UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS URBANA-CHAMPAIGN

Satomi Wakita - Research Data Analyst

Satomi Wakita, PhD

The Children & Family Research Center

School of Social Work, University of Illinois

1010 W. Nevada, Suite 2080-J


(217) 333-7177

wakita@illinois.edu

Educational/Professional Background

Dr. Satomi Wakita holds a master's degree in Consumer Sciences and a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Consumer Economics, with concentrations in family and consumer economics, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Prior to joining the Children and Family Research Center at the School of Social Work, she served as the project coordinator for the Illinois Assessment and Accountability Project in the Department of Educational Psychology at UIUC. She also previously worked as a research data analyst at the Center for Prevention and Research Development at UIUC.

Research/Practice Interests

Dr. Wakita's research interests include the design of survey instruments, performance measurement, program evaluation, and the use of data to improve child welfare.

Current Projects

Dr. Wakita currently is a member of data analysis team for the annual Monitoring Report of the B.H. Consent Decree. She also assists researchers with research methodology at the Center.

Oct 2021 / Report / Outcomes Monitoring    
Tamara Fuller, Cady Landa, Satomi Wakita, and Kyle Adams

Child welfare systems across the nation share the concern that children from some racial and ethnic groups may be disproportionately represented in the child welfare system compared to their representation in the general population. This report examines racial disproportionality in the Illinois child welfare system at five critical decision points during 2014–2020, including: 1) screened-in maltreatment reports/investigations, 2) protective custodies, 3) indicated maltreatment reports, 4) child welfare case openings (intact family services), 5) substitute care entries, and 6) timely exits from substitute care. The results are presented for the entire state as well as by region.


Oct 2021 / Report / Outcomes Monitoring    
Tamara Fuller, Martin Nieto, Kyle Adams, Yu-Ling Chiu, Theodore Cross, Cady Landa, Laura Lee, Steve Tran, Satomi Wakita, and Shufen Wang

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 FY2021 monitoring report uses child welfare administrative data through December 31, 2020 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 2020 / Report / Outcomes Monitoring    
Tamara Fuller, Michael Braun, Satomi Wakita, 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 at critical decision points to help inform planning and decision-making. This report provides information relevant to that goal by examining racial disproportionality in the Illinois child welfare system at five critical decision points (see Figure 1) during 2013–2019, including: 1) investigated/screened-in maltreatment reports, 2) protective custodies, 3) indicated maltreatment reports, 4) post-investigation service provision, including substitute care and intact family services, and 5) timely exits from substitute care.


Sep 2020 / Report / Safety and Risk    
Tamara Fuller, Satomi Wakita, Martin Nieto, and Laura Lee

The FY2020 CERAP evaluation uses the most recently available administrative data to re-examine the predictive validity of the CERAP by analyzing the relationship between CERAP completion at the conclusion of the investigation and a future criterion measure of child safety (i.e., short-term maltreatment recurrence). The analyses examined the relationship between indicated investigations that did and did not have a safety assessment at the conclusion of the investigation and the rates of maltreatment recurrence within 30, 60, and 90 days of the investigation close date for each fiscal year between 2014 and 2019. The results are inconsistent across the years and therefore difficult to interpret.


Oct 2019 / Report / Outcomes Monitoring    
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.


Aug 2019 / Report / Safety and Risk    
Tamara L. Fuller, Satomi Wakita, Yu-Ling Chiu, Martin Nieto, and Laura Lee

CERAP procedures specify when a safety assessment is supposed to be completed during investigations, prevention services cases, intact family service cases, and placement cases. Recent CERAP evaluations have focused on caseworker completion at each of the milestones for intact family cases, with the exception of milestone three, which specifies that the a safety assessment should be completed “whenever evidence or circumstances suggest that a child’s safety may be in jeopardy.” The FY2019 CERAP evaluation focused on CERAP safety assessments that were completed for this milestone three among intact family cases that were opened during 2014-2018. The main findings revealed that between 8-10% of the intact family cases opened each year had a CERAP completed for this milestone (MS3). When a MS3 CERAP was completed, about 36% did not have any safety threats identified, about 40-45% had one safety threat identified, and 16-17% had two safety threats identified. Additional analyses are included in the report.


Jun 2019 / Report / Outcomes Monitoring    
Martin Nieto, Satomi Wakita, Tamara Fuller, and Shufen Wang

In 2017, media attention in Illinois focused on a perceived increase in the number of child deaths following the “privatization” of Intact Family Services (IFS), meaning that cases were being served by private child welfare agencies through contractual relationships with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) rather than through DCFS itself. Following a request by the B.H. Expert Panel, the CFRC conducted an independent analysis to examine if the privatization of intact family services (IFS) was associated with an increase in child deaths due to maltreatment. The results suggest that Intact Family Services have been provided by both DCFS and private child welfare agencies since 2000, and that complete privatization of IFS did not occur, even after 2014. In addition, when all maltreatment reports involving child deaths are examined, only a small percentage (between 10-15%) have been involved with IFS within the past year or at the time of the reported death. When the child deaths that were involved with IFS were examined, there were no differences in the risk of either investigated child deaths or indicated child deaths among children served by DCFS and those served by private child welfare agencies.


May 2019 / Report / Outcomes Monitoring    
CFRC

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 at critical decision points to help inform planning and decision making. With special concerns about children age 0 to 5, the Children and Family Research Center per a request from Illinois DCFS prepared this report by examining racial disproportionality specifically for this population in the Illinois child welfare system at critical decision points during 2012-2018.


Oct 2018 / Report / Outcomes Monitoring    
Tamara Fuller, Martin Nieto, Satomi Wakita, Shufen Wang, Kyle Adams, Steve Tran, 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 / Safety and Risk    
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.