Innovations Institute


Improving Outcomes for Children, Youth, Their Families, and Communities Through Translational Research and Implementation

The Innovations Institute at the UConn School of Social Work builds research-based, inclusive, culturally-responsive, and transformative child-, youth-and family-serving systems and services, and develops the capacity of the workforce within these systems.

We do this work in partnership with government agencies, health care providers, youth and their families, and community-based organizations in order to improve outcomes for and with children, youth, and their families.

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Two children sit on a bed, looking at a tablet, while their mothers look on
a group of youths post for a selfie, smiling, with arms around one another
two children get piggyback rides from their parents

Who We Are

Innovations Institute faculty and staff have nationally recognized expertise, education, and leadership in the fields of:

Care Coordination

Child Welfare

Crisis Response Systems

Instructional Design & Media

Juvenile Justice

LGBTQ+

Mental Health

Policy, Finance & Systems Design

Research & Evaluation

Systems of Care

Workforce Development & Implementation

Youth & Families

We support state and local governments and organizations in implementing and sustaining effective systems and clinical practices that best meet the needs of those involved in the public systems and their families and communities.

We provide training, technical assistance, facilitation, analysis, consulting, implementation support, and research and evaluation to support workforce development, systems design and financing, data-driven strategic planning, and quality improvement. Our work is grounded in research, a commitment to social justice, experience and expertise from the field, adult learning theory, and implementation science.


Scope & Impact

Innovations Institute is a leader in building effective services to improve the well-being and ensure vibrant futures for children, youth, their families, and communities. Our programs touch nearly every state and territory in the nation and, through online and in person training, we have trained over 60,000+ practitioners in child welfare, children’s behavioral health, and other child-serving systems. The impact of this work is improved quality and effectiveness of services that are responsive to unique needs of children, youth, young adults, and their families from diverse communities, cultural backgrounds, races, genders, and experiences.

A toddler and two women sit on a couch together looking at a notebook and smiling
group of young adults and teens hold a rainbow flag

Vision

We believe we can achieve a world where all families thrive in their communities and the work of child-, youth-, and family-serving public systems is grounded in research and implementation science and driven by principles of anti-racism, social justice, equity, inclusion, and authentic partnerships with youth and their families and communities.

Mission

The Innovations Institute at the UConn School of Social Work uses its research, commitment to social justice, partnerships with youth and families, and expertise to build robust, inclusive, culturally responsive, and high-quality child-, youth-, and family-serving public systems.

Our Centers

The National SOGIE Center

The National Center for Youth with Diverse Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression is a collaborative led by Innovations Institute and comprised of multiple organizations working to improve the lives of children and youth with diverse Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression (SOGIE) involved in systems of care.
The National SOGIE Center logo

NWIC

The National Wraparound Implementation Center supports states, communities, and organizations to implement Wraparound as part of broader health reform strategies, and build sustainable local capacity to provide high-quality Wraparound, thereby increasing positive outcomes for children, youth, and their families.
The National Wraparound Implementation Center logo

QIC-R

The National Quality Improvement Center on Family-Centered Reunification works with public and tribal child welfare sites nationally to identify, assess, and implement promising and evidence-based practices that address the individual and collective needs of birth families/families of origin with children in foster care.
The National Quality Improvement Center on Family-Centered Reunification logo

QIC-LGBTQ2S

The National Quality Improvement Center on Tailored Services, Placement Stability, and Permanency for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Two-Spirit Children and Youth in Foster Care is designed to identify practices that can serve nationwide to improve the lives of youth with diverse SOGIE.
The National Quality Improvement Center on Tailored Services, Placement Stability, and Permanency for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Two-Spirit Children and Youth in Foster Care

TA Network

The Technical Assistance Network is comprised of national experts in youth and family services working to expand and sustain community-based Systems of Care across the U.S. through expert consultation and technical assistance to state and local governments, tribes, territories, communities, and organizations. Applying for a System of Care grant?
The Technical Assistance Network logo

CoE-LGBTQ+

The Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity implements change strategies through training, coaching, and technical assistance within mental health and substance use disorder treatment systems to address disparities effecting LGBTQ+ people across all stages of life.
Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity CoE-LGBTQ+
smiling children