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 Issue 3  |  June 2012

photos of children

From the Director's Chair:  


One of the Center's main goals is to partner with public and private child welfare agencies to promote projects that enhance the safety, permanency, and well-being of maltreated children. This issue of the Research Resource highlights three partnerships that exemplify this goal:

  • Our ongoing partnership with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to evaluate the implementation and outcomes of Differential Response in Illinois;
  • A new partnership with Lawrence Hall Youth Services in Chicago, Illinois to develop a program called "Healthy Agencies, Healthy Kids" to address the high rates of obesity among children in foster care.
  • The Center is supporting the first "Family Reunion for Former Youth in Care" happening this June in Chicago. The event is hosted and organized by Strengthening Families Illinois.

We are always looking for new partners to develop, implement, and evaluate projects and policies that will improve the lives of vulnerable children and families. Contact us if you want to get involved!

Tamara Fuller, Ph.D., Director, Children and Family Research Center 

2012 Illinois Family Impact Seminar Focuses on Differential Response

Sponsored by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs, the Illinois Family Impact Seminars provide evidence-based information to Illinois legislators on pressing family policy issues that are currently on the legislative agenda.  The topic of the 2012 Family Impact Seminar was Differential Response, and included a presentation by CFRC Director Tamara Fuller titled "Differential Response: Sounds Great, But Does It Work?" that reviewed the current evidence base for Differential Response approaches to child protective services.  This year's Family Impact Seminar was held in conjunction with the 2012 Council on Contemporary Families annual conference entitled Crossing Boundaries: Public and Private Roles in Assuring Child Well-Being Dr. Fuller's presentation is available on the CFRC website, along with other information on the Illinois Differential Response evaluation. 

CFRC Partners with Lawrence Hall Youth Services to Receive Grant     

Dr. Jesse HeltonJesse Helton, Research Associate Professor at the Center, has received funding from the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) for a new initiative called "Healthy Agencies, Healthy Kids."  The goals of this project are to: (1) evaluate the creation and implementation of a Wellness Council at Lawrence Hall Youth Services in Chicago, a residential treatment facility specializing in caring for children and adolescents with severe emotional and behavioral challenges due to trauma, abuse, and neglect; and (2) create a foster care agency assessment tool appropriate for child welfare agencies. The Wellness Council will consist of agency administrators, agency staff (including nurses, food service workers, custodians, teachers, and therapists), youth in care, foster families, biological families, and staff from a local hospital.  The Wellness Council will advise Lawrence Hall Youth Services administrators and board members on school, foster care, and community health issues by identifying both student and staff health (including nutrition and physical activity) needs.  

CFRC Sponsors Family Reunion for Former Youth in Care

This all-day event will be held in Chicago on June 23, 2012 and is free to any former foster youth and their guests! There will be food, fun, and exciting workshops including:
  • Building a Strong Family (Whether You Came From One or Not!)
  • Building Relationships, Trust, and Healing - What Does the Research Say?
  • Awaken to Your Potential - As a Person, Parent, and Leader
  • Storytelling - Healing Wounds

Please pass this information along to any former foster youth who might be interested in attending. Registration is recommended and can be completed here. For more information, please contact Luvenia Sims at 312-421-5200 x124. 

The Children and Family Research Center, located in Urbana, Illinois, is an independent research organization created jointly in 1996 at the School of Social Work by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. The goal of the Center is to identify research needs and support research that is policy and practice relevant and encourage and facilitate public child welfare research activities through collaborative relationships.
2012 Illinois Family Impact Seminar Focuses on Differential Response
CFRC Partners with Lawrence Hall Youth Services to Receive Grant
CFRC Sponsors Family Reunion for Former Youth in Care