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NPA December, 2015 Member Spotlight

Mary Fran Flood, Ph.D.

Mary Fran Flood, is a Psychologist who works in the Family Interaction Skills Clinic in the Clinical Psychology Training Program at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. Mary Fran grew up in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and has a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the College of St. Benedict, a Master’s degree in Social Work with a Child Welfare Specialization from the University of Nebraska—Omaha, and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln.

During her social work career, Mary Fran developed her enthusiasm for working with children and adolescents into strong interest in better understanding how to prevent child maltreatment and how to deliver effective prevention and intervention programs. As part of a multidisciplinary team at Munroe Meyer Institute she directed an education and social work program for children with disabilities and their families. Later, she directed a Boys and Girls Town Adolescent Parenting Program at Flanagan High School in Omaha. She moved to Lincoln in 1986 to direct Youth Service System, a non-profit agency that provided services through Freeway Station, a runaway and homeless youth program, TLC, a residential program for teenage mothers and their infants and toddlers, residential programs for adolescent boys and girls, and an in-home family therapy program. After earning her PhD in Psychology at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, Dr. Flood joined the staff of the Lincoln Family Medicine Program as a Pediatric Psychologist. At Lincoln Family Medicine, Dr. Flood taught pediatric behavioral health to Family Medicine residents and provided assessment and therapy services for children and their families in the community. Concurrently, Dr. Flood directed the Psychological Consultation Center (PCC), the training clinic at the University Department of Psychology. With Dr. David Hansen at the PCC, she developed the Family Interaction Skills Clinic, a research, training, and services program that provides mental health consultation and psychological assessment and treatment for children, adolescents, and their families through collaborative partnerships with community agencies, primarily Community Action Partnership’s Head Start and Early Head Start and the Child Advocacy Center (Project SAFE). Project SAFE (Sexual Abuse Family Education) is a treatment program for sexually abused youth and their nonoffending family members.  

Currently, Dr. Flood leads a Family Interaction Skills program that provides behavioral health consultation for Community Action Partnership’s Head Start programs. As part of the Head Start collaboration, she trains psychology graduate students and participates in research on the prevention of child maltreatment and improving mental health services in Head Start settings. Dr. Flood and the doctoral level students offer evidenced-based psychological assessment and therapy for young children and provide consultation to Head Start staff regarding young children’s social, emotional, and behavioral development. They assist Head Start parents, managers, and staff in designing a system of mental health care that includes initial behavioral health, behavioral observations of children in family and classroom settings, psychology participation in regular Child and Family Reviews, consultation and support to Head Start teachers and home visitors, and in-home family therapy services. Recent Family Interaction Skills Clinic research projects include a qualitative study of moderately- to highly-engaged Early Head Start families, a mixed-methods study of how Early Head Start home visitors identify risk for child maltreatment, and a case study examining the use of mental health consultation services in promoting engagement in Early Head Start families. Along with members of the Clinical Psychology Program’s Child Maltreatment Research Team, Dr. Flood also studies the heterogeneous impact of sexual abuse, factors that influence outcomes in sexual abuse, and the development and evaluation of measures and treatments for sexual abuse victims and their families.

Dr. Flood serves on the Nebraska Child Abuse Prevention Fund Board and was recently appointed to the Nebraska Board of Psychology. Besides being fortunate enough to genuinely enjoy her work, Mary Fran likes spending time with her friends, hiking (walking in interesting places!), reading, and following Husker Women’s Basketball and Volleyball.

Previous NPA Member Spotlight

November, 2015 – Shannon Black

October, 2015 – John "Jay" Curran

September, 2015 – Nancy Bradford

July, 2015 – Alayna Schreier

June, 2015 – Joe Swoboda

May, 2015 – Mikel Merritt

January, 2015 — Lyndia Madison

December, 2014 — Mark Hald

October, 2014 — Sarah Schaffer

August, 2014 — Brenda Rohren

July, 2014 — Heath Hodges

June, 2014 — April Davis


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