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Past Projects & Grants

Adolescent Dating Violence Study

IFNL is leading one of the most comprehensive studies of rural adolescent dating violence ever undertaken in the U.S.  The National Institutes of Health funded study is collecting data from adolescents and a parent or caregiver, teachers, and youth service providers.  Data are also being collected to characterize the adolescents’ neighborhoods.  The results will identify factors that influence the developmental trajectory of dating violence victimization and perpetration. Read more

Child Care

IFNL faculty and staff have been engaged in guiding an increasingly visible agenda to build a South Carolina system of quality child care and early education. Activities include: enhancing the professional development system; building a system of technical assistance for caregivers with a strong evaluation component; guiding the development of early care and education core knowledge and competencies; structuring a system of child care standards reimbursements. Although much of the work relates to state policies and programs, IFNL has also led in the development and facilitation of a group in the tri-county area whose mission is to educate civic and business leaders on the importance of quality environments for young children. Read more

Growing Foods Locally

Growing Foods Locally seeks to change traditional thinking about community food assistance by clustering small-scale farm operations with a selected group of emergency food assistance providers (i.e., called a micro-economic agricultural clustering approach) with the goal of enhancing the amount of nutritional food items available to the poor.  It also seeks to alter the food handling, preparation and consumption behaviors of emergency food assistance providers and consumers. Read more

Community Youth Development

In collaboration with national and local partners, IFNL has undertaken a series of projects in South Carolina's Lowcountry to strengthen the capacity of youth serving organizations and create a comprehensive, coordinated youth development system.  The projects included the ABCs of Youth Work, a survey of program directors and front line staff members of organizations serving out-of-school children and youth; Advancing Youth Development Professional Training and BEST Network Partner, a series of training sessions for youth workers in out-of-school programs; and Building a Youth Development System, an effort to create a coordinated youth development system across four lowcountry counties. Read more


The SC Rural Communities Compassion Project, a grant from the U.S. Administration for Children and Families, provided sub-awards and technical assistance to faith- and community-based organizations in South Carolina. The SC Center on Grassroots and Nonprofit Leadership, a center of the IFNL, implemented the Compassion project, which included technical assistance to the state in the form of informative workshops, funding resources, one-on-one skills training, distance learning events, and web resources. Read more

Perceptions and determinants of partnership trust in health promotion

The purpose of this study was to investigate contextual factors that influence perceptions and development of partnership trust in collaborative partnerships pursuing reducing health disparities in U.S. Latino communities. We conducted focus groups and qualitative key informant interviews with stakeholders. Determinants of partnership trust among stakeholders, including organizational, socio-economic, and cultural determinants were identified. Study findings are guiding development of a culturally and linguistically relevant quantitative instrument to measure partnership trust in the context of CBPR with minority communities. This project was supported by the South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research (SCTR) Institute, with an academic home at the Medical University of South Carolina, through NIH - NCATS Grant Number UL1 TR001450.

Rural Capacity Building

IFNL has collaborated with the Chesterfield County Coordinating Council (CCCC) on three projects intended to enhance the capacity of organizations and institutions in Chesterfield County to improve the well-being of young people and their families.  The Substance Abuse/Mental Health Rural Planning Project undertook a two-year effort to identify the service needs and obstacles to service for people with severe emotional disturbance and their families, and to develop a strategic plan to strengthen the service infrastructure.  The Stop the Violence Project was a two-year effort to increase awareness of violence against girls and young women and to implement a targeted prevention and intervention program.  Drug Free Chesterfield is a five-year project to strengthen the capacity of community organizations and institutions to prevent substance use among young people and to develop a County-wide coalition to plan and implement substance abuse prevention strategies and improve the well-being of young people and their families. Read more

Safe Families

Safe Families is an initiative that provides community support for families and children. Today, far too many families lack the strong network of support necessary to stay afloat during times of crisis and need. Safe Families acts as a safety net, supporting families who are experiencing a challenging situation and who are temporarily unable to meet the needs of their children. Read more

Strong Communities

Strong Communities, a long-term effort supported by The Duke Endowment to design, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive effort to prevent child abuse and neglect in communities in southern Greenville County and adjoining sections of Anderson and Laurens counties. This effort represents the largest grant ever received by Clemson University in the social, behavioral, and health sciences. Unlike most of the comprehensive community initiatives to prevent child abuse and neglect, the strategy is to build community itself, not merely to foster collaboration among community organizations. To our knowledge, Strong Communities for Children is the first effort fully to implement the Neighbors Helping Neighbors strategy proposed by the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect in 1993. More than 4,500 volunteers have been mobilized throughout the service area to prevent child abuse and neglect. Read more