continual new research, practices and policies. The California Center formed an Advisory Council whose members provide guidance and feedback in their areas of expertise. Advisory Council members bring national and international perspectives that inform the California Center as well as promote the work of the Center to the field.

William Arroyo, MD, is medical director of the Children’s System of Care, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. He has been the principal investigator for two systems of care projects funded by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that served birth to five year olds and their families in Los Angeles County. Dr. Arroyo represents LACDMH in program development and policy implementation efforts in the children’s mental health arena at both the county and state levels. He serves on various state and county commissions and boards including Los Angeles County First Five Commission, California Mental Health Directors Association and California Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Jill Duerr Berrick, PhD,  is a professor of social welfare and co-director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Child and Youth Policy. She is also co-founder of the Cal Independent Scholars Network, a program to support UC Berkeley students who have been in foster care. She is author of the book Take Me Home: Protecting America’s Vulnerable Children and Families (Oxford University Press, 2008). Her expertise is in child poverty, welfare and foster care, and her research focuses mainly on issues concerning vulnerable children and families, particularly those served by social service programs. Her publications include Neighborhood-Based Foster Care: A Critical Examination of Location-Based Placement Criteria (Social Service Review 2006) and Faces of Poverty: Portraits of Women and Children on Welfare (Oxford University Press, 1995). She holds a BA from UC Santa Cruz and an MSW and a PhD from UC Berkeley.

Florence Clark, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is president of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Dr. Clark is associate dean, chair, and professor in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Southern California. A widely published and noted scholar, her research interests include the development and dysfunction of sensory integration in children, maternal role behavior, the acquisition of independent living skills among adolescents with disabilities, health promotion in the elderly, and spinal cord injury and occupational science. Appointed as a charter member of the Academy of Research of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Dr. Clark has served as special consultant to the U.S. Army Surgeon General and on the board of the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research.

Martha Farrell Erickson, PhD, has had a long and distinguished career at the University of Minnesota. She served as the founding director of the Children, Youth and Family Consortium, co-chair of the University of Minnesota President’s Initiative on Children, Youth and Families and director of the Irving B. Harris Training Programs, where she spearheaded the development of the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate Program. Dr. Erickson specializes in linking research, practice and policy in the areas of parent-child attachment, child abuse prevention, and children’s mental health. Since retiring from the university in 2008, she has continued to speak and consult extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad, with an emphasis on strategies for addressing the needs of young children and families in high-risk circumstances.

Chandra Ghosh Ippen, PhD, is associate research director of the Child Trauma Research Program at the University of California, San Francisco and the Early Trauma Treatment Network, a member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). She has worked on seven longitudinal studies and has conducted treatment outcome research on the effectiveness of psychosocial intervention programs with Spanish-speaking children and parents. She is co-author of a published randomized trial that documents the efficacy of child-parent psychotherapy (CPP) with children exposed to domestic violence as well as other traumas. She is also co-author of Losing a Parent to Death: Guidelines for the Treatment of Traumatic Bereavement in Infancy and Early Childhood (Zero to Three Press 2003), which describes CPP treatment for childhood traumatic grief. Dr. Ippen has six years of experience disseminating empirically based treatments and has conducted in-depth CPP disseminations in five states. As co-chair of the Culture Consortium of the NCTSN and author of two chapters that detail the importance of integrating a cultural focus when working with young children who have experienced trauma, Dr. Ippen is committed to incorporating a focus on culture and context in all aspects of her work.

Christina J. Groark, PhD, associate professor of education and co-director of the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development, has for the past 25 years provided international, national, and local interdisciplinary projects. Her expertise includes applied issues of children, youth, and families, those in urban and low-income communities. Her extensive career has been devoted to improving the lives of all children including institutionalized children, children with severe mental and physical disabilities and at-risk children and helping children by focusing on the entire family and caregiving environment. Her specific interests are in the areas of early care and education, early intervention, orphanage care, nonprofit management, and program development. Dr. Groark has designed and implemented innovative service demonstration programs, policy initiatives, needs assessments, experimental interventions, program evaluations, and research studies. Internationally, she is working on examining orphanages through projects in China, the Russian Federation, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.

Roxane Kaufmann, MA, is the director of early childhood policy at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. A member of the Georgetown faculty for the past 25 years, Ms. Kaufmann has been a strong advocate for the development of integrated services, supports, and systems for young children and their families. She plays a leadership role in supporting the work of states and communities in developing mental health systems of care for children and youth through the facilitation of strategic planning, targeted technical assistance, and the development of materials. She has directed projects that provide training and technical assistance to agencies such as Head Start, as well as programs that address childcare, mental health, education, public health, and special education. Ms. Kaufmann has developed curricula for and provided training and technical assistance to 28 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in support of their education reform efforts. She is the author of Social and Emotional Health in Early Childhood: Building Bridges Between Services and Systems.

