CHILDREN AND FAMILY | RESEARCH | CENTER
Tamara Fuller
Tamara Fuller

Tamara Fuller

The Children & Family Research Center
School of Social Work, University of Illinois
1010 W. Nevada, Suite 2080 - L
Urbana, IL 61801
Telephone (217) 333-5837
Email t-fuller@illinois.edu

Educational/Professional Background

Dr. Tamara Fuller received her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Iowa in 1989. She then came to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and earned both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in clinical/community psychology. After a clinical internship at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development in Washington, DC, she returned to Champaign-Urbana and worked at Carle Hospital in the neuropsychology department.

Dr. Fuller joined the staff at the Children and Family Research Center at the School of Social Work in 1997 as a research specialist. She became Associate Director of the Children and Family Research Center in 2003, and was promoted to Director in 2010.

Research/Practice Interests

Dr. Fuller's research focuses on children and families involved in the public child welfare system and the effectiveness of the services and interventions that are provided to families once they become involved in a maltreatment investigation. Over the past decade, she has evaluated the effectiveness of numerous child welfare programs, including the Family-Centered Services, the Child Endangerment Risk Assessment Protocol, the Illinois Child Death Review Teams, post-adoption services, and most recently, Differential Response in child protective services. Within this program of research, there has been emphasis on examining predictors of maltreatment and maltreatment recurrence.

Current Projects

Dr. Fuller is the Principal Investigator of a four year evaluation, funded by the National Quality Improvement Center on Differential Response in Child Protective Services, which will evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of Differential Response in Illinois. Dr. Fuller is also the Principal Investigator of research program of the Children and Family Research Center. Each year, the Center's research program is developed in consultation with the Department of Children and Family Services and the plaintiff's attorneys for the B.H. Consent Decree. The Center is responsible for monitoring the outcomes for children in the B.H. class, which includes those children in or at risk of foster care in Illinois. Other research projects subsumed within the Center's research agenda include annual evaluation of the impact of safety assessment on children investigated for child abuse and neglect, an examination of the impact of foster parent licensing on child safety, and family engagement in child protective services.

Recent Publications


  Jun 2016 / Research Brief / Child Welfare Administration and Policy / 

What Happens When a Child is Reported to Child Protective Services?

Theodore P. Cross, Betsy Goulet, Jesse J. Helton, Emily Lux, Tamara Fuller, and Michael T. Braun

All 50 states have systems for reporting suspected abuse and neglect to child protective services (CPS), and reports are made on thousands of children every year. Outcomes of reporting vary widely, ranging from screening out with no further action at one end to out-of-home placement at the other. Someone making a report to CPS might naturally wonder: What are the chances the child will be visited by child protective services workers, offered services, or even removed from his or her home? But there has been little systematic analysis of the outcomes of reporting to CPS. This brief, adapted from the authors’ chapter in a book on child maltreatment reporting, helps answer these questions using published results and new data analysis from two national data sets on children involved in reports to CPS.

  May 2016 / Research Brief / Safety / 

Understanding Child Death Review in Illinois

Tamara Fuller, Michael T. Braun, and Saijun Zhang

This research brief, the first in a series that highlights the important work of the Illinois Child Death Review Teams (CDRTs), provides an introduction to child death review in Illinois. The brief discusses the circumstances in which the CDRTs will review a child’s death, the review process, and the impact of child death reviews.

  May 2016 / Research Brief / Safety / 

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

Saijun Zhang, Tamara Fuller, and Michael T. Braun

This research brief, the second in a series that highlights the important work of the Illinois Child Death Review Teams (CDRTs), highlights key findings from the most recent CDRT annual report, which is written by the CFRC. It presents summary information about child deaths in Illinois examined by demographic characteristics such as age and race, as well as by manner and category of death.

  May 2016 / Research Brief / Safety / 

Trends in Illinois Child Deaths Between 2004 and 2013

Tamara Fuller, Michael T. Braun, and Saijun Zhang

This research brief, the third in a series that highlights the important work of the Illinois Child Death Review Teams (CDRTs), uses historical data to describe trends in child deaths in Illinois from 2004 to 2013. The brief describes trends in total child deaths and trends in the number of deaths by child age, race, manner of death, and category of death.

