Dr. Laurel Leslie is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician with a record of research and service on issues regarding the mental health of children in child welfare. At this point in her career, she wants to better understand the perspectives of child welfare policymakers, administrators and front-line staff, as well as the realities that limit the relevance of academic research to child welfare practice. Dr. Leslie will use this award to work within the Massachusetts State Department of Children and Families. She will collaborate with the Health and Medical Services Unit and members of Policy, Planning and Programs on the planning and implementation of comprehensive developmental and mental health screening for children in foster care, coupled with a court-mandated requirement to screen for mental health issues and provide appropriate treatment for children in child welfare. She will also work with a DC panel of policymakers and practitioners, a group of foster parents, and three noted researchers to assure a national policy/practice/research perspective on what she is learning. Mary Lutz, RN, MPH will be Laurel’s main mentor at Massachusetts Department of Children and Services. Ms. Melodie Peet, MPH, the deputy commissioner for policy, planning, and programs, will be a second mentor.
Dr. Leslie will use this award to work within the Massachusetts State Department of Children and Families.