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Erik Pena, MA

Erik Pena obtained his MA in Latin American Studies and MPH in Community Health Sciences from UCLA in 2016. As a graduate student, he executed several needs assessments in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Nicaragua. Mr. Pena worked directly with rural community partners to improve patient doctor communication. He was also a teaching assistant for the Chicano/a Studies Department and actively involved in graduate student government. Before joining the UCLA Center for Human Services and Society, Mr. Pena was a graduate student researcher at the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters where he worked with an interdisciplinary team to improve emergency alerts during critical events.




Since President Clinton’s 1996 adoption initiatives, rates of adoption from foster care in the United States have dramatically increased. The mean age at adoption from foster care is now six years old. Older children often have histories of prenatal substance exposure, abuse, neglect, and multiple placements, all factors that predict behavior problems over time. Nonetheless, evidence-based psychosocial interventions are not tailored to the unique clinical needs of families with adopted children. Adoption-specific clinical services are also needed to address the emotional underpinnings of the child’s adoption experience. To address this gap, we have developed and are testing in a randomized trial a manualized Adoption-Specific Intervention (ADAPT) for families adopting older children from foster care.


The purpose of this study is to learn more about the experiences that patients and staff have with using the Chorus texting messaging and mobile app platform.

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