UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS URBANA-CHAMPAIGN

Tamara Fuller - Director

Tamara Fuller, PhD

[She / Her / Hers]

The Children & Family Research Center

School of Social Work, University of Illinois

1010 W. Nevada, Suite 2080-L


(217) 333-5837

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.

Dr. Fuller was the Principal Investigator of a four-year evaluation, funded by the National Quality Improvement Center on Differential Response in Child Protective Services, which evaluated the implementation and effectiveness of Differential Response in Illinois.

Current Projects

Dr. Fuller is the Principal Investigator of the research and evaluation programs of the Children and Family Research Center. Each year, the Center, in consultation with the Department of Children and Family Services and the plaintiff's attorneys for the B.H. Consent Decree, is responsible for monitoring the outcomes for children in or at risk in foster care in Illinois. Other research projects 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.

Along with the team of researchers and analysts at CFRC, Dr. Fuller is currently involved in evaluating children’s healthcare services in Illinois and the creation of a predictive risk model for child welfare services.

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.


Sep 2021 / Report / Children's Mental Health Systems of Care    
Tamara Fuller, Theodore Cross, Yu-ling Chiu, Cady Landa, Kirsten Havig, and Steven Tran

This report presents the results of the first annual stakeholder survey that was administered to system of care stakeholders in the five CMHI 3.0 communities. The stakeholder survey is an important component of the evaluation of the Children's Mental Health Initiative that assesses the degree to which various implementation supports and activities have been implemented, such as a strategic plan that guides implementation and a steering committee that meets frequently. The survey also assesses fidelity to the systems of care principles in the service delivery system, including the extent to which services are individualized, family-driven, youth-guided, coordinated, culturally and linguistically competent, based on evidence-informed and promising practices, least restrictive, and comprehensive. Finally, the Stakeholder Survey includes sections that measure several system-level outcomes, including availability of specific home- and community-based services, residential and non-residential treatment services, and evidence-based mental health interventions; coordination among various child- and family-serving systems (child welfare, education, public health, juvenile justice, primary health, substance abuse, and mental and behavioral health); and commitment to the SOC philosophy and approach.


Aug 2021 / Research Brief / Safety and Risk    
Steve Tran and Tamara Fuller

This research brief highlights the findings from the most recent CDRT annual report on child deaths that occurred in Illinois in 2019. The brief presents summary information about child deaths in Illinois by age, race, and by the category and manner of death, as well as examples of CDRT recommendations to prevent child deaths.


Aug 2021 / Research Brief / Safety and Risk    
Steve Tran and Tamara Fuller

This research brief uses data from the annual CDRT reports to examine trends in child deaths between 2010 and 2019. The brief describes trends in total child deaths by child age, manner and category of death, as well as programs and initiatives in the state to prevent and reduce child deaths.


Jun 2021 / Report / Children's Mental Health Systems of Care    
Tamara Fuller, Steve Tran, Theodore Cross, Yu-ling Chiu, Cady Landa, and Kirsten Havig

This report presents the results of the first annual stakeholder survey that was administered to system of care stakeholders in the five CMHI 3.0 communities. The stakeholder survey is an important component of the evaluation of the Children's Mental Health Initiative that assesses the degree to which various implementation supports and activities have been implemented, such as a strategic plan that guides implementation and a steering committee that meets frequently. The survey also assesses fidelity to the systems of care principles in the service delivery system, including the extent to which services are individualized, family-driven, youth-guided, coordinated, culturally and linguistically competent, based on evidence-informed and promising practices, least restrictive, and comprehensive. Finally, the Stakeholder Survey includes sections that measure several system-level outcomes, including availability of specific home- and community-based services, residential and non-residential treatment services, and evidence-based mental health interventions; coordination among various child- and family-serving systems (child welfare, education, public health, juvenile justice, primary health, substance abuse, and mental and behavioral health); and commitment to the SOC philosophy and approach.


Feb 2021 / Report    
Laura Lee, Steve Tran, Michael Braun, Robin LaSota, and Tamara Fuller

Public Act 100-0879, enacted in August 2018, created a bi-partisan task force to: 1) study the compensation and workload of child welfare workers, 2) determine the role that these factors play in the recruitment and retention of the child welfare workers, and 3) determine the role that staff turnover plays in achieving safety and timely permanence for children. The Children and Family Research Center assisted the task force by conducting a literature review of the factors that impact child welfare worker retention and implementing a survey of all child welfare employers within Illinois to examine the role that compensation and other factors have on retention. This report contains the findings of the literature review and survey, as well as the recommendations that the task force made to improve child welfare retention.


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.


Oct 2020 / Research Brief / Safety and Risk    
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.


Sep 2020 / Research Brief / Safety and Risk    
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 2018. The brief presents summary information about child deaths in Illinois by age, race, and by the manner and category of death, as well as examples of CDRT recommendations to prevent child deaths.