Young children have unique needs. Unfortunately, though, they often may be overlooked when it comes to needing psychological services. In fact, young children can experience a variety of emotional and behavioral problems, especially when their parents and caregivers are having difficulty, too.
In an effort to better serve families with young children in Central Florida and beyond, Dr. Kimberly Renk’s Understanding Young Children and Families Laboratory in the Department of Psychology at the University of Central Florida (UCF) is involved in generating new research findings, providing psychological services specifically designed to meet the needs of young children and their families, and participating in community advocacy. Please see Dr. Renk’s faculty page for more information about her training background.
We are always interested in understanding more about the caregiver-young child connection, especially when families are struggling with problems in living, changes in caregivers, substance use disorders, trauma, and abuse or neglect issues. To help build the knowledge base that can help us better understand these issues, we are always conducting a variety of studies. See our Research tab for more information about the studies that we are conducting. Also see the following linked videos: Circle of Security in Child Welfare, Childcare Centers 1, and Childcare Centers 2.
So that we can best help families with young children address the problems that they may be experiencing, we offer a variety of infant mental health- and trauma-informed psychological services. These services include assessments (for emotional and behavioral problems and early learning issues) as well as intervention services (including cognitive-behavioral interventions, Circle of Security-Parenting, and Child-Parent Psychotherapy). These services are being offered through the Psychology Clinic at UCF and through applied clinical research that we are conducting in the community. See our Services tab for more information.
We take pride in always looking for ways to best serve the Central Florida community and have formed relationships with a variety of community agencies and partners. We are also active in the greater infant mental health community across the United States and the world. For example, please see the attached collaborative statement to which Dr. Renk made a contribution. Please contact Dr. Renk (Kimberly.Renk@ucf.edu) for more information.