Jon Korfmacher, PhD, is associate professor at the Erickson Institute. His research focuses on differential responses of children and families to early childhood intervention programs. He is interested in understanding why families participate in these programs, what the experience is like for them, and what types of services work best for different families under different circumstances. He also studies the training and professional development of early childhood service providers. Dr. Korfmacher is also a faculty associate with the Herr Research Center for Children and Social Policy and a graduate fellow of Zero to Three.

Penny Knapp, MD, is board certified in pediatrics, psychiatry and child psychiatry and serves as professor emeritus of psychiatry and pediatrics at University of California, Davis. From 1989 to 2001, she served as chief of the Division of Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychiatry at UC Davis. She continues to carry out clinical research and teach, with an office in the UC Davis MIND Institute. Her publications address pediatric consultation liaison, psychiatric effects of chronic illness in children, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and services research for children in public mental health settings, with an emphasis on infant and preschool mental health. Her current interests are in prevention and early intervention for children under the age of five and their families and integration of mental health services into primary care.

Judy Langford, PhD, is a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Social Policy in Washington, D.C. Her work at the center includes field research, policy and program analysis, and technical assistance on the development and implementation of family supportive practices and policies. She is currently leading the national Strengthening Families initiative, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, which is being implemented in more than half the states with assistance from enthusiastic multidisciplinary state leadership teams, including parents and an expanding network of national partner organizations. Dr. Langford is also lead manager for the federal Quality Improvement Center on Early Childhood, funded by the Children’s Bureau.

Julie A. Larrieu, PhD, is a developmental and clinical psychologist with more than 20 years of experience working with high-risk infants and families. She is a professor of clinical psychiatry and pediatrics at the Tulane University School of Medicine and a senior trainer at the Institute for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. She is also the associate director of the Tulane Infant Team, a multidisciplinary team that provides intensive intervention to maltreated infants and their families. Dr. Larrieu is the director for the Tulane site of the Early Trauma Treatment Network, a treatment and service development program within the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for children aged birth to six who have experienced interpersonal violence trauma. Her ongoing research interests include developmental psychopathology, child abuse and neglect, and symptoms arising from early trauma.

Jean M. Thomas, MD, MSW, is president of Child and Family Integrated Therapies LLC, part of ITS for Children and Families, Inc. in Kensington, Maryland, and clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University. She is nationally and internationally recognized for her contributions to an interdisciplinary effort to develop age-specific mental health diagnostic criteria for children aged birth through three years old. Her National Institutes of Mental Health-funded research focuses on toddlers with disruptive behavior disorders comorbid with neurodevelopmental, anxiety and/or mood disorders.

Ginger Ward, MA Ed, is the founder and chief executive officer of Southwest Human Development, which has more than 700 employees serving 135,000 young children and families and is the largest community-based organization of its kind in Arizona. Under Ms. Ward’s direction, Southwest has established a national reputation for leadership and high-quality services in the early childhood fields of education, mental health, family support, disabilities services, and training. Ms. Ward has made a significant contribution to the early childhood field in Arizona by ensuring that the latest best practices and research are used to create programs and to educate parents, professionals, and policy makers about the importance of children’s earliest years to later development. She sits on a variety of boards and committees, including the national Zero to Three board of directors, the First Things First Central Regional Partnership Council, Ryan House board of directors, the Arizona State Department of Economic Security Child Care Advisory Committee, the Health Advisory Committee of Children’s Action Alliance, the Healthy Families Steering Committee, and the Reach Out and Read Advisory Committee.

Pamela J. Winton, PhD, is a senior scientist and the director of outreach at FPG Child Development Institute. Dr. Winton has been involved in research, outreach, professional development, and scholarly publishing related to early childhood for the last three decades. She taught courses on families, teaming, and professional development for many years and is a research professor at the School of Education at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is the director and principal investigator of two national centers: the National Center on Professional Development on Inclusion, whose purpose is to work with states to create a cross-agency system of high quality professional development for early childhood personnel who work with young children with disabilities in inclusive settings; and CONNECT, which brings an evidence-based practice approach to professional development in key early childhood content. Dr. Winton has published numerous books, articles, chapters, and curricula on topics related to professional development, knowledge utilization, systems change, collaboration among professionals and families, and inclusion.