Extending a helping hand to another

The Collaborative Quality Improvement (CoQI) Study 

About Us

The Youth and Family Interview Team (YaFIT) supports Collaborative Quality Improvement (CoQI) efforts at the NJ Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P). Interviews with youth and family members are conducted with the goal of elevating family voice. Youth and families who are connected with DCP&P will be invited to participate in an interview about their experience. Interview findings will help identify strengths and areas of improvement within DCP&P.

Woman taking notes from a laptop on a piece of paper

Youth and Family Interview Team

We are the youth and family interview team (YaFIT) within the Center for Prevention Science, Rutgers University School of Social Work.

Dr. Cory Morton

Cory Morton

Assistant Research Professor, MSW

Principal Investigator, Assistant Research Professor

Dr. Kristen Gilmore Powell

Kristen Gilmore Powell

Associate Research Professor and Associate Director, Center for Prevention Science; Director, Northeast & Caribbean Prevention Technology Transfer Center

Co-Principal Investigator, Assistant Research Professor

Loren Toto Headshot

Loren Toto

Senior Project Coordinator

Lead Project Coordinator

Lucy Nonas-Barnes

Graduate Assistant

Doctoral Student, Graduate Assistant 

Nivedhitha Thiruvenkadam

Doctoral Student; Graduate Assistant

Nivi is a combined MSW/Ph.D. student at the Rutgers School of Social Work and a Graduate Assistant at the Center for Prevention Science. She has been a part of the Youth and Family Interviewing team since 2022.

Jordan Goodwin

Graduate Assistant & Doctoral Student

Doctoral Student, Project Coordinator

Avani Reed

Research Assistant

Eric Guttridge

Research Assistant

Lex Lawrence

Research Assistant

Lindsey Nebel

Research Assistant

Frequently Asked Questions

  • No. We are a research team within the Rutgers University School of Social Work Center for Prevention Science. We have been selected by DCF to design and implement this study, but we are not a part of DCF.

  • Currently, all interviews with youth and families will be online. As time goes on, consideration for any changes that would improve the quality of data collection and/or the experiences of youth and family participating in the study will be made, which may include in-person interviews. For now, all interviews will be scheduled online through Zoom.

  • Click the link to watch a 3 minute tutorial on how to find your Zoom link and use Zoom on your mobile device or desktop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAMDxH_H_Cs

  • After consenting to participate in the interview, you will be scheduled for your online Zoom interview. This will be based on your schedule and availability.

  • The interview will be 1-1.5 hours long. 

  • Only the audio from the interview will be recorded. The video will not be recorded or saved, just your voice. This is to ensure that the important experiences and material shared during the interview are saved without identifying who you are. After a transcript (written script) of your de-identified interview is generated, the audio recording from your interview will be destroyed.

  • A consent form is a document that contains detailed information about a research project. Its purpose is to explain to you as clearly as possible all of the procedures involved in the research project so that you can make a fully informed decision about whether you want to participate.

    You can see a copy of the consent form for this project here: follow this link

    Here are the biggest takeaways from our consent form:

    • We are not collecting any identifying information. When we save the
    • interview, it won’t have your name or any other information that can be traced back to you.
    • Only the audio is being recorded. During this interview, we want to be able to practice deep listening. What you have to say is important and we don’t want to miss anything. We want to really focus on you and not have to take notes during this meeting. When the interview is over, we will transcribe the audio into text and the audio will be deleted. Only the text will be used for our research.
    • All efforts will be made to keep your responses confidential, but total confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. We will keep everything you say here private and only approved people on our research team will have access to your responses. This interview is not linked to your case with DCP&P in any way. The only limit to our confidentiality is if people mention harm to themselves or others.
    • You do not have to answer any questions you don’t feel comfortable answering and you can end the interview at any time, no questions asked. However, once the interview is over and we part ways, your responses cannot be withdrawn because we will not know which ones are yours.
       
  • Yes. Ya-FIT is developing a real-time, public-facing data dashboard so that participants and the public will have access to the results of this study.

  • Yes, you will receive a $40 Visa gift card as compensation for your time. 

  • At the end of the interview, your interviewer will ask which email address or phone number to send the gift card to. You will receive information to claim the gift card within two weeks of completing the interview.

  • You will receive a code via your preferred communication method (email or phone) within two weeks of completing the gift card. Go to MyPrepaidCenter.com/redeem and enter the code and complete the registration.

  • No, you do not have to do a YaFit interview if you do not want to. Choosing to participate is voluntary! Participating or not participating does not impact your DCP&P case in any way.

  • Your status with DCP&P will not be impacted in any way if you choose or choose not to participate in a YaFit interview.

  • DCP&P gives us a list of individuals to contact for interviews.

  • We receive only the following information about you/your family prior to calling you: your name, phone number, email address, mailing address, indication of current open case type (in-home or out-of-home), the date of your most recent open case, and the first name of your current DCP&P caseworker. 

    This is all the information we have about you and your family when we call! The YaFit team does not know any details about your history with DCP&P. 
     

  • If you got a call or voicemail from a member of the YaFit Team and would like to get in touch to schedule your interview, please reach out in any of the following ways: 

    1. Email: yafit@ssw.rutgers.edu
    2. Call: (609) 474-0356


     

  • If you’d like to learn more about participating in a YaFit interview to share your experiences with DCP&P, please get in touch with us in any of the following ways:

    1. Email: yafit@ssw.rutgers.edu
    2. Call: (609) 474-0356
  • You are not required to take part in a YaFit interview about your experience with DCP&P. Participating or not participating does not have any impact on your DCP&P case in any way. If you do not want to participate in the interview, you do not need to take any further action.