Abella's research focuses on understanding structural and social factors that influence individual and family wellbeing within the behavioral health, child welfare, and prevention services sectors. Abella's projects have centered around understanding the impact of police-mental health interventions, highlighting families’ experiences in child welfare during COVID-19, assessing the implementation of school violence prevention and mental health training, and addressing barriers to early childhood program engagement in a historically Black neighborhood. Abella works in close collaboration with several community agencies in her research.
In the News
Discusses Rapid Ethnographic Assessment of Pandemic Restrictions in Child Welfare: Lessons from Parent and Provider Experiences. Shows a study of the impact of COVID-19 on families in child welfare in Miami-Dade County who were undergoing the reunification process after their children had been removed. Highlights ways that COVID exacerbated problems in the child welfare system, such as authoritarian treatment of parents.
Provides a detailed analysis of an evaluation of a police-mental health intervention to improve pathways to treatment for individuals with mental illness and divert them from criminal justice.
Narrates how child welfare changes occurred in response to the pandemic in Miami-Dade, what the challenges were, and what some opportunities are for embracing remote services going forward.
Explores what it means to be a “good” parent as described by parents and child development specialists at a family service organization. Ilistrates ways that attachment parenting has been integrated into major institutions and questions who these ideologies are relevant for and accessible to.