Grace Smith - Research Data Analyst
Grace Smith earned a B.A. in Psychology from Barrington College and an M.A. in Counseling from the University of Northern Iowa in addition to Education and Biblical studies at Emmaus Bible College. She has 30 years of child welfare experience and has worked in the field since 1989, starting in direct service as Therapist and Program Director for Intact Family Services and Relative Foster Care, then as a Supervisor in Adoption/Guardianship Permanency. In 1999 she began work as a research specialist and statewide consultant for the Illinois Subsidized Guardianship Waiver Study, where she assisted with compliance issues, development of policy and practice, and liaison for cases returning to Juvenile Court. In 2001 she joined the staff of the Children and Family Research Center and brought the project with her. Following completion of the waiver program in 2009, Ms. Smith joined Center staff researchers to work on projects which included the Multiple Move Study, Post Permanency Round II Study, APAL (Adoption Preservation, Advocacy, and Linkage Program), and MAC (Maintaining Adoption Connections) programs. She joined the Foster Care Utilization Review Program (FCURP) as a Research Data Analyst in 2010.
Since joining FCURP, Ms. Smith’s research and practice interests have expanded from post-permanency to a focus on improving CQI processes for DCFS and POS agencies with a view towards strengthening practice to improve outcomes for children and families. Ms. Smith’s current focus, along with the FCURP team in partnership with the DCFS Office of Quality Enhancement, is providing program management and facilitation of the statewide implementation of the Outcome Enhancement Review Plus (OER+). In this role, Ms. Smith is assisting to establish a baseline for the federally mandated Program Improvement Plan (PIP) as a next step to the results of the 2018 federal Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) and to monitor and report on Illinois’ progress towards meeting safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes for children and families.
Illinois Subsidized Guardianship Waiver Demonstration: Final Evaluation Report
Mark Testa, Leslie Cohen, Grace Smith, Westat
The Subsidized Guardianship Waiver Demonstration, is designed to assess whether the availability of federal subsidies for private guardianship increases the number of children discharged to permanent homes with relatives or foster parents.