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Children, Youth & Families

Title: Cook Regions Permanency Enhancement Project
Investigator: Jim Gleeson and Alan Dettlaff
Funding Sources: Department of Children and Family Services
Description: The purpose of this project is to advance the Permanency Enhancement Project of the 3 Cook County Regions of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. The Jane Addams College of Social Work team (JACSW) provides technical assistance and facilitates a participatory action evaluation with 9 community-based action teams, with the goal of improving permanency and reducing racial disproportionality and disparities and the overrepresentation of African American children in the child welfare system. JACSW also conducts research on disproportionality and disparities in support of the efforts of action teams and DCFS efforts to ensure safety, permanency and well-being for all children.
Title: How Housing Matters to Families and Communities: Foreclosure & Adolescents' Health
Investigator: Von Nebbitt
Funding Sources: The John & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Description: The purpose of this three-year investigation is to assess the effects of being evicted due to foreclosure on adolescent's physiological, mental and behavioral stress responses compared to adolescents living in low-resource urban neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. This investigation also assesses how, or whether, moving to low-resource neighborhoods following foreclosure exacerbates or mitigates physiological, mental and behavioral stress responses in adolescents living within foreclosed households.
Title: Evaluation of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services' Region 03 Initiatives to Address Racial Disproportionality
Investigator: Alan Dettlaff
Funding Sources: Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
Description : The goal of this project will be to provide research and evaluation of ongoing efforts to address the disproportionality of African American children in the Arlington Region (Region 03) of Texas.
Title: Child Welfare Stability, Permanency and Disproportionality
Investigator: Jim Gleeson, Alan Dettlaff, and Sonya Leathers
Funding Sources: Illinois Department of Children and Family Services through a subaward from the UIUC Children and Family Research Center
Description: Building on work conducted in FY11, the Jane Addams College of Social Work (JACSW) research team will complete three projects in FY12: (1) In-depth analyses of the Integrated Data Base (IDB) and other data bases that contain community level variables, to examine the impact of unique neighborhood factors and to examine differences in these predictors and trends by race/ethnicity and type of placement; (2) Examination of placement stability at the caregiver level, identifying caregivers who serve large numbers of children and attempting to identify the reasons these children move from the caregivers' homes through analyses of administrative data, case files, and possibly caregiver interviews; (3) Consultation to DCFS regarding Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSR) and in development of PIP goals.
Title: Mental Health Services for Foster Children
Investigator: Sonya Leathers
Funding Sources: National Institute of Mental Health
Description: The goal of this project is to study innovative models of mental health service delivery in child welfare systems. An evidence-based intervention focused on improving children's behavior in foster homes and at school was implemented through foster parent groups and in home visits in a large urban child welfare agency.
Title: The Child Welfare Trainee Program
Investigator: Alan Dettlaff
Funding Sources: Research Foundation of SUNY
Description: The purpose of the Child Welfare Traineeship Project is to develop educational experiences that will teach and reinforce core competencies in areas of child welfare practice and leadership to assist child welfare agencies, including tribal agencies, recruit and retain qualifies staff members.
Title: Dissemination of Effective Mental Health Services in Foster Care
Investigator: Sonya Leathers
Funding Sources: National Institute of Health
Description: This project used an experimental design to study an innovative approach to implementing mental health services in child welfare settings to reduce foster children's behavior problems and improve school outcomes. This work is relevant to two critical needs in child mental health services research: (1) the need for empirically-based strategies to successfully implement effective services in urban service settings and (2) the particularly urgent need to implement effective mental health services for foster children, who experience three to four times the rate of mental health problems than in the general population.
Title: The Certification in Evidence Based Mental Health Practice with Children Project
Investigator: Sonya Leathers
Funding Sources: The Kenneth Young Center
Description: The focus of this project is to provide training in evidence-based mental health practices with children and adolescents to current students entering the mental health concentration at Jane Addams. The program prepares social work students with a strong interest in mental health practice with youth to work with children, adolescents, and their families in urban community mental health agencies and other service settings. An Illinois Board of Higher Education approved certificate is awarded to students upon completion of the program.
Title: Permanency Innovations Initiative
Investigator: Jim Gleeson and Nancy Rolock
Funding Sources: Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
Description: The Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII) seeks to increase permanency for children in long term foster care through the testing of an evidence-informed practice model. The Jane Addams College (JACSW) staff will utilize the Fostering Court Improvement (FCI) database and administrative data from DCFS to create semi-longitudinal data that can be used to examine an array of child welfare outcomes. The FCI data are compiled from DCFS' AFCARS and NCANDS submissions to the federal government. Through JACSW efforts, these data are posted to a secure website for use by DCFS, or its designees. In addition to the FCI data, JACSW will conduct analyses of DCFS administrative data to identify the pathways/trajectories/and timing of permanency to support planning, identification, and assessment of outcomes for assessing the impact of PII.
Title: Field Support Program - STEP
Investigator: Creasie Finney Hairston and James Gleeson
Funding Sources: Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)
Description: This project supports DCFS' implementation of STEP, the Department's model for providing family-centered, trauma-informed, strengths based practice. The project works with supervisors to enhance their professional capacity in the areas of casework and clinical guidance, team development, systems management, and leadership.