Our current projects reflect our commitment to transforming systems big and small.


Safe Communities Safe Schools

$6.2 million from National Institutes of Justice

The primary goal of this 4-year project is to evaluate the feasibility and impact of the Safe Communities Safe Schools model to reduce youth violence and problem behavior and increase pro-social behavior and school safety in 36 Colorado middle schools. Study results will provide practical and scalable solutions to help educators, lawmakers, and policy makers effectively promote school safety and violence prevention nationwide. Let’s Connect strategies are integrated with attention to building a supportive school climate and enhancing educators' capacity to identify and address the mental health needs of students.

Jan 2016-Dec 2019.


Building a Trauma Center of Excellence for Children and Families in Colorado: A Community-Academic Partnership

$2 Million from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

We are creating a Trauma Center of Excellence as a training site within the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (www.nctsn.org) with a large community-based organization Mental Health Partners (MHP) (http://www.mhpcolorado.org). This coordinated effort provides capacity-building in trauma-informed evidence-based practices, including targeted interventions for Hispanic families, military families and families involved in the child welfare systems. The project will lead to the development of a trauma-informed system at MHP to screen, assess and provide trauma-focused treatment to children and families who have experienced trauma. It is expected the project will provide training and implementation support to more than 900 clinicians, as well as serve over 3,100 clients at MHP.

October 2016-October 2021.


Parent Education in Head Start

$142, 500 from Daniels Fund

The primary goal of this 3- year project is to increase parent education opportunities for Head Start families in Jefferson County, Colorado and to offer parent education that is consistent with other school-wide approaches to promoting social and emotional competence in children. As part of this project, we are offering Let’s Connect to families in group and individual formats with concurrent activities for children and direct coaching for parents during interactions with their children.  We are also building capacity of Head Start staff to implement our program independently and build program sustainability. Evaluation of this program is now underway.

Oct 2015-Sept 2018.


Evidenced-Based Practice Training Initiative

 $1.6 million Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration   / /   $600,000 community blended funding

In partnership with SAMHSA, this ongoing initiative expands community capacity to provide evidence-based, trauma-informed interventions and practices being delivered within the human service systems that serve youth and families. We offer comprehensive trainings, consultation and implementation supports to organizations in several evidence-based treatments (e.g. Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Alternatives for Families Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). We have recently added training and consultation for Let’s Connect as it is now recognized as a Promising Practice by SAMHSA’s National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative. We have trained over 3500 mental health and related professionals (e.g., child welfare, legal/judicial, education) throughout the United States since 2009.

Jan 2009- ongoing.


Denver Youth Violence Prevention Center 

$5.9 million from Center for Disease Control

This 5-year project is directed by our colleague Dr. Beverly Kingston in the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence. As a part of the efforts to implement the Communities that Care model, the Let's Connect strategies will be offered to support two neighborhoods in Denver with significant risk factors for youth violence as they develop a scalable, localized approach toward community empowerment. We aim to build Let’s Connect skills in the adults who care for youth across a variety of community contexts with the ultimate goals of supporting adult-youth relationships, building youth emotional competencies and fostering emotional security throughout these neighborhoods. 

Oct 2016-Sept 2021.


Safe-Start Aurora

$1 million from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

This 5-year community-based project involved the implementation of a randomized clinical trial conducted in partnership with Aurora Mental Health Center in Aurora, Colorado to evaluate the effectiveness of Let’s Connect as a strategic enhancement to Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), compared to stand alone TF-CBT for children exposed to trauma and their families. This project was a cooperative agreement with OJJDP and the RAND corporation. Data analysis and coding of observational and interview data is ongoing. Click here for an initial data summary "Improving Outcomes for Children Exposed to Violence."

Jan 2010-ongoing.


Trauma Informed Care Consultation for Schools 

$45,000 from Casey Family Foundation

This is an academic-community collaboration with the Colorado Department of Human Services to introduce trauma informed practices into Colorado elementary schools. Teachers and staff receive training, consultation and direct coaching in using the Let's Connect skills and strategies to build student-teacher relationships and social and emotional competence in children. Let's Connect for schools is being piloted in two elementary schools with plans to expand to more schools in the 2017-2018 school year.

May 2016-Dec 2016.