July 12, 2001
Vol. 20 No. 19

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    Chapin Hall Center Board appoints Courtney director

    By William Harms
    News Office

    [maestripieri] by kay hinton
    Mark Courtney, Associate Professor of Social Work in the School of Social Service Administration and a faculty associate in the Chapin Hall Center for Children, has been appointed the center’s new director.
    Members of the Board of the Chapin Hall Center for Children, a children’s policy research center affiliated with the University, confirmed Friday, June 15, the appointment of Mark Courtney as the center’s next Director. Courtney, Associate Professor of Social Work in the School of Social Service Administration and a Chapin Hall Faculty Associate, will succeed current Director Harold Richman, who will step down Saturday, Sept. 1.

    “Chapin Hall is an invaluable source of information for policymakers, administrators, researchers, advocates and others interested in improving the well-being of children here and abroad. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help Chapin Hall achieve its crucial mission,” said Courtney of his appointment.

    Chapin Hall Board Chairman Handy Lindsey Jr., who also is President of the Field Foundation of Illinois, said, “Among the many attributes that make Mark Courtney an excellent choice to lead Chapin Hall are his inspiring enthusiasm and commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of children. He has both an appropriate respect for the center’s past accomplishments and a vision for its successful future.”

    Courtney is a leading researcher in the area of human services for children in need. He currently heads investigations in the areas of foster care and welfare reform. In addition to his SSA and Chapin Hall appointments, Courtney is a faculty affiliate at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin and the Joint Center for Poverty Research, a collaboration between the University and Northwestern University.

    Before joining the University faculty and the staff at Chapin Hall Center in 2001, Courtney was a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin School of Social Work from 1993 to 2000. In addition, he has been a visiting scholar at the National Child Welfare Research Center of the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley, and has held research positions with the Family Welfare Research Group at Berkeley. From 1985 to 1989, Courtney worked first as a counselor and later as clinical supervisor for the foster children organization Bay Area Youth Centers in Hayward, Calif.

    Courtney is the author of numerous scholarly papers and publications on child welfare issues. He is the co-author of two books on human service issues: From Child Abuse to Permanency Planning: Child Welfare Services Pathways and Placements (with R. P. Barth, J. D. Berrick and V. Albert, Aldine de Gruyter, 1994) and Unfaithful Angels: How Social Work has Abandoned Its Mission (with H. Specht, The Free Press, 1994).

    Courtney received his Ph.D. in 1992 from the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley.

    Richman, who has been Director of Chapin Hall since 1985, will continue his research there. Under Richman’s leadership, the center has undertaken a wide range of research and developed innovative research strategies, seeking to improve the lives of children and families. These have included linking the data collected by different state human service agencies and using them for research purposes, and studying broad-based, comprehensive, community-building initiatives designed to address neighborhood problems.

    Richman, the Hermon Dunlap Smith Professor of Social Welfare Policy in the School of Social Service Administration, has been a member of the University faculty since 1967.

    He served as Dean of SSA from 1969 to 1978, and he was the founding chairman of the University’s public policy studies program, now administered by the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies. In 1990, Richman received the University’s Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

    A graduate of Harvard University’s college, Richman earned his Ph.D. in social welfare policy from Chicago in 1969.