Committee on Children, Youth and Families Update

APA’s Committee on Children, Youth and Families (CYF), comprised of 6 APA members elected for staggered 3-year terms, works to identify and disseminate information concerning the psychological status of children, youth and families, and to advocate for their interests in the context of APA-related issues. Recent committee initiatives and projects which may be of interest to SPP members include:


  • The December 2015 issue of the CYF publication, “CYF News” focused on the “Safe and Welcoming Schools” program, and the April 2016 issue focused on reducing disparities in mental and physical health outcomes. These and other past issues are available at:; The next issue of this publication is due out later this fall and will focus on the intersection of immigration and policies with children, youth and families.
  • Several CYF members recently participated in the Public Interest Leadership Conference, an initiative as part of APA’s mission around “communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.” Presentations were on topics such as translation and dissemination of psychological research, optimal framing of messaging, and utilizing psychology to effect social change. Videos of conference presentations are available at:
  • The public interest directorate of the APA (of which CYF is a part) maintains a blog entitled “Psychology Benefits Society” (, a resource for the dissemination of psychological science that may be pertinent and of interest to the general public. CYF members and affiliates contribute regularly to this blog, and SPP members are encouraged to consider writing a submission.
  • The CYF committee participates in the selection process for the American Psychological Foundation (APF) Annette Urso Rickel Dissertation Award for Public Policy, which supports dissertation research on public policy that has the potential to improve services for children and families facing psychological issues. The upcoming deadline for nominations is October 1, 2016.
  • At the recent 2016 APA convention in Denver, the CYF committee co-sponsored a social hour together with APA divisions 7, 16, and 37. The theme of the event was “Networking Together to Advance Children’s Mental Health & Well-Being.” The committee also presented awards for Outstanding Contributions to Benefit Children, Youth and Families. Recipients were Christopher Trentacosta, Ph.D. (Early Career) and Jason Downer, Ph.D. (Mid-Career). Please see the following link for the call for nominations for the 2017 awards:
  • The Office on CYF (which works very closely with the CYF committee) has been involved recently in many important projects and initiatives, including staffing the recent Task Force on Violent Media (which prepared a report that was recently approved by APA Council;, sponsoring the recent Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day (, and work on APA’s Safe and Supportive Schools Project ( There are also ongoing initiatives around The Raising of America (, a documentary series which examines relations among child development and the promotion of a healthier, stronger, and more equitable nation as a whole.
  • The CYF committee is working to translate and disseminate findings from the “Practitioner’s Reference Guide on Disparities in Mental Health Treatment and Access Among Children and Youth” (a recent William T. Grant Foundation report) amongst mental health practitioners working with high-risk children and youth, and also as a functional guide for policy-makers.
  • The committee has been collaborating on revisions of various APA publications, including “Developing Adolescents: A Reference for Professionals,” “Answers to Your Questions about Individuals with Intersex Conditions,” and “Lesbian & Gay Parenting.”
  • There is ongoing collaboration with the CDC on their “Essentials for Childhood Framework” which promotes the sharing and development of evidence‐based strategies among communities aimed at preventing child maltreatment through the promotion of safe, stable relationships and environments for children:

If any member of SPP would like to raise issues for the CYF committee, please be in touch with Rachel Tunick (, current SPP liaison to CYF.