The Catholic University of America

Michaela L. Zajicek-Farber, MSW, LCSW-C, BCD, PhD
Associate Professor with Tenure
Presenting at the World Association on Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) – Cape Town, South Africa, April 2012
Phone: NCSSS Office 202-319-5465
Email: farber@cua.edu (preferred contact)




Education
  • Ph.D., Social Work, The Catholic University of America, NCSSS, 1990
  • Dissertation: Stress experience in parents raising a child with Down syndrome as related to the child’s transitional developmental period, parents’ appraisal of the child’s handicapping condition, and their personal     coping and social resources.
  • M.S.W., Social Work, The Catholic University of America, NCSSS, 1979
  • B.A., Social Work and Psychology, Cleveland State University, 1977

Areas of Expertise and Current Interests

  1. Parenting: Addressing the needs and well-being of families with infants,children, and adolescents with and without disabilities; Providing sensitive and nurturing parenting caregiving in early childhood; Facilitating and examining the role and power of early childhood routines, including bedtimes.
  2. Effects of adult-parental mental health on childrearing: Effects of     depression, trauma, maltreatment on caregiving; Postpartum maternal depression; Maternal sensitivity to caregiving; Early parent-child interaction and attachment.
  3. Early childhood development: Factors promoting child emotion regulation     and connections to early school readiness; Effects of gender and     race/ethnicity designation on early emotion and behavioral competencies.
  4. Mentoring and training: Of health care professionals delivering family-    centered services to families of infants, children, or adolescents with     disabilities; Of early     childhood home-visitors delivering services to     vulnerable multicultural families in Early Head Start; Of future social     workers and other helping     professionals in clinical context of practice,     including using online or web-based education contents for training.
  5. Program and practice evaluation: Presence of factors necessary for     developing research-based evaluation; Strategies for developing     evidence-based practice in social work, and in health and mental health;      Methods for documenting levels of effectiveness in therapeutic     interventions or human service delivery.

Other Relevant Experience

  • Has long-standing experience with professional and agency inter- and     trans-disciplinary collaboration and partnership on various projects;
  • Presents nationally (SSWR, CSWE, SRCD, and others) and internationally (WAIMH, ISIS);
  • Is experienced with grants and reviews (ACF, MCHB, OERI, SAMHSA);
  • Conducts professional manuscript reviews for different professional journals in social work and psychology;
  • Is a consulting editor for Child and Adolescent Social Work (CASW) and Health and Social Work (HSW-NASW) journals;
  • Is interested in multivariate research, use of SPSS or MPLUS software for analysis, structural equation modeling (SEM) for path analysis, advanced longitudinal modeling approaches, and use of research to document clinical or field practice effectiveness;
  • Currently teaches research and statistics across undergraduate, masters, and doctoral level of education in social work;
  • Has personal immigration living experience.
     

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
Dr. Farber has over 20 years of experience as a clinical social worker combined with academic expertise in teaching, research, and community service, including case management, professional consultation, grant writing, project development, and practice and program evaluation in the context of agency services.
She has primarily focused on addressing the needs and well-being of vulnerable, economically impoverished, multicultural families caring for infants, children, and adolescents with and without disabilities, who struggle with mental health, trauma, substance abuse, domestic violence, chronic poverty, immigration, and various disabilities. She maintains LCSW-C license in Maryland and has a Diplomate-level certification by NASW and Board Certified Diplomate (BCD) status at the American Board of Examiners for Clinical Social Work (ABECSW).

Dr. Farber very much values and fondly reflects on her undergraduate training (in Cleveland) both in social work and psychology, participating in internships and volunteer experiences that taught her about (a) typical and atypical child development of children living in a residential setting due to emotional and developmental disabilities; (b) coping and caregiving of parents trying to adopt children with developmental delay or learning disabilities in the U.S.; and (c) coping and adaptation of parents with children struggling with cancer (at Cleveland Clinic).  

Dr. Farber started her social work MSW career continuing to focus on the needs and well-being of families with children and adolescents. In her foundation graduate internship, she relished the opportunity to hone her counseling and advocacy skills with young children, their parents, grandparents, and other caregivers. She was directly responsible for orchestrating a program in which interested elderly residents (from a nursing home) read stories to and interacted with young children in a local daycare center. In her advanced graduate internship, she became a (awarded) fellow in an inter-disciplinary training program for health care professionals, the Leadership in Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program at the Kennedy Krieger (formerly known as John F. Kennedy Institute) in Baltimore, Maryland. She started to specialize in the delivery of clinical services in health care, inpatient and outpatient hospital settings, advocacy and case management in the community, and mental health and instrumental social support in the home for families of children and adolescents with disabilities.

