Our Roles and Biographies

Monica Oxford, PhD Executive Directormonica_web

Monica Oxford, Ph.D. is a Research Professor in the Department of Family and Child Nursing and the Executive Director of NCAST Programs and PFR Program. Dr. Oxford’s research focuses on early parenting and child developmental outcomes for vulnerable families living in challenging environments. Dr. Oxford’s interest is in how context, parenting, and child characteristics combine to inform particular patterns of child outcomes and how intervention services promote both parent and child wellbeing. Dr. Oxford is also involved in training social service providers throughout Washington about infant mental health and how parenting behaviors and context operate to support or detract from healthy outcomes. Dr. Oxford is principal investigator of three NIH grants; the first two are aimed at examining the impact of a relationship based intervention program, Promoting First Relationships® (Kelly et al, 2008) in two populations: one for parents involved with child protective services and the second for American Indian families in a rural setting. The third grant is aimed at addressing the interaction between family, school, child, and contextual risk such as poverty and early child developmental outcomes Dr. Oxford is also co-principal investigator on three NIH funded grants testing the effectiveness of intervention programs for vulnerable populations.

Jennifer Rees, MSW Program and Training Director

Jennifer ReesJennifer manages Promoting First Relationships’ community and distance training programs. She is responsible for curriculum and program development, assuring program fidelity, providing on-site and distance training to community agencies, facilitating reflective practice groups, and reporting duties. Jennifer graduated with honors from the University of Washington with her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and later went on to obtain her Master of Social Work degree. She spent the early part of her career working with children and families as a Research Coordinator for the NICHD Study of Early Childcare and Youth Development, as well as counseling teens and their families in school settings. Jennifer also has experience in vocational rehabilitation and physical therapy. Her projects with Promoting First Relationships have included training childcare providers, mental health professionals, social workers, occupational and speech therapists, and early childhood education professionals. Jennifer most recently assisted in developing PFR’s new distance learning training curriculum including training videos, manual and methods of training. She cares deeply about supporting parents in a strengths-based way and helping them have a positive, connected relationship with their child.

Julie Nagel, LICSW Lead Trainer

Julie NagelJulie is an Early Childhood Consultant for the Promoting First Relationships program. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Social Work from Western Michigan University in 1983. In 1986 she received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated from the certificate program in Infant Mental Health from the University of Washington in August, 2003. Since receiving her Master’s degree, she has worked primarily in the mental health field; her roles have included: Intensive Day Treatment therapist with 2-5 year old children, child and family therapist, coordinator of the Interagency Coordinating Council, coordinator of the Snohomish County Child Study Teams, and collaborator on federal grant projects focusing on implementation of Public Law 99-457. Julie was also a mental health consultant for the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, and served as a consultant with the Snohomish County Success By Six Project.

Carol Good, LICSW Lead Trainer

Jean F. Kelly, PhD, (Emeritus)

Jean KellyJean directed research and training programs focused on young children’s social and emotional health for 25 years. Jean developed the Promoting First Relationships Program, and is currently professor emeritus in the department of Family and Child Nursing at the University of Washington. She was also the Co-Director of the Center on Infant Mental Health and Development, a partnership between the School of Nursing and the Center on Human Development and Disability. Her interest in promoting the parent/caregiver-child relationship began in the late 1970’s with her dissertation work using videotaped feedback to promote the relationship between parents and their young children with developmental delays. Since that time, she conducted research and developed programs for families and infants and toddlers who are homeless, enrolled in early intervention programs for young children with special needs, and participants in Early Head Start programs. She was also involved in research and training efforts to improve the relationship quality of child care programs and grandparent-child dyads. Her research and training efforts in the years before her retirement focused on promote healthy relationships between parents, foster parents and therapeutic child care providers who care for children involved in the child welfare system. She taught in the Department of Family and Child Nursing and the Irving B. Harris Graduate Certificate Program in Infant Mental Health at the University of Washington.