ERH Session 2

Session 2: Early Relational Health in the Field: Child Welfare, Home Visiting, and Child Health Applications

Panelists: Jennifer Rodriguez, Youth Law Center/Quality Parenting Imitative & Dr. Kate Rosenblum, University of Michigan




About Jennifer Rodriguez: Jennifer Rodriguez, J.D., is Executive Director of the Youth Law Center (YLC), a national public interest law firm that has worked for 4 decades to transform foster care and juvenile justice systems so every child and youth can thrive. YLC’s advocacy aims to ensure children and youth are not only protected from harm and dangerous conditions in systems but also receive the support, opportunities and nurturing they need for healthy, productive adulthoods. Jennifer’s leadership at YLC has a special focus on advocacy that ensures youth in both child welfare and juvenile justice receive the parenting necessary to heal and thrive and live in conditions that meet their developmental and emotional needs. YLC is currently implementing the Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI), a systems change strategy to strengthen foster care by focusing policy, practice, and culture around relationships and excellent parenting for children, in over 75 jurisdictions in 10 states. As a former foster youth who spent too much of her childhood in both foster care and juvenile justice institutions, she has spent most of her life advocating for systems to be responsive to the needs of youth. Jennifer’s advocacy has resulted in significant national policy, practice and culture change around the fundamental needs of youth and formally including system involved youth as part of all policy processes. Jennifer received her J.D. from University of California, Davis, and is the proud mother of two beautiful children who teach her daily about the power of love, high expectations, and opportunities.


About Dr. Kate Rosenblum: Dr. Rosenblum is a clinical and developmental psychologist and professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Michigan, where she directs the Zero to Thrive ( and the Infant and Early Childhood Clinic.  Dr. Rosenblum is the Vice President of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health, a member of the Zero to Three Academy of Fellows, and a member of the Center for the Study of Social Policy’s National Early Relational Health Advisory Panel.  She has developed a series of relational health promotion and prevention programs, including the Thrive with Your Baby Clinic model implemented in pediatric practices, and the Strong Roots Programs with tailored delivery for mothers, fathers, military families, and families involved in the child welfare system.  Dr. Rosenblum has published more than 150+ peer-review articles, chapters, and reports focused on parenting and infant and early childhood mental health, with a special interest in young children who have experienced disruptions including trauma, separation and/or loss.  In these contexts, her work focuses on promoting resilience through support for early family relational health.