Post MSW, Dr. Farber worked for several years in the “trenches” doing social work that taught her clinical practices with different types of families (bio, foster, adoptive, multigenerational, and partnered) caring for children with and without disabilities in the context of child welfare. She carried out clinical individual or group therapy with adolescents, play therapy with young children, and couples therapy with parenting adults including adolescent mothers. Later, during this time, she also worked as a state-level of MD case manager, specifically forging a policy for an interdisciplinary system of care geared to support and assure quality of life of young and older adults with severe and multiple disabilities, including those who lived in rural areas of Baltimore County.

She loved her work as a clinical social worker, while also becoming interested in examining factors that help to identify and predict psychosocial functioning and human well-being as pertains to having a quality family life. Her inquisitiveness and problem-solving led her into a PhD level work; her dissertation developed and empirically tested a quantitative multi-factorial model that predicted coping and adaptation of around 400 families rearing a child with Down syndrome. She also collected and analyzed qualitative data that provided an in-depth insight into the needs of these families. The knowledge gained during developing and executing her own dissertation research planted seeds for and served as a platform in her ongoing valuing of research (and using empirical data) in translation of clinical practice efforts.

During and after her PhD, Dr. Farber continued working as a clinical social worker in the community, engaging in part-time private practice, agency and professional consultation for client-clinical mental health services and practice and program evaluation, and teaching in social work. Her ongoing interests in the promotion of well-being of children and families, and her continual awareness of the ongoing societal needs for using research to document and evaluate the effectiveness of clinical practice efforts, led her to forge the current path in academia at NCSSS. 

Academically, Dr. Farber began teaching in the MSW program at NCSSS in 1991, joining as an assistant professor in 2003, and being promoted to an associate professor with tenure in 2009.
In the past, she has taught MSW foundation social work research methods, generalist practice with individuals, families, and groups, theories of human behavior and social environment, psychopathology, advanced social work practice and program evaluation, and context of social work practice with families and children. She has also taught a foundation research course in the doctoral program.
At present, she teaches across undergraduate, masters, and doctoral social work level of education, focusing on research and statistics, and practice evaluation.

Recently, she has developed (with a team of three other professionals from other disciplines) and taught a year-long, graduate level, on-line course for health care professionals at GWU.
With two other NCSSS faculty colleagues, Dr. Farber developed, later directed, and is a continuing member of a CUA-NCSSS research center, presently known as the Center for Advancement of Children, Youth, and Families (CACYF).

Dr. Farber has conducted and developed multiple research projects including population needs assessments and process and outcome evaluations, designed to strengthen the capacity of local and national social agencies to respond to the complex needs of high-risk families with children and adolescents, including those affected by trauma. Because Dr. Farber has always valued inter- and trans-disciplinary collaboration, she also often involves graduate level students from NCSSS, CUA, and other local universities in some part of her research.

Her major long-range research projects include participating as: (a) A research analyst on a federally funded longitudinal evaluation of Early Head Start (EHS) services, a partnership project between NCSSS and Department of Special Education at CUA (1998-2006). Currently, she continues as an active member of the National Research Consortium on EHS. (b) Co-Principal Investigator for CUA with GWU, and GU, on an interdisciplinary federally funded (by HRSA and MCHB) Leadership in Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND), a training program for health care graduate-level professionals at the Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C. (2003 – 2012). (c)  Co-Principal Investigator with the Lt. J.P. Kennedy Institute (JPKI), Providence Hospital, and the Perry Family Health Center on a federally funded (by OERI) project that developed, implemented, and evaluated (by pilot testing and a small randomized trial) a parent mentoring intervention provided to high-risk African American and Latino families with infants and toddlers (2002-2007). (d) Co-principal Investigator with the Lt. J. P. Kennedy Institute of the Catholic Charities in Washington, DC, on a federally funded project (by ARRA and ACF) that has developed a new, home-based, Early Head Start (EHS) program with high-risk African American and Latino families rearing very young children with and without disabilities (2009-currently ongoing). In her current project, Dr. Farber has worked on developing an innovative mental health protocol that assures timely screening and support to mothers (and fathers) identified with depression.

Personally, Dr. Farber has derived life-experience from living in Northeastern Europe (Czech Republic - Prague) and India (Hyderabad, Trichinopoly). She and her pediatrician-husband of 30-some years have two almost grown children, and three cats. Their beloved Scottish terrier guards the house. Some deer and other wildlife are known to visit as well. In some of her spare time, she loves hiking, globe-trotting, cooking, knitting, movies, theatre, swimming, and seeking sea-shells.  She is always reading something; she can barely wait for the next installment of Patrick Rothfus’ science-fantasy trilogy; recently she very much enjoyed the reflections on life by Pat Summit, a major coach of women’s basketball; she inhaled the most recent edition of historical fiction on Catherine the Great by R. Massie; and she is currently chomping on a British mystery. And, she highly recommends that everyone reads: The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. She welcomes similarly shared information.

