CVIP has selected Paul Lanier as its new PhD Scholar. In addition to his work at the Center, Paul is also a NIMH fellow with the Brown School’s Center for Mental Health Services Research and was recently selected as a recipient of the Doris Duke Foundation’s Fellowship for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect managed by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.
Paul brings to his research a great deal of experience in the field. Before pursuing a career in social work research, Paul developed and coordinated an aftercare program for youth transitioning out of a residential treatment facility. The purpose of the program was to help achieve success at home by linking families with resources in the community and providing continued support through individual, group, and family therapy. Paul then gained experience in policy development with the North Carolina Child Fatality Taskforce while working towards his MSW at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Currently, Paul is involved with two Center-affiliated studies led by Dr. Patricia Kohl: Preventing Conduct Disorder Among Children in the Child Welfare System and Preventing Violence by Moving Parent Training Content into Child Welfare Systems.
His own dissertation will examine child maltreatment prevention and child health outcomes of Nurses for Newborns services, a nurse home-visiting program serving very high-risk families, while also assessing the cost-effectiveness of the program. CVIP Director Dr. Melissa Jonson-Reid chairs his dissertation committee.
Paul is committed to the policy and practice application of his work, and credits his strong field work background for this perspective.
“In my previous work as a mental health professional, I often had a difficult time identifying effective programs that matched the complex needs of families often desperate for help. If the field is going to fully embrace an evidence-based approach, which may truly raise the bar for quality and availability of services, the link between research and practice must be improved,” said Paul.
Paul’s research interests include child maltreatment prevention and health promotion through evidence-based practice and policy, both of which are integral to his dissertation project.
“Identifying the best strategies to prevent child abuse and neglect, especially in early childhood, is a necessity in promoting the healthy development of children. We know that the detrimental effects of maltreatment on well-being begin in childhood and can be potentially irreversible. Policymakers are realizing that waiting to intervene is no longer acceptable and investing early on in strong and safe families can have major long-term benefits. I believe that our role in this investment is to deliver research that develops, evaluates, and disseminates programs like Nurses for Newborns to move evidence-based prevention to a larger scale.”