Wayne State University

Aim Higher


Since the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute’s founding in 1920, community engagement has been an integral and important part of its mission and activities. This engagement include outreach programs for parents and grandparents, children and teens, and the professionals dedicated to serving them. MPSI’s community outreach and engagement programs have a tremendous reach throughout Detroit and Southeastern Michigan and include:

  • Today's Healtheir Urban Families Program is the cornerstone of the Institute’s outreach activities, providing training for hundreds of parents and thousands of professionals in greater Metro Detroit each year.
  • MPSI’s annual Giant Step Teen Conference brings over 300 teenagers together from diverse backgrounds each year to discover all the challenges, opportunities and joys they share in common.
  • The Woodward Corridor Early Childhood Consortium unites over 15 early childhood centers and preschools, which together care for over 2000 children in the Midtown, Downtown and New Center neighborhoods of Detroit, to work together to improve the quality of child education to help prepare children for a lifetime of success.
  • The high quality Professional Development Programs that MPSI offers each year including several Healthier Urban Families half-day seminars on a variety of timely topics and annual full-day conferences organized by the MPSI Infant Mental Health program and the Woodward Corridor Early Childhood Consortium.

MPSI faculty and students conduct cutting-edge scientific research on issues of critical importance to the development, health and well-being of children and families in Detroit and beyond.  MPSI is also actively engaged with the community in that work, and the faculty are eager to enter dialogue about their research with parents, teachers, professionals and policy makers, as well as with the scientific community

  • Faculty and Staff Speakers Bureau provides customized trainings for community organizations. Our faculty are available to address a variety of topics to meet your needs.
  • MPSI faculty members also serve the community as members of advisory boards for county child and family service organizations as well as state and national professional organizations.