New grants allow UW’s Valdez to expand Fortalezas Familiares initiative for Latina mothers with depression and their families

UW-Madison’s Carmen Valdez was recently awarded two new grants to support the expansion, implementation and further evaluation of the Fortalezas Familiares initiative.

Fortalezas Familiares, or Family Strengths, was first piloted by Valdez and her team in 2010 and today is a 14-week, multi-family intervention for Latina immigrant mothers with depression, other family caregivers and their children.

The program aims to enhance the resources that families have to cope with maternal depression by improving communication and families’ understanding of depression and negative family interactions, building parenting competence and confidence, and promoting children’s positive coping strategies and efficacy.

“Fortalezas Familiares is really at the heart of the Wisconsin Idea, where we are looking to take what we have learned in research to date and apply these findings to solve problems and improve the health and quality of life of people around the state,” says Valdez, an associate professor with the School of Education’s Department of Counseling Psychology.

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