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Cynthia Morgan-D’Atrio, Ph.D

Director of Programs

Cynthia Morgan-D’Atrio is currently the Director of Programs for Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center (FPJDC). She is a licensed child and adolescent psychologist who specializes in working with difficult behavioral cases and is best known as an interventionist. Prior to becoming the Director of Programs for FPJDC, Dr. D’Atrio was in private practice and also consulted on forensic cases.

Dr. D’Atrio has spent most of her career developing and implementing interventions to address both short- and long-term treatment needs of youth who exhibit disruptive behavior. Her treatment interests have included youth who present with mood disorders, self-injury, generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), juvenile sex offenses, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and those who exhibit aberrant and aggressive behaviors.

Professionally, Dr. D’Atrio has worked to address systems change in both the educational and juvenile justice venues. At Bridge City Center for Youth, Dr. D’Atrio assisted the Louisiana Special School District and the Office of Youth Development in being released from federal and state settlement agreements filed to improve the conditions for youth in secure-care facilities in Louisiana. She has educated legislators, legal professionals, mental health care providers and educators about the need to deliver high quality, evidence-based services to students of all ages in an effort to improve their outcomes, as well as the necessity to implement positive behavioral support programs to change school climates.

In previous work, Dr. D’Atrio has been the Director of Behavioral Programs for Insight Educational Center, a non-profit organization that specialized in the implementation of integrated Response-to-Intervention (RtI) and Positive Behavior Support (PBS) models. Before becoming a non-profit, the Insight team served as the Pupil Assistance Model (PAM) Team at the University of New Orleans in the Department of Special Education and Habilitative Services. While at UNO, collaborative efforts included working with Drs. Hill Walker and Herb Severson from the University of Oregon in the application of their widely published universal behavioral screener, the Systematic Screening for Behavior Disorders (SSBD), Dr. Jeffery Sprague from the Oregon Research Institute, Dr. Terry Scott, from the University of Kentucky and Drs. Rick van den Pol and David Schuldberg from the University of Montana in the development and application of a comprehensive and tiered trauma treatment system to meet the needs of public school students.

Dr. D’Atrio has served as an Assistant Professor and Clinical Supervisor for the Louisiana School Psychology Internship Consortium (LAS*PIC) at the LSU-Health Sciences Center where she supervised pre-doctoral and post-doctoral candidates. She also served two-terms as the President of the Louisiana School Psychological Association. In addition to being a local and national speaker and trainer, Dr. D’Atrio has been an expert witness, a consultant for capital and special education cases in litigation and is also an author. She has advised several state agencies and educational groups and played a key role in having landmark legislation passed in Louisiana that provided a stipend to psychologists working in the school-systems in efforts to reduce the critical shortage of professionals in the state.

Dr. D’Atrio has received several awards, including the “Youth Advocacy Award” awarded by the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana (JJPL) for her efforts directed toward assisting adjudicated youth, and has also been presented with the “Member of the Year” award by the Louisiana School Psychological Association (LSPA) for two consecutive years. She served as the Governmental Relations Chair for LSPA for many years.

Over the past decade, Dr. D’Atrio has directed her efforts towards a non-profit organization that she founded to rescue, retrain and rehome Thoroughbred ex-racehorses in an effort to find them safe landing spots after their racing careers are over. She is an avid dressage enthusiast and rider. A life-long animal lover, she has most recently undertaken the rehabilitation of a friendly pig, Wendall.

Dr. D’Atrio received her doctorate in 1997 from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.