Publications


Nov 2018 / Presentation / Foster Care, Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety    
 

Highlights from the FY2018 Monitoring Report of the B.H. Consent Decree

Tamara Fuller, Steve Tran, Yu-Ling Chiu, and Michael Braun

The highlights of each chapter from the FY2018 Monitoring Report of the B.H. Consent Decree.

Nov 2018 / Report / Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety    
 

FY2018 Disproportionality and Disparity Report

Tamara Fuller, Yu-Ling Chiu, Michael Braun, Martin Nieto, and Kyle Adams

Child welfare systems across the nation share the concern that children from some racial minority groups may be disproportionately represented in the child welfare system compared to their representation in the general population.One of the goals in the Department’s Child Welfare Transformation Strategic Plan is to track racial equity and disparity at critical decision points to help inform planning and decision making.This report provides information relevant to that goal by examining racial disproportionality and disparity in the Illinois child welfare system at five critical decision points over the past seven years.

Oct 2018 / Report / Child Welfare Practice, Program Evaluation    
 

FY2018 Program Evaluation of the Child Protection Training Academy for New DCFS Investigators

Ted Cross and Yu-Ling Chiu

The current report presents results from program evaluation activities conducted in FY2018. We used interviews and focus groups to explore the processes through which CPTA has an impact. In addition, we assessed the impact of CPTA on the experience of working DCFS investigators. We surveyed DCFS investigators and compared those investigators who have received simulation training with a group of investigators who had not received simulation training.

Oct 2018 / Report / Foster Care, Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety    
 

Conditions of Children in or at Risk of Foster Care in Illinois: FY2018 Monitoring Report of the B.H. Consent Decree

Tamara Fuller, Martin Nieto, Satomi Wakita, Shufen Wang, Kyle Adams, Saijun Zhang, Yu-Ling Chiu, and Michael Braun

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. This year’s report contains several major changes that makes the results non-comparable to those in previous reports. The data source was switched from the Chapin Hall Integrated Database (IDB) to data contained in the DCFS data warehouse (Legacy Golden Copy/LGC). At the Department’s request, the Round 3 CFSR statewide data indicators were added to the report. The FY2018 monitoring report uses child welfare administrative data through March 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 three chapters that examine critical child welfare outcomes of child safety, continuity and stability in care, and legal permanence.

Aug 2018 / Research Brief / Child Welfare Practice, Safety    
 

Understanding Safety Assessment in Illinois: The Child Endangerment Risk Assessment Protocol (CERAP)

Yu-Ling Chiu and Tamara L. Fuller

The Child Endangerment Risk Assessment Protocol (CERAP) is a safety assessment protocol used in child protection investigations and child welfare services in Illinois. It is designed to provide workers with a mechanism for quickly assessing the potential for moderate to severe harm to a child in the immediate or near future and for taking quick action to protect children. Workers utilize the protocol at specified time frames throughout the life of a case, from child protection investigation to substitute care exit, to help focus their decision-making to determine whether a child is safe or unsafe with their family, and if unsafe, decide what actions must be taken to assure the child’s safety. This brief provides an overview of the CERAP, including its historical background and the specific procedures required to complete the assessments.

Aug 2018 / Research Brief / Child Welfare Practice, Safety    
 

Understanding Safety Assessment in Illinois: CERAP Completion in Intact Family Services

Tamara L. Fuller, Yu-Ling Chiu, Satomi Wakita, and Martin Nieto

The Child Endangerment Risk Assessment Protocol (CERAP) is a safety assessment protocol used in child protection investigations and child welfare service cases in Illinois. It is designed to provide workers with a mechanism for quickly assessing the potential for moderate to severe harm to a child in the immediate or near future and for taking quick action to protect children. Workers utilize the protocol at specified time frames, referred to as “milestones,” throughout the life of a case to help focus their decision-making to determine whether a child is safe or unsafe with their family, and if unsafe, decide what actions must be taken to assure the child’s safety. In FY2018, due to increased scrutiny of the safety of children served in intact family cases, the CFRC completed an analysis of caseworker compliance with safety assessment procedures among intact family cases. This research brief describes the major findings of the FY2018 CERAP annual evaluation.

