About Children and Family Programs

We serve Kennesaw State University students, professionals, families, and community.

Mission Statement

To build healthy communities through effective mental health interventions.


Our Goals at The Children and Family Programs (CFP) are:

  1. to provide KSU students with enhanced student success supports, thus maximizing retention 
  2. to prepare engaged, interdisciplinary change-makers with rigorous academic and practice skills 
  3. to produce cutting edge, policy-relevant research 
  4. to enact evidence-based development programming and practice 
  5. to inspire positive change in neighborhoods, schools, and communities 
  6. to strengthen existing behavioral interventions for social and academic risk factors across multiple settings 
  7. to provide state-of-the-art trainings and workshops 
  8. to train leaders to facilitate the circulation of information and training in their communities 

Current Programming

The team at the Children and Family Programs is currently implementing a variety of programs for school staff and faculty, parents and children, and KSU students.

Parents and Families

  • Parents meet individually or in groups to learn behavior management techniques and solve problems with the program director, research assistants, and interns.
  • Program imparts the skills and strategies needed to deal with challenging situations that arise during parenting.
  • Skills and strategies gained help parents deepen relationships and promote positive developmental changes in their children’s lives. 


Social Skills Training

  • Children participate in STEAM themed games, art projects, life skills, and recreational sport activities while learning academic and relational success skills through evidence-based curricula.
  • Open to 5 to 12-year-olds who struggle academically, socially, and/or behaviorally, including those diagnosed with Attention Deficit /Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD), anxiety, and High Function Autism Spectrum Disorder (HFASD).
  • Program focuses on developing skills to promote positive relationships using communication, participation, cooperation, and validation. 

KSU Students

Students Who Parent Support Program

Current Kennesaw State University students who have children have access to our Students who Parent support program: 

  • A Six-week parenting course in which parents learn skills and strategies needed to deal with challenging situations that arise during parenting. 
  • Consists of 60-minute session that focus on different relevant topics for positive parenting, such as how to promote positive peer relationships, manage negative behaviors, and how to support their virtual learning during this time of COVID-19. 
  • Student-parents learn skills and strategies, such as time management for managing student life as a parent.  
  • Program offers student parents the opportunity to build a social support network of fellow student parents. 

Internship and Volunteer Opportunities 

Undergraduate and graduate students seeking to earn internship credit will go through rigorous training and have the opportunity to work with parents, children, faculty, and community partners in a variety of settings. CFP also works with students interested in completing volunteer hours through shadowing and working on projects. 


Children and Family Programs offers workshops and in-services to deliver to teachers, professionals, and parents. The foundation of these services include: 

  • Effective Classroom Management 
  • Parenting strategies for supporting your child and their teacher 
  • Cost effective, non-pharmaceutical resources for behavior management 
  • Peer mediation, bullying prevention, and PBIS training 

The Online Workshop:
Adult Programming offers ongoing workshops such as: 

  • Skill Building: Parenting Strategies for Developmental Success 
  • Skill Building: Foundational Framework for a Positive Community
  • “Ask An Expert” sessions 

The Online Programming allows parents, teachers, and other professionals to receive workshops and sessions in a safe and secure online environment. 

About the Director


Dr. Garefino is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and earned her Ph.D. in clinical Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is a Part-Time Assistant Professor in the psychology department of Kennesaw State University, and the recipient of their Part-Time Distinguished Teaching Award three years in a row. She is also the 2017 recipient of the Part-Time Distinguished Teaching Award for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Her mentor Dr. William Pelham, Jr. developed a state of the art Summer Treatment Program (STP) for children and adolescents diagnosed with ADHD. Dr. Garefino served as the Clinical Director of the STP at the Center for Children and Families in Buffalo. She has also led many parenting strategies workshops, and helped develop and implement school-wide behavioral interventions. She is now the Clinical Director of the Children and Family Programs (CFP) at the Center for Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University.

Her clinical and research interests include increasing the dissemination and effectiveness of behavioral interventions for the treatment of the disruptive behavior disorders across multiple settings. Therefore, the CFP offers services for: children and families at risk for academic, social and behavioral problems; Impairments often associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder; Prevention efforts; Individual parent training; Group based parent training; Social Skills training; Preventative evidenced based disciplinary strategies and proactive academic supports.

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