Michael Nunno
Extension Associate,Sr

Web Bio Page

Current Activities

Current Professional Activities
Michael Nunno, D.S.W. is a Senior Extension Associate with the Family Life Development Center, the College of Human Ecology, Cornell University. He is the principal investigator of the Residential Child Care Project. His current professional activities within this project focus on two major child welfare topics: the protection of children in out-of-home care; and, designing and evaluating crisis prevention and management systems for juvenile treatment, psychiatric, and correctional facilities. 

Current Research Activities
Dr. Nunno supervises the current research and evaluation activities related to the Residential Child Care Project.  A broad range of psychological, educational and organizational research and theory underpins both the Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) and Institutional Abuse (IAB) components. The project raises research questions such as: for abused and neglected children what constitutes safe and developmentally sound treatment in residential care; and, what impact does this care have on their treatment outcomes?  A major project goal is to design multi-method research and evaluation strategies that ensure fidelity to the implementation process, as well as, the measurement of short and longer-term child outcomes.

To inform current practice, the RCCP 1) reviews children’s restraint and seclusion deaths; 2) analyzes aggressive incidents and restraints within facilities; 3) supports on-going research and evaluation on the safety, the use, and the impact of physical interventions with children; and 4) monitors our TCI system’s effectiveness, safety, use, and impact.

Dr. Nunno also is evaluates a basic curriculum Child and Residential Experiences: Creating Conditions for Change (CARE) for residential child care workers that is built on principles of relationship, competency, trauma sensitivity, developmental appropriateness, family centeredness, and ecology.  A core challenge for facilities who use the principles within this curriculum is to achieve organizational congruence within the best interests of the children in their care, and to improve their organizational climate and culture through participation-centered management and continuous quality improvement strategies.  In 2008 child outcome variables were added to the evaluation design.

Current Extension Activities
Dr. Nunno's chief research and evaluation activity is to monitor and evaluate TCI implementation within a facility's organizational domains of leadership, clinical oversight, training, supervision, and critical incident monitoring. An additional component of this responsibility is to design and maintain (with colleagues) an individual knowledge and skills performance monitoring and certification system for residential child care trainers and direct workers who are part of Cornell's Therapeutic Crisis Intervention system. Complementing this work is his involvement in the 6-year national fatality survey to examine fatal restraints in residential care, and his evaluation responsibilities with the RCCP’s CARE practice model.


Biographical Statement
Michael Nunno is a Senior Extension faculty of the College of Human Ecology, Cornell University, past Principal Investigator of the NYS Child Protective Services Training Institute and current Principal Investigator of the Residential Child Care Project at the Family Life Development Center.  He has written or edited articles and book chapters in the Child Protective Services Team Handbook and Understanding Abusive Families, Child Abuse and Neglect: An International Journal, Children and Society, Protecting Children, Children and Youth Services Review, Applied Developmental Science, and the Journal of Child and Youth Care.  He is the lead editor for the book For our own safety: Examining the safety of high-risk intervention for children and young people published by the Child Welfare League of America.

He is a current member of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect and its Expert Faculty Program, and served as a panel member and reviewer for the Child Welfare League of America’s Best Practices Guidelines for Child Maltreatment in Foster Care.  He has expertise in the identification and etiology of familial and institutional child abuse and neglect, forensic interviewing, fatality and critical incident reviews in residential care, the reduction of aggressive critical incidents in residential facilities, training and evaluation of performance competencies, and organizational assessment to implement crisis prevention systems in residential child-care and hospital facilities. 

Michael Nunno received his A.B from St. Michael's College in Winooski, Vermont, his M.S.W. from the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, and his D.S.W. in Social Welfare Policy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Administrative Responsibilities
Dr. Nunno is the Principal Investigator of the Residential Child Care Project.  As the Principal Investigator, he has the responsibility for the supervision and overall direction of the project's personnel, policies and programs. The Residential Child Care Project is statewide serving New York State, national serving over 35 states, and international serving Great Britain, Canada, Ireland, Australia, Bermuda, Russia, and Israel.  Since 1980, fees-for service, grant and contract awards with the Federal government, New York and other states, and international organizations have totaled over $70 million.

Courses, Websites, Pubs

Related Websites

Selected Publications
Books and Book Chapters

Nunno, M. A., Day, D. M., & Bullard, L. B., Editors (2008) For our own safety: Examining the safety of high-risk interventions for children and young people.  Washington, D.C.: Child Welfare League of America

Nunno, M. A., Day, D. M., & Bullard, L. B. (2008). Introduction. In M. A. Nunno, L. B. Bullard & D. M. Day (Eds.), For our own safety: Examining the safety of high-risk interventions for children and young people. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America.

Day, D. M., Bullard, L. B., & Nunno, M. A. (2008). Lessons Learned. In M. A. Nunno, L. B. Bullard & D. M. Day (Eds.), For our own safety: Examining the safety of high-risk interventions for children and young people. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America.

Nunno, M, Holden, M. & Leidy, B. (1997) Maltreatment in Out-of-Home Care.  In Garbarino, J. & Eckenrode, J. (eds),  Understanding Abusive Families, New York:  Jossey-Bass.

Selected Journal Articles – Refereed

Nunno, M, Holden, M. & Tollar, A. (2006) Learning from tragedy: A survey of child and adolescent restraint fatalities. Child Abuse & Neglect:  An International Journal. 30 (12), 1333-1342.

Nunno, M. (2006) Commentary on The effects of the ARC organizational intervention on caseworker turnover, climate, and culture in children's services systems.  Child Abuse and Neglect An International Journal.  Vol. 30 No. 8  p. 845-854.

Leidy, B, Haugaard, J., Nunno, M. & Kwartner, J. (2006) Review of Restraint Data in a Residential Treatment Center for Adolescent Females. Child & Youth Care Forum.  Vol. 35, 5-6, 339-352.

Nunno, M., Holden, M., & Leidy, B. (2003) Evaluating and monitoring the impact of a crisis intervention system on a residential child care facility.  Children and Youth Services Review.  25, 4, 295-315.

Warren, A.R., Woodall, C.E., Thomas, M., Nunno, M, Keeney, J., Larson, S., & Stadfeld, J. (1998) Assessing the Effectiveness of a Training Program for Interviewing Child Witnesses. Applied Developmental Science, Vol. 3, No.2, 128-135.