Aug 2018 / Research Brief / Safety    
 

Examining Child Deaths in Illinois: Highlights from the Child Death Review Team Annual Report

Steve Tran and Tamara Fuller

This research brief, the second in a series that highlights the important work of the Illinois Child Death Review Teams (CDRTs) in Illinois, highlights the findings from the most recent CDRT annual report on child deaths that occurred in Illinois in 2016, which is written by the CFRC. The brief presents summary information about child deaths in Illinois by age, manner of death, and category of death, as well as examples of CDRT recommendations to prevent child deaths.

Aug 2018 / Research Brief / Safety    
 

Trends in Illinois Child Deaths Between 2007 and 2016

Tamara Fuller and Steve Tran

This research brief, the third in a series that highlights the important work of the CDRTs in Illinois, uses data from the annual CDRT reports to examine trends in child deaths over the past decade. The brief describes trends in total child deaths and trends in the number of deaths by child age, manner of death, and category and death.

Aug 2018 / Report / Child Welfare Practice    
 

Illinois Child Endangerment Risk Assessment Protocol: FY2018 Annual Evaluation

Tamara Fuller, Satomi Wakita, Martin Nieto, and Yu-Ling Chiu

The current report examined CERAP completion by caseworkers during an intact family case between FY2014 and FY2017. Using the most stringent criteria, meaning that the caseworker not only completed a CERAP safety assessment but also checked the correct milestone, completion rates varied substantially for the different intact family case milestones: 1) between 67% and 76% of intact family cases each year had a CERAP assessment within 15 days of case opening, and the percentage has been increasing over time. 2) between 17-18% of intact family cases had a CERAP completed every 90 days during the time that the case was open. 3) between 56% and 65% of the intact family cases with an unsafe safety decision had another CERAP completed within 5 working days, and the percentage has been increasing over time. 4) between 64% and 71% of intact family cases had a CERAP completed within 30 days prior to the case close date or within 5 days after it, and the percentage has been increasing over time.

Mar 2018 / Presentation / Child Welfare Administration and Policy, Child Welfare Practice, Outcome Monitoring, Well Being    

10 Things Early Interventionists Need To Know About The Child Welfare System

Catherine Corr, Michael T. Braun, and Steve Tran

In March 2018, CFRC researchers Michael T. Braun and Steve Tran partnered with University of Illinois Special Education assistant professor Catherine Corr to present a webinar for the Early Intervention Training Program at the University of Illinois. The webinar, titled 10 Things Early Interventionists Need To Know About The Child Welfare System, focused on demystifying the child welfare system for early interventionists and service providers. Topics included an overview of the child welfare system, the process of making a hotline call, ways to support families who have experienced past trauma, and how early interventionists can work with child welfare workers to support children and families.

 External Link
Feb 2018 / Research Brief / Child Welfare Practice, Program Evaluation, Safety  
 

Assessing an Innovative Method for Training Child Protection Investigators: Program Evaluation of the Child Protection Training Academy’s Simulation Program

Yu-Ling Chiu and Ted Cross

Since 2016, the Child Protection Training Academy (CPTA) at the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) has collaborated with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to implement the Child Protection Training Academy, which adds an innovative experiential component to the training of new DCFS investigators. This brief reports results of a preliminary program evaluation that the Children and Family Research Center has conducted of the program. We describe what simulation training is, why it could be valuable, what simulation training has been implemented, and what the preliminary data on its implementation and impact suggests about its value for enhancing worker preparation to serve children and families.

Jan 2018 / Report / Child Welfare Practice, Program Evaluation, Safety    
 

Program Evaluation of Child Protection Training Academy for New DCFS Investigators: Initial Report

Ted Cross, Gail Tittle, and Yu-Ling Chiu

Investigating child abuse and neglect is a difficult job and investigators need all the preparation they can get. Given the demands of working with families in child protections, transferring theory to practice is particularly essential. Ideally, the initial training that new child protection workers receive should give them opportunities to practice the skills they need such as engaging families and assessment and critical thinking skills for protecting child safety. The Child Protection Training Academy at the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) has collaborated with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to add an innovative experiential component to the training of new DCFS investigators. All new investigators come to Child Protection Training Academy at UIS for a week at the end of their initial training to participate in simulations of real life situations that every DCFS investigator encounters. This program evaluation is consistent with the formative state of knowledge in the field and the fact that the Child Protection Training Academy is in a comparatively early stage of development. At this early stage, the program evaluation has focused on gathering data to describe the program’s objectives, methods and training theory, and examining trainees’ and other stakeholders perception of the impact of the training. The goal is to inform program development and improvement, provide evidence of the program’s immediate impact on trainees, and help prepare for more rigorous program evaluation in the future.




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