The Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development (MCCHD) is one of the six university-wide research centers (URC), and the only non-bench science URC at Georgia State University. The focus of the MCCHD is on preventing and addressing child developmental delays, child maltreatment, and sexual assault; building social-emotional competencies; and promoting meaningful inclusion and quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The nexus of the MCCHD’s work is fostering social ecologies that promote healthy development and well-being through positive developmental and behavioral supports at home and across multiple community-based systems of care (e.g., school, hospital, child welfare, early intervention). The faculty and research teams develop, study, and bring to scale real-world implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs). The research is characterized by interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral partnerships that optimize public health outcomes by:

  • Reducing disparities through access to EBPs beginning in infancy and continuing through transition to adulthood and parenting
  • Building capacity and practices (of parents, caregivers, family members, educators, and diverse discipline practitioners) to promote health, safety, and social-emotional competencies
  • Preventing and addressing child maltreatment, sexual assault
  • Focusing on robust two generation approaches to improve maternal and child health outcomes
  • Enhancing systemic workforce capacities to promote health, development, social-emotional well-being, meaningful inclusion, and quality of life
  • Improving access to and facility with systems of care data so that interdisciplinary teams engage ineffective data-based intervention planning and monitoring
  • Capitalizing on early life development and learning to optimize lifelong health outcomes

The MCCHD is home to the following:

  • Center for Leadership in Disability, translating research into sustainable community practices that contribute to independent, self-determined, inclusive and productive lives for people with disabilities and their families.
  • National SafeCare Training and Research Center, implementing nationwide the SafeCare© model, an evidence- based home visitation family support program that has been shown to reduce child maltreatment among families with a history for maltreatment or with risk factors for maltreatment.
  • Prevent Child Abuse Georgia, focused on changing the way the nation thinks about prevention, focusing on community activities and public policies that prioritize prevention right from the start to make sure child abuse and neglect never occur.
  • National Center on Child Trafficking, a SAMHSA funded National Traumatic Stress Initiative, bringing together a national network of experts in trauma, trafficking, and implementation science to develop, adapt, deliver, and disseminate products, resources, and interventions to improve outcomes for youth and families who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking.
  • The National Center for Sexual Violence Prevention, implementing the U.S. military’s national institute for certifying its sexual assault prevention workforce professionals; conducting research on sexual violence prevention.

Contributions to the MCCHD support the efforts and outcomes highlighted above. The Center’s faculty, working with Georgia State and School of Public Health investments, make possible the following:

  • Dedicated grants, contracts, and finance administrative support
  • A dedicated business manager
  • High quality student and post-doctoral research opportunities
  • Three funded Next-Generation/Second Century Initiative doctoral student fellowships
  • Two annual, high visibility public health lecture series
  • Research stimulus:
    • Staff development opportunities (internal, external conference registration, travel awards)
    • Innovative student-faculty intervention research, model development proposal awards
    • Student first author presentation travel awards
    • High visibility faculty presentation awards