Staff and Fellows

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Staff and Fellows

Child Protection Research Center Staff

John D. Fluke, Ph.D., Research Center Vice President
John Fluke has more than 30 years of experience in social service delivery system research in the area of child welfare and mental health services for children. As of November 2007 he has been the director of the Child Protection Research Center at the American Humane Association. He is nationally recognized as a researcher specializing in assessing and analyzing decision making in human services delivery systems. He is also known for his innovative and informative evaluation work in the areas of child welfare administrative data analysis, workload and costing, and performance and outcome measurement for child and family services. As a research manager, he has experience in directing research and evaluation projects focused on maltreatment surveillance data, children's mental health, child protective service risk and safety assessment, expedited permanency, guardianship, family group decision making, trauma services, adoption and screening. He is also active in the area of national child maltreatment data collection and analysis, and has worked with data collection programs in Canada, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. and for UNICEF. He has been active in research and evaluation at all levels of government, in the private not-for-profit sector, and with national foundations and associations -- including work both in the U.S. and internationally. The author or co-author of numerous scholarly publications, he has presented papers at both national and international meetings and conferences. He is co-chair of the Working Group on Child Maltreatment Data Collection for the International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN). He holds a Ph.D. in organizational decision science from Union Institute and Universities, an M.A. in anthropology from the Pennsylvania State University and a B.A. in mathematical anthropology from the University of Northern Colorado.

Katherine L. Casillas, Ph.D., Research Center Associate Director
Katherine Casillas has been involved in applied clinical and programmatic research on the assessment, etiology and treatment of dysfunctional family interactions, including providing therapy to maltreating families, for over 15 years. Since February 2009, she has been a research project manager for the Child Protection Research Center at the American Humane Association. Her work at American Humane has included tasks ranging from an organizational assessment of a state child welfare system to leading the analyses of a UNICEF report on child discipline in low- and middle-income countries. Before coming to the Child Protection Research Center, Dr. Casillas was a research scientist at the Family Translational Research Group at SUNY at Stony Brook University. While there, she secured a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Diversity Supplement Grant, which extended her new work on parental behavioral styles; oversaw the implementation and examination of diagnostic interviews for both adults and children; and conducted many complex analytic tasks. She also received her Ph.D. at Stony Brook University, studying the relationship between personality and dysfunctional parenting. She has extensive expertise with a number of analytic strategies, and with coding both interview and observational data. Her clinical involvement with maltreating families more broadly dates back to her time as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, when she worked with maltreated children residing in group homes, providing treatment to them and their families as a residential counselor. During and after graduate school, Dr. Casillas spent nearly 10 years providing court-ordered assessment and treatment to parents and divorcing couples indicated for dysfunctional parenting. In additional to clinical research on forensic parenting assessments, other relevant roles include research consultation on the Department of Defense Family Advocacy Program's Maltreatment Severity Measure, and program evaluation consultation to U.S. Air Force command to evaluate the effectiveness of community-wide interventions aimed at reducing the prevalence of family maltreatment, suicidality and alcohol/drug abuse.

Donna Parrish, Director of the Colorado Disparities Resource Center
Donna Parrish has more than 16 years of experience in the human services field and is currently the director for the Colorado Disparities Resource Center (CDRC). Parrish recently served as the project manager for the Breakthrough Series Collaborative on Safety and Risk Assessments, which was a 33-month, national partnership project with the American Humane Association and Casey Family Programs. Prior to joining American Humane, Parrish served for five years as a clinical supervisor of a child protection treatment team in a Colorado county social service agency. The treatment team was composed of 12 licensed clinicians and provided short-term, child-centered, solution-focused therapy to constituents. Ms. Parrish has also served as a family therapist, mental health counselor and program director in various venues. In addition, she has served as a faculty member at both the University of Colorado at Denver Health and Sciences Center and the Denver Family Institute. As a faculty member, she ensured that students were able to provide therapeutic interventions that were strengths-based and culturally appropriate. Her areas of expertise include clinical assessment and evaluation; child abuse prevention; safety, risk and family assessment; child protection therapy; cultural competence and responsiveness; and organizational and staff development. Further, Ms. Parrish has many years of experience as a state and national consultant and trainer, and strives to ensure that participants are able to transform their practices into culturally sound interventions.

Chris Steffen, Ph.D., Scientific Applications Manager
Christopher E. Steffen worked in electronic design of test equipment and then returned to college to study control systems and robotics. After solving the inverse kinematics of an 11-joint manipulator for his doctorate in electrical engineering, he wrote a graphical user interface and modified hardware for a Cartesian welding robot. Next, he used his experience in user interface design to gain experience in web application design. He designed a Java-based graphical user interface for dissemination of weather information to emergency managers. This included radar data, weather model data, map data, image data and text message data. He also worked on weather data compression techniques, serving on a committee to investigate better techniques for data sent over the Satellite Broadcasting Network. Later, he worked on software for the verification of weather data. Then, he designed database software to track weather-impacted aircraft flight routes, airport gates and airports for use by air traffic controllers. He now works on mathematical modeling of the child residential care system, Linux system administration and disparities website development.

Child Protection Research Center Fellows

Len Dalgleish, Ph.D.
Len Dalgleish, appointed in 2009, is professor and chair of decision making in the Department of Nursing and Midwifery at Stirling University in Stirling, Scotland, and program head at HealthQWest, which is a research effort focused on decision making in health care. Learn more about Dr. Dalgleish.

Patricia Schene, Ph.D.
Patricia Schene, appointed in 2007, has worked for more than 30 years in the field of child and family services as a state administrator, private agency director, researcher and professor. Learn more about Dr. Schene.

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Decision-Making Ecology


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