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July 9, 2009

ULM Marriage and Family Therapy Program receives $385,000 in grant funding

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recently awarded a $385,000 grant to the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s Marriage and Family Therapy Program.

Dr. Jana P. Sutton is the principal investigator and clinical supervisor of the university's initiative.

Sutton, at the foundation’s request, submitted and received approval for a “Models for Change” (MfC) grant proposal on behalf of the Ouachita and Morehouse Parishes Juvenile Justice System last February.

The award is for a two-year period and began July 1.

The initiative’s overarching goal is to accelerate the pace of judicial district reform by increasing access to evidence-based services, according to Sutton.

“Evidence-based services promote the use of scientifically supported methods to accurately identify and address the individual needs of youth at the point of intake,” she said.

Sutton said the model would refer youth and/or their families to appropriate local programs and services, along with follow-up to measure the success of the interventions that are implemented.

“The initiative will also look at developing funding mechanisms to support an increase in evidence-based treatment practices for juvenile justice involved youth in the community, even after the award period is over,” said Sutton.

The initiative is a partnership between ULM (Marriage and Family Therapy and Psychology, with Dr. Joe McGahan serving as lead researcher), the Children’s Coalition, the Fourth Judicial Drug Court, the Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and the Youth Services Planning Board.

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