Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Children FIRST                                   
Children and Families Institute for Research, Support and Training  

Register now for our annual conference:

Autism Spectrum Disorders: Working with Individuals and Families throughout the Lifespan

Friday, April 4, 2014

Presented in partnership with The Westchester Institute for Human Development.


Children FIRST was founded in 1988 and is housed at the Westchester Campus of Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service.  Its mission is to support agency based practitioners and to promote practice innovation in agencies and organizations serving children and families by:

  • Offering quality training and professional development activities that advance state-of-the-art knowledge and social work skills
  • Undertaking intervention research and evaluating  practice and program initiatives
  • Supporting emerging evidenced-based, family-focused and community-centered developments in  the family and children’s services field

The Institute draws on faculty from Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service as well as the resources of a cadre of professional consultants from social work, psychology, education, medicine, and the law who are affiliated with Children FIRST.

The Institute’s activities range from in-service training and staff development to organizational consultation and community development efforts.  Research projects occur across the spectrum from needs assessment and program evaluation to intervention and outcome research.


The Institute offers the resources and expertise of its staff and faculty to national, state, local and professional organizations.  Needs assessment, program development, demonstration projects, research and program evaluation are available to public and private entities desiring the development of new services or evaluation of current practice approaches.
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The Institute provides professional development activities designed to enhance service delivery to children and families.  The Institute’s support activities have traditionally focused on supporting  professionals through continuing education and the development of systems designed to enhance effective and coordinated delivery of services to children and their families. 
The Institute provides in-service training related to the identification of child abuse, neglect and maltreatment, as well as the investigation, assessment, intervention, coordination and treatment of these children and their families.  Training topics include mental health, substance abuse, HIV, domestic violence, sexual abuse, educational disabilities, supervisory training, service to school age children and adolescents and permanency planning.  


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