Our Mission

The Center for Parents and Children (CPC) aims to bridge the gap between science and practice in the service of promoting positive outcomes for children and families, with a special emphasis on early childhood.

At its core, our mission is to improve the lives of our most vulnerable children by empowering parents to promote their children’s optimal development and well-being.

Our first goal is to improve the caliber of interventions used to promote child well-being in our community by supporting the implementation of evidence-based practices in existing and novel community settings. Although there is a wealth of knowledge about factors and programs that promote school readiness and prevent early-starting child problem behavior, successful implementation of evidence-based programming in the community is challenging. We aim to collaborate with community agencies to foster the successful implementation of evidence-based practices that engage families in a collaborative and user-friendly manner.

Our second goal is to facilitate connections for faculty interested in testing their basic or applied research ideas with low-income or other vulnerable populations.  There is a wealth of high-quality, rigorous research conducted across the Pitt campus that is directly relevant to child development.  However, many of our faculty have been reticent to develop interventions from their basic research findings, and those with applications have been hesitant to test their validity with higher-risk, community samples. Our aim is to facilitate the development of applications from basic research findings and to link Pitt faculty to community agencies with relevant populations of families.

Our Center serves as a hub, as a point of connection between community agencies and faculty at Pitt, with the ultimate goal of improving the caliber of services for children living in poverty in the Pittsburgh community.  The CPC provides training and consultation resources for community agencies serving children at-risk for behavior problems and school failure to implement evidence-based assessment and prevention methods. For faculty at Pitt, the CPC provides established community connections and guidance to help transform their basic research into action-oriented applications and collaborations to test their ideas in real world contexts in the Pittsburgh community.