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Institute for Health Care Policy and Aging Research
Vanessa Tapanes
Project L/EARN Intern - 2003
Vanessa Tapanes
Staffing Patterns in Mental Health Residential Care Facilities in the United States: Do Client Characteristics Matter?
Lynn Warner

Vanessa had majored in Psychology at Douglass College (Rutgers University) as a student. She saw Project L/EARN as an “opportunity to further my education and training in research and psychology.” The exposure to research methods that she received over the course of her internship had led her to realize that in addition to her aspiration to obtain a doctorate degree in School Psychology she had also gained an interest in conducting social research. Vanessa believes that this internship advanced her understanding of research methodology and provided her with the opportunity to receive individualized attention while working extensively with her faculty mentors, Drs. Warner & Pottick. She intends on continuing to conduct research in the field of children’s mental health, so that she may influence policy that will improve the status of underserved children and adolescents. Moreover, her ultimate professional goal is to become a School Psychologist in a middle school located in an inner-city urban area. Vanessa’s research project had examined the potential racial and age differences in quality of care by analyzing the number of professional staffing hours recorded among residential care facilities in the United States. This study found that there is less time devoted by professionals to facilities that have greater proportions of Black clients and children. The implications of these findings are far-reaching for policy makers and practitioners, alike.

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