Implementation & Pilot Projects

The Center for Parents and Children (CPC) has seed funding to support 1-2 small pilot projects each year.  These pilot projects are critical to our goals of increasing the use of evidence-based programs in our community and promoting research collaborations with agencies serving the Pittsburgh community.  Pilot projects can serve an important function for the success of future federal and state grant applications.


Family Check-Up in Family Support                                                    7/2018 – 7/2019

The CPC is partnering with Allegheny County Department of Human Services to offer the Family Check-Up in six Family Support Centers in Allegheny County.  This initiative is funded through a Home Visiting Expansion Grant funded by the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL).

Adding the FCU service to Family Support Centers will provide an evidence-based option in family support centers that fills a gap in the service options for families. The FCU shares the values of Family Support, including a focus on family strengths and relationships, a commitment to nurturing natural supports within existing family and community systems, and an emphasis on promoting the healthy emotional and cognitive development of children. Both the FCU and Family Support aim to empower parents and support their efforts to be effective and successful in their lives as parents, individuals, and members of their communities.

The FCU will be offered at the following Family Support Centers:

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Family Care Connections

  • Penn Hills Family Care Connection
  • Turtle Creek Family Care Connection

Kingsley Association

  • East Liberty Family Support Center

Trying Together

  • Homewood-Brushton Family Support Center

Urban League

  • East Hills Family Support Center
  • Duquesne Family Support Center

CPC Pilot Projects:


Pediatric Community Care:  Smart Beginnings II

This pilot project is being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Debra Bogen at Children’s Hospital and Magee Women’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to improve the caregiving practices of parents of newborns where there has been a recent history of opioid exposure. The study is exploring the integrated use of a universal intervention, the Video Interaction Project, and a selected intervention, the Family Check-Up, with mothers and their newborns who have Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.  This study represents the opportunity to examine the feasibility and adaptability of utilizing these two evidence-based programs with a small sample (N = 10) in this specific population.

Early Head Start: The FCU in Early Head Start

This pilot project is being conducted in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Child Development (OCD) Early Head Start Program. It involves the implementation of the Family Check-Up with a small sample (N = 10) of families already enrolled in the Early Head Start (EHS) home visiting program.  Based on a screening tool administered to families by EHS home visitors after 6 months of enrollment, those families demonstrating continuing child and family risks will also receive the Family Check-Up. This study will assess the potential for implementation of the FCU for select EHS families, including immigrant families living in the Pittsburgh area.


Seed Funding for Pilot Projects:

If you have an idea for conducting a research study in the Pittsburgh community, including both basic and applied foci, contact Dr. Daniel Shaw ( for more details. Projects are limited to $30,000 and one year of funding, with a preference for work that already has or will have potential for application in the community.

Opportunities for Collaboration:

For faculty interested in collaborating on some of our existing projects (see list of ongoing projects and community collaborating agencies) or using our expertise to develop your own basic or applied research idea with a community sample, please contact Dr. Shaw at (412 624-1836).