  Feb 2016 / Report / Permanency, Safety, Well Being / 

Conditions of Children in or at Risk of Foster Care in Illinois: 2014 Monitoring Report of the B.H. Consent Decree

CFRC

This annual report provides information on the performance of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with regard to the outcomes for children who are in or at risk of substitute care. This monitoring report, required as part of the B.H. Consent Decree, examines measures of child safety, family and placement stability, continuity, permanence, and child and family well-being. Detailed break-downs of each indicator by child gender, race, age, and geographic region are provided in the appendix.

  May 2015 / Report / Child Welfare Practice, Safety / 

Illinois Child Endangerment Risk Assessment Protocol: FY2015 Annual Evaluation

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

The Child Endangerment Risk Assessment Protocol (CERAP) is a safety assessment protocol used in child protection investigations and child welfare services in Illinois. Workers utilize the protocol at specified milestones throughout the life of an investigation or child welfare case to help focus their decision-making to determine whether a child is safe or unsafe, and if unsafe, decide what actions must be taken to assure their safety. The current report examines CERAP use among placement cases in order to answer the following questions:
  1. What is the compliance rate of CERAP assessment at each of the following milestones for placement cases:
    • Within 5 working days after a worker receives a new or transferred case, when there are other children in the home of origin?
    • Every 90 calendar days from the case opening date?
    • Within 24 hours prior to return a child home?
    • Within 5 working days after a child is returned home and every month thereafter until the family case is closed?
  2. Do compliance rates vary by region?
  3. What is the relationship between the safety decision of the CERAP completed every 90 calendar days from the case opening date and reunification date?

  Jan 2015 / Report / Permanency, Safety, Well Being / 

Conditions of Children in or at Risk of Foster Care in Illinois: 2013 Monitoring Report of the B.H. Consent Decree

CFRC

This annual report provides information on the performance of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with regard to the outcomes for children who are in or at risk of substitute care. This monitoring report, required as part of the B.H. Consent Decree, examines measures of child safety, family and placement stability, continuity, permanence, and child and family well-being. Detailed break-downs of each indicator by child gender, race, age, and geographic region are provided in the appendix.

  Jul 2014 / Presentation / Program Evaluation / 

Differential Response

John Fluke, Lisa Merkel-Holguin, Ying-ying Yuan, and Tamara Fuller

Presented at the 16th annual child welfare waiver demonstration project meeting in July 2014, this presentation highlights the status of Differential Response (DR) implementation in the U.S.; summarizes the results of the "first generation" of DR evaluation research on key indicators including parent engagement with CPS, child safety, and program costs; and suggests areas for the next generation of DR research.

  Jul 2014 / Presentation / Program Evaluation / 

The P.S. Program: Using Predictive Analytics in Program Implementation

Tamara Fuller, Theodore Cross, Vaughn Brandt, and Colleen McGroarty

As part of their Title IV-E waiver demonstration project, the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) was interested in developing a way to target post-reunification services to those families that were at highest risk of re-entry into substitute care. The CFRC used historical data to develop a predictive risk model, known as the Re-entry Prevention Model (RPM) that was implemented in each county that was part of the waiver demonstration project. The CFRC and DCF gave an overview of the RPM development and implementation process at the 16th annual child welfare waiver demonstration projects meeting, including a discussion of the lessons learned.

  May 2014 / Presentation / Program Evaluation, Safety / 

Examining Outcomes of Differential Response: Results from Three Randomized Controlled Trials in Colorado, Illinois, and Ohio

Tamara Fuller, Raquel Ellis, and Julie Murphy

Jurisdictions across the country have adopted dual-track systems and there has been increasing focus on building the evidence base around this innovative approach to CPS services. In 2009, Colorado, Illinois and Ohio were selected by the National Quality Improvement Center on Differential Response in Child Protective Services (QIC-DR) to implement Differential Response and conduct rigorous, multi-year evaluations of their DR approaches. During this panel, evaluators from the three sites will discuss highlights from the outcome evaluations, focusing on outcomes related to parent perceptions of CPS and child safety. An interactive discussion of the implications of the findings for practice and future research will follow.