Scholarship, Applied Research and Evaluation

The research of the Fitz Center focuses on families in economic distress, young families, child maltreatment and the interfaces among work, family, schools, community and religion. Portions of this work have been published in professional journals, texts and monographs. Researchers of the Fitz Center have been actively involved in the development of effective human service programs to support fragile families and to help young people learn all the skills they need for today's complicated world. Much research has been focused on social service programs designed to ameliorate a range of difficulties faced by families throughout the region and to find new strategies for effective evaluation of those social service programs.

Various methods are explored to support very young parents in their attempts to improve their child's life-chances at the same time they are attempting to gain self-sufficiency. Other research finds effective ways to help empower young people, to postpone early parenthood through sexual abstinence and to reduce other adolescent risk-taking behaviors.

Researchers of the Fitz Center have also been involved in the efforts of a number of social service agencies to decrease the chances of family violence, child maltreatment, and violence within the schools. They have worked closely on program development, grant writing and evaluation for service providers such as Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley, Dayton Public Schools, Elizabeth's New Life Center, and Montgomery County Department of Job and Family Services.