SCHOLARSHIP – Abbreviated (Vitae provided on request)

Selected Published Professional Journal Articles
Brophy-Herb, H.E,  Zajicek-Farber, M. L., McKelvey, L., Bocknek, E. L., & Stansbury, K. (2013). Longitudinal connections of maternal supportiveness and early emotion regulation to later school readiness of young children in low-income families. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 4(1), 2-19.

Lotrecchiano, G.R., McDonald, P., Lyons L., Long, T., &  Zajicek-Farber, M. L. (2012). Blended learning:  Strengths, challenges, and lessons learned in an interprofessional training program. Journal of Child and Maternal Health. Advanced online publication: doi: 10.1007/s10995-012-1175-8

Zajicek-Farber, M.L., Mayer, L. M., & Daughtery, L. (2012). Connections between parental mental health, stress, child routines, and early emotional behavioral regulation of preschool children in low-income families. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research,3(1), 31-50. 

Zajicek-Farber, M.L., Wall, S., Kisker, E., Luze, G.J., & Summers, J.A. (2011). Comparing service use of Early Head Start families of children with and without disabilities. Journal of Family Social Work, 14(2), 159-178.
Zajicek-Farber, M. L. (2010). Building practice evidence for parent mentoring during home-visiting in early childhood.. Advanced online publication: doi: 10.1177/0123456789123456; (2009). Research on Social Work Practice, 20, 46-64.

Zajicek-Farber, M. L. (2010). The contributions of parenting and postnatal depression on emergent language of children in low-income families. Advanced online publication: doi: 1007/s10826-009-9293-7; (2009). Journal of Child and Family Studies, 19(3), 257-269.

Farber, M.L.Z. (2009). Parent mentoring and child anticipatory guidance with Latino and African- American families, Health and Social Work, 34(3), 179-189.

Zajicek-Farber, M. L. (2009). Postnatal depression and infant health practices among high-risk women. Journal of Child and Family Studies, Advanced online publication: doi:s10826- 008-9224-z.; (2008). Journal of Child and Family Studies,18(2), 236-245.

Farber, M. L. Z., & Sabatino, C. A. (2007). Therapeutic summer weekend camp for grieving children: Supporting clinical practice through empirical evaluation. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 24(4), 385-402.

Farber, M. L. Z., & Maharaj, R. (2005). Empowering high-risk families of children with disabilities. Research on Social Work Practice. 17(6), 501-515.

Recent Book-Chapters
Zajicek-Farber, M. L. (2012). Caring and coping: Helping the family of a child with a disability. In M. L. Batshaw, N. Roizen, & G.R. Lotrecchiano (Eds.), Children with disabilities, 7th ed., (Chapter 37). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.

Zajicek-Farber, M. L. (2011). Connections of maternal sensitivity to children’s development, health, and well-being. In Davis, D.W. & Logsdon, M.C. (Eds.). Maternal sensitivity: A scientific foundation for practice. (Chapter 13). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Textbooks
Timberlake, E.M., Farber, M.L.Z., & Sabatino, C.A. (2008). Generalist social work practice: A Strengths-based problem-solving approach (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Selected International Professional Meetings
Zajicek-Farber, M.L. (2013). Longitudinal connections between early parental mental health and later child developmental outcomes for behavior and emotion regulation and school readiness of children in vulnerable families.  The 7th International Social Work Conference in Health and Mental Health, June, Los Angeles, CA.
Zajicek-Farber, M.L. (2012). Factors that increase the odds of consistent bedtime and bedtime routines for 14 Months old children in low income families. The International Society on Infant Studies (ISIS), June, Minneapolis, MN.

Zajicek-Farber, M.L. (2012). Factors Predicting Bedtime Routines of Young Children at 14, 24, and 36 Months in Low-Income Families. World Association on Infant Mental Health: 13th World Congress (WAIMH), April, Cape Town, So Africa.

Zajicek-Farber, M. L. (2010). The effects of maternal depression and parenting on emergent language of toddlers in high-risk families. World Association on Infant Mental Health (WAIMH); Symposium on Promoting Infant and Early Childhood Development in the Contexts of Child and Parental Risk Factors, June-July, Leipzig, Germany.

Zajicek-Farber, M. L. (2010). The connections between maternal mental health, knowledge of childrearing, and parental practices on children’s participation in literacy activities and early language competence.6th International Social Work Conference in Health and Mental Health, June-July, Dublin, Ireland.
Zajicek-Farber, M.L. (2010). The links between maternal depression, stress, routines, child emotional regulation, and language competence of preschool children. The International Society on Infant Studies (ISIS), March, Baltimore, MD.

