Testa appointed research director for DCFSMark Testa, Associate Professor in the School of Social Service Administration, has been named research director for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. The three-year joint appointment at SSA and DCFS began July 1.
"This is a great opportunity to build stronger ties between DCFS and the University and to develop a new partnership for the implementation, evaluation and delivery of effective child-welfare programs," said Testa. "It is also a chance for faculty members to become more involved in DCFS policy and programs, as well as a chance to offer our students expanded choices for internships, fieldwork and employment opportunities within DCFS."
Testa's responsibilities at DCFS will include conducting policy studies on special topics, such as relatives serving as foster parents, and making recommendations on the funding of DCFS research and planning projects. He will work closely with DCFS director Jess McDonald (A.M.'73) and other senior administrators within the agency in evaluating between 15 and 20 research projects a year.
Testa will continue teaching two graduate courses in SSA -- Data for Policy Analysis & Management and Child & Family Policy. His research at the University focuses on developing research and training programs relevant to public child welfare, with special interests in child and family sociology, adolescent parenthood, childhood social indicators, foster care and public assistance.
Testa received his A.M. in 1980 and his Ph.D. in 1983 from the University. He joined the faculty as Assistant Professor the following year and became Associate Professor in 1990. He is also Research Associate at the Chapin Hall Center for Children and Research Associate in the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies' Center for the Study of Urban Inequality.
Testa is co-editor of the book Early Parenthood and Coming of Age in the 1990s (1992) with Margaret Rosenheim, the Helen Ross Professor in SSA. Testa and Rosenheim are currently editing a new book, tentatively titled Children Harmed and Harmful: Risks and Risk-taking Among Ten- to Fifteen-year-olds, that is scheduled for release next spring.