Kirsten Havig - Research Specialist

Kirsten Havig

Kirsten Havig, Research Specialist

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

(307) 761-9707

Educational/Professional Background
Kirsten Havig comes to the CFRC from her position as Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Wyoming, bringing a wealth of practice experience as well as her scholarly background to the Center. After receiving her MSW degree at the University of South Carolina, her social work practice involved work in the family court as a deputy juvenile officer and investigator, in youth residential care, and in the child advocacy center setting doing everything from clinical therapy to policy advocacy. With those experiences as a foundation, Kirsten made the leap into academia, receiving her Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Missouri with a dissertation focused on social worker strategies for the promotion of social and economic justice in practice. From 2009-2011 she served as Title VI-E Child Welfare Clinical Professor with the University of Missouri School of Social Work, providing both university teaching as well as training and support for the state. Kirsten was then appointed to the faculty of the Division of Social Work in the College of Health Sciences at UW in 2016 as Assistant Professor and was later promoted to a tenured position as Associate Professor.

Research/Practice Interests
Dr. Havig’s teaching and research have focused on trauma, resilience, and posttraumatic growth; social welfare policy and practice; the sexual trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children; and child welfare training and evaluation. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to engage child and family-related research in Illinois and to contribute to the work of the CFRC. Originally from Columbia, Missouri, Kirsten looks forward to being back in the Midwest and hopes to get involved in local Champaign-Urbana and University communities. She and her dogs can be found frequently in the garden, undertaking creative home improvement projects, and spending time enjoying nature.

Sep 2021 / Report / Simulation Training Evaluation    

FY2021 Program Evaluation of the Child Protection Training Academy for New DCFS Investigators

Ted Cross, Yu-Ling Chiu, Shufen Wang, Laura Lee, Steve Tran, and Kirsten Havig

In FY2021, the Children and Family Research Center’s (CFRC) evaluation team again used multiple sub-studies to examine the implementation and outcomes of simulation training for new child protection investigators in the Illinois Department of Children and Family Service. This is an important time historically to study simulation training because of the effect of COVID-19 on trainees, their work and the training itself. Chapter 1 summarizes CTPA’s implementation in 2021: adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic through virtual methods, training supervisors in problem-based learning, and re-formatting investigator training. Chapter 2 presents results from the Daily Experience of Simulation Training (DEST) measure. The measure was designed to examine change in trainees’ confidence over the course of simulation training. This is an important time to assess DEST results, because of changes in simulation training during FY2021, as discussed in the Introduction. Chapter 3 offers updated results from a post-training satisfaction survey. The chapter reports trainees’ satisfaction ratings for simulation training over this time period. It also provides qualitative results from the analysis of open-ended items in the post-training satisfaction survey. Chapter 4 examines whether simulation training is related to employee turnover. Using two different analytic methods, it asks whether investigators trained using simulation training have stayed in their jobs longer than investigators who were not provided simulation training. Chapter 5 examines the relationship of simulation training to child safety. We compared sim-trained and non-sim-trained investigators on the likelihood that children in their investigations were involved in re-reports to DCFS. The last chapter provides the conclusion of this year’s evaluation and recommendations for improving the program.

1010 W. Nevada, Suite 2080 | Urbana, IL 61801 | (217) 333-5837
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