CAARE Diagnostic and Treatment Center Research Team | Research | Department of Pediatrics | UC Davis Health

CAARE Diagnostic and Treatment Center Research

  • Dawn Blacker, Ph.D.

    Dr. Blacker is a clinical psychologist who is involved in research focused on dissemination of EBT’s including PCIT and trauma-responsive interventions for system-involved youth. She has published on topics related to PCIT, child welfare evaluations, and sexually exploited youth. Dr. Blacker has also created several curriculums with colleagues for services for system-involved youth and their caregivers (i.e., Trauma-Informed Unit Skills Group for Youth Detained in Correctional Setting and Caregiver Skills Group for Caregivers caring for Sexually Exploited Youth).


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  • Brandi Hawk, Ph.D.

    Dr. Hawk is a clinical psychologist who conducts research on the role of caregiver-child relationships in children’s mental health and development, with an emphasis on the effects of interventions aimed at improving this relationship and these interventions’ implementation in different settings. She has researched the impact of institution-wide caregiving interventions on the development of children reared in orphanages in Russia. She is a co-developer of a brief dyadic parenting intervention (PC-CARE), and her current research focuses on the effectiveness of PC-CARE in the treatment of trauma symptoms and disruptive behaviors for children aged 1-10 years. She is the Principal Investigator for a randomized-controlled trial of PC-CARE within pediatric primary care. She is also involved in projects investigating the effectiveness of PC-CARE as a secondary prevention for young children in new foster placements and as a treatment for disruptive behaviors and trauma symptoms within outpatient mental health.


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  • Susan Timmer, Ph.D.

    Dr. Timmer conducts research on risk and resilience in maltreated and traumatized young children, and particularly the role of parent-child relationship processes and parenting interventions in increasing children’s resilience. She evaluates the efficacy and effectiveness of Parent-Child Care (PC-CARE) and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), as well as the implementation of these evidence-based interventions in different settings (e.g., schools) and with different populations of children. She is the Principal Investigator on a 5-year federally funded grant to provide PC-CARE to 1 – 5 year old children entering new foster placements in order to reduce their placement instability and improve their mental health. Dr. Timmer is currently collaborating with Pediatrics staff and faculty on a project aimed at integrating behavioral and physical health in a primary care clinic for children connected with Child Protective Services. For more information on PC-CARE or PCIT:,


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