Leveraging Culturally Specific Protective Factors to Promote Foster Student Health & Development


Dean Martinez photo

Dr. Charles R. Martinez

Speaker: Dr. Charles Martinez

Charles R. Martinez, Jr. is the 12th dean of the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Martinez began his tenure as dean on January 1, 2019. Martinez holds the Lee Hage Jamail Regents Chair in Education and the Sid W. Richardson Regents Chair. He is a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology.

Martinez’s scholarly work focuses on identifying factors that hinder or promote the success of children and families who are from vulnerable and underserved populations. He is particularly interested in how immigrant Latino families adjust to life in the U.S. and how to better harness culturally specific protective factors to ensure their success in navigating the many challenges associated with immigration.

Martinez has led numerous national and international research projects designed to examine risk and protective factors involved in linking social and cultural factors to education and behavioral health disparities for Latino children and families and to develop and test culturally specific interventions for at-risk families in the U.S. and in Latin America.

Prior to joining Texas, Martinez was the Philip H. Knight Professor in the Department of Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership at the University of Oregon, where he also served as founding director of the Center for Equity Promotion.

He is a nationally recognized scholar on organizational equity, cross-cultural research, and community engagement.

A first-generation college graduate, Martinez received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pitzer College and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology.

Dean Charles Martinez will share information he has gleaned from the numerous national and international research projects he has conducted that examine risk and protective factors involved in linkages of social and cultural factors to educational and behavioral health disparities among vulnerable populations of youth and families.  He will outline the factors that hinder and promote the success of children and families of color with a focus on immigrant Latinx families. For example, he will describe how the stress of acculturative stress, poverty, and health disparities influence the experience of youth in our educational systems as well as what therapists can do to harness specific protective factors and cultural assets to promote greater health and educational success.  In addition, Dr. Martinez will offer suggestions for how mental health professionals can play an important role in partnering with youth, families, and schools to promote greater social connection and wellbeing among foster youth.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the social and cultural factors that are linked to educational and behavioral health disparities among foster youth and families.
  2. Identify specific strategies for harnessing protective factors and cultural assets to promote greater health and educational success among foster youth.
  3. Explain methods that mental health professionals can employ for strengthening partnerships between schools and foster youth and families.
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LCSWs and MFTs can earn CE credits either by attending live events or watching the recordings at home.

These events are free, and registration is available up until 24 hours prior to the start of the event. There is no penalty for cancellations. Content level is suitable for working mental health professionals with advanced degrees. There will be no breaks during the programs.

Live courses are interactive and recorded courses are non-interactive. In order to complete and receive credit for live courses, attendees must remain for the duration of each event and complete the course evaluation directly following each event. A link to the evaluation will be shared in the Zoom chat box during the live webinar. To earn home-study credits for recorded webinars, viewers must watch each course and complete the evaluation and posttest for each course. Viewers have 3 chances to pass the posttest with a score of 75% or higher. Once the evaluations or the evaluations and postttests are completed, we will generate and issue certificates via email within one week of completion. 

Credit is calculated by the hours of the event (1 hour = 1 credit, 2 hours = 2 credits, etc.). The time it takes to complete the course evaluation and/or the posttest does not count toward CE credits. 

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