Ted Cross - Senior Research Specialist

Ted Cross


Ted Cross, Senior Research Specialist

The Children & Family Research Center
School of Social Work, University of Illinois
1010 W. Nevada, Suite 2080
Urbana, IL 61801

(781) 640-4532
tpcross@illinois.edu

Educational/Professional Background
Ted Cross has a Ph.D. in Psychology from Boston University.

Research/Practice Interests
Dr. Cross’ overarching interest is in developing effective systemic responses to victims of child maltreatment. His current interests include a) well-being and mental health services for children involved with protective services, and b) investigation, prosecution and service delivery in response to child sexual abuse. Among his specific topics of interest are children's advocacy centers, child forensic interviewing, substantiation of child maltreatment, and polygraph testing in child abuse cases. He has served as an expert witness on polygraph testing and maintains a small private practice in child and adult psychotherapy.

Current Projects
Dr. Cross served as the Principal Investigator on the Illinois Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, a statewide longitudinal probability study of child well-being, service delivery and child welfare outcomes for children involved with the Illinois Department of Children and Families. He is also working with Dr. Chiu on the evaluation of the Simulation Training for child welfare caseworkers in Illinois. And, he is part of the CFRC team that will be evaluating child healthcare services in Illinois.



Oct 2019 / Report / Outcomes Monitoring    
 

Conditions of Children in or at Risk of Foster Care in Illinois: FY2019 Monitoring Report of the B.H. Consent Decree

Tamara Fuller, Martin Nieto, Shufen Wang, Kyle A. Adams III, Satomi Wakita, Steve Tran, Yu-Ling Chiu, Michael Braun, Theodore P. Cross, Laura Lee, Aaron Burnett, Heidi Meyer

Since its inception in 1996, the Children and Family Research Center (CFRC) has produced an annual report that monitors the performance of the Illinois child welfare system in achieving its stated goals of child safety, permanency, and well-being. The FY2019 monitoring report uses child welfare administrative data through December 31, 2018 to describe the conditions of children in or at risk of foster care in Illinois. Following an introductory chapter, the results are presented in five chapters that examine critical child welfare outcomes, including child safety, continuity and stability in care, legal permanence, racial disproportionality, and child well-being.

Oct 2019 / Research Brief / Child and Family Well-Being    
 

The Safety of Children in DCFS Care: Findings from 2017 Illinois Child Well-Being Study

Ted Cross, Aide Hernandez, and Steve Tran

Children are placed in out-of-home care through the Illinois Department of Children and Family services to protect their safety, so it especially important to assess their safety while in substitute care. This brief presents findings on child safety from the 2017 Illinois Child Well-Being Study. The study conducted interviews with caseworker, caregivers and children themselves to assess the well-being of a sample of 700 children in out-of-home care in the state. Substantial proportions of children in out-of-home care have witnessed and/or experienced violence in their life, but children and youth were much less likely to experience threats to their safety in their current placement. Substantial proportion of older adolescents and youth in group homes and residential treatment reported by physically hurt by someone in the past year. Overall, these findings suggest that placement in out-of-home care leads to greater safety. But continued vigilance about children’s safety is still needed, particularly for older adolescents and youth in group homes and residential treatment.

Oct 2019 / Research Brief / Child and Family Well-Being    
 

The Education of Children in DCFS Care: Findings from the 2017 Illinois Child Well-Being Study

Aide Hernandez, Steve Tran, and Ted Cross

Children placed in out-of-home care because of abuse or neglect often have cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and health problems that can make it difficult to succeed at school. But we have limited data on the educational well-being of Illinois children in out-of-home care through the Department of Children and Family Services. This brief presents findings on education from the 2017 Illinois Child Well-Being Study. The study conducted interviews with caseworker, caregivers and children themselves to assess the well-being of a sample of 700 children in out-of-home care in the state. Most children and youth were was performing adequately or better in school, but many children faced obstacles to school success. The brief presents an overview of results and discusses the need for increased efforts to help children in out-of-home care with their education.

Sep 2019 / Report / Testing Innovative Child and Family Programs    
 

FY2019 Program Evaluation of the Child Protection Training Academy for New DCFS Investigators

Yu-Ling Chiu and Theodore P. Cross

The FY2019 evaluation report of CPTA's simulation training included the following sections: 1) description of CPTA's updated training model; 2) daily experience of simulation training (DEST) that measured trainees’ daily changes in confidence on thirteen child protection work skills over the course of the simulation training week; 3) post-training satisfaction survey regarding trainees’ experience of the certificate training ; 4) simulation training and investigator turnover using DCFS employment data. The findings show that the positive results over three years of the program evaluation support the value of CPTA and suggest the potential of its current expansion. It is encouraging that investigators hired since February 2016 are staying on the job longer than investigators hired prior to that date. Data can be used both to advocate for the value of CPTA and to inform efforts at program improvement.

Aug 2019 / Presentation / Testing Innovative Child and Family Programs    
 

Using Simulation Training to Teach Child Protection Investigators in Illinois-Program Evaluation of the Child Protection Training Academy (CPTA)

Yu-Ling Chiu, Theodore P. Cross, Betsy P. Goulet, Susan Oppegard Evans, and Monico Whittington-Eskridge

The CFRC evaluation team collaborated with the CPTA at the University of Illinois Springfield and the DCFS Office of Learning & Professional Development on a presentation at the 2019 National Child Welfare Evaluation Summit on August 20th. The presentation included discussion of the CPTA simulation training model, the main evaluation findings between 2017 and 2019, and the simulation training expansion at the Chicago site.

Jun 2019 / Report / Child and Family Well-Being    
 

2017 Illinois Child Well-Being Study

Ted Cross, Steve Tran, Aide Hernandez, and Emily Rhodes

The 2017 Illinois Child Well-Being Study provides a snapshot of the well-being of children and youth in out-of-home care in Illinois in 2017. The Children and Family Research Center (CFRC) drew a stratified random sample of 700 children and youth from the population of children and youth in the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in October 2017. The Survey Research Laboratory of the University of Illinois at Chicago conducted interviews with caseworkers, foster care providers, and children age seven and older between December 2017 and July 2018. Interviews included questions developed for the study as well as a number of standardized scales measuring child functioning and well-being.

The report documents the progress many children and youth are making, but also the disproportionate number of children who lag in development, deal with physical and behavioral health challenges, struggle in school, or face threats to their safety. The well-being data can be used to advocate for children’s needs, inform the development of DCFS policy and practice, and guide in-depth well-being research.

Apr 2019 / Presentation / Testing Innovative Child and Family Programs    
 

Assessing an Innovative Method for Training Child Protection Investigators

Betsy Goulet, Theodore Cross, Yu-Ling Chiu

Presentation at the One Loud Voice Conference in Biloxi Mississippi, April 16, 2019

Mar 2019 / Presentation / Sexual Abuse and Assault    
 

The Role of Forensic Evidence in Arrest and Prosecution of Sexual Assault Cases

Ted Cross and Megan Alderden

Presented in Urbana at the Carle Hospital SANE Seminar, March 11, 2019.

Jan 2019 / Presentation    
 

Feedback from Families and Multidisciplinary Team Members at Children’s Advocacy Centers: Are there Differences Across Groups?

Wendy Walsh, Ted Cross, and Kaitlin Lounsbury

Presented at the 34th Annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment, January 29, 2019.

Jan 2019 / Presentation    
 

CAC Research: New Developments & Remaining Needs

Ted Cross and Wendy Walsh

Presented at the 34th Annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment, January 29, 2019.




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