This work owes much to the experiences we gained as former directors of the Children and Family Research Center in the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Urbana—Champaign. We are especially grateful to Jill Doner Kagle, former Dean of the School of Social Work, Richard Herman, former Chancellor of the University of Illinois, Jess McDonald, former Director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and Susan Wells, former Center director, for their efforts in the creation of the Center. We are also thankful to Benjamin Wolf, Joseph Loftus, and Tina Tchen for their assistance in defining the Center's role under the B.H. Consent Decree. We appreciate the continued support given by Dean Wynne Korr of the School of Social Work and Bryan Samuels, former director, and Erwin McEwen, current director, of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
Many of the contributors to this volume first came together under a discretionary grant, Mentoring Research Partnerships for State Child Welfare Programs (Award No: 90-CW-1103), that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services in support of the Office of the DCFS Research Director to provide consultation, technical assistance, and mentorship to the states of Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Nevada. Key chapters of this edited volume are based on the papers from the final cumulative program report, Building Analytical Capacity for Child Welfare Programs in State Systems, submitted to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in June 2005. We also thank the Pew Charitable Trusts for its funding of Fostering Results, a public education campaign managed by the Children and Family Research Center to educate lawmakers and (p.vi) citizens about the need for federal financing reform and improved court oversight of child welfare cases. Chapter 9 is based on an unpublished draft report prepared for this project. We also wish to acknowledge the support and technical assistance of Casey Family Programs in the preparation of the report on which Chapter 11 is based.
Lastly, we are appreciative of the comments and the recommendations made by several anonymous reviewers