Selected National Professional Meetings
Zajicek-Farber, M.L. Bohlander, A., Brophy-Herb, H. (2013). Growth modeling early maternal supportiveness and child emotion regulation with later attention competence of low-income children. Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), April, Seattle, WA.

Zajicek-Farber, M. L., Peterson, S., Nanavati, J., & Robinson, A. (2013). Comparison of medical home strengths and challenges for children with disabilities. USF-Duval Family Studies Conference: Supporting Family Development and Multidisciplinary Approaches; February, Sarasota, FL.

Zajicek-Farber, M. L. (2013). Examination of child and family characteristics and bedtime routines of young children at 14, 24, and 36 months in low-income ethnically diverse families. Society for Social Work Research (SSWR), January, San Diego, CA.

Zajicek-Farber, M. L., & Mayer, L. M. (2012). The Contribution of fathers' parenting in a mediated model between maternal depression, child-routines, and emotional-behavior regulation competence of preschool children In low-income families. Symposium with Manian, Price, & Bledsoe on "Psychosocial correlates of postpartum depression: Bridging research and practice," Society for Social Work Research (SSWR), January, Washington, DC.

Zajicek-Farber, M. L., & Mayer, L. M. (2012). Ethnic group differences in a mediated model of maternal depression, parenting stress, child-routines, and emotional-behavior regulation of preschool children in low-income families. Society for Social Work Research (SSWR), January, Washington, DC.

Zajicek-Farber, M.L., Robinson, A., & Peterson, S. (2011). The perception of family centered care in primary healthcare by families of children with special needs: Are we moving forward? Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Annual Meeting, November, Crystal City, VA.

Brady, R., Long, T. Richards, J., Lotrecchiano G., Lyons, L., & Zajicek-Farber, M. L. (2011). Distance leaning: Lessons learned. Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Annual Meeting, November, Crystal City, VA.

Brophy-Herb, H.E., Bocknek E. L., Zajicek-Farber, M. L., McKelvey, L. M., & Stansbury, K. (2011). Maternal supportiveness and toddlers' emotion regulation from 14 to 36 months, persistence at age 3 and kindergarten. Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD): March-April, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Zajicek-Farber, M.L., & Mayer, L. M. (2011). The protective influence of parental child routines in a mediated model between maternal depression and language competence of preschool children in low-income families. Society for Social Work Research (SSWR), January, Tampa, Fl.

Zajicek-Farber, M.L., & Mayer, L. M. (2010). The connections between parental mental health, parenting, child emotional regulation, and language competence of preschool children in low-income families. Head Start 10th National Research Conference (HSNRC-10), June, Washington, DC.

Farber, M. L. Z. (2010). The effects of maternal depression and parenting knowledge and practices on children’s involvement in literacy activities and emergent language. Society for Social Work Research (SSWR), January, San Francisco, CA.

Farber, M.L.Z. (2009). Contributions of parenting knowledge and maternal mental health to the development of emergent language in toddlers. Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD): April, Denver, Colorado.
Farber, M.L.Z. (2009). Parent mentoring: Improving infant health practices and postnatal depression through home visiting. Society for Social Work Research (SSWR), January, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Farber, M.L.Z. (2009). Contributions of parenting knowledge and maternal mental health to the development of emergent language in toddlers. Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD): April, Denver, Colorado.
Farber, M.L.Z. (2009). Parent mentoring: Improving infant health practices and postnatal depression through home visiting. Society for Social Work Research (SSWR), January, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Timberlake, E.M., Farber, M.L.Z., & Sabatino, C.A. (2008). The generalist method of social work practice: A generalist perspective (5th ed.). Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) 54th Annual Program Meeting; Meet the Authors, October, Philadelphia, PA.
Current Professional Memberships

  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW): ASCW, and Diplomate Status
  • Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) 
  • Council of Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • American Board of Education for Clinical Social Work (ABECSW)- BCD Status
  • Early Head Start (EHS) Research Consortium
  • Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD)
     

Awards and Distinctions

  • Recognition Award by Rainbows, Inc., Chicago, IL., for ongoing professional   development of best practices and research support services. (2008).
  • Recognition Award by the Lt. Joseph Kennedy Institute (JPKI) of Catholic   Charities in Washington, DC and CUA for an interagency collaboration and support at the annual JPKI community meeting. (2005).
  • Clinical Social Work Scholars Award, NCSSS, CUA. (1999).
  • Clinical Social Work and Community Services Award, J.F. Kennedy Institute (current Krieger Institute), Baltimore, MD. (1983).
  • Leadership in Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) fellowship, J.F. Kennedy Institute (current Krieger Institute), Baltimore, MD. (1979).  

Contact information: farber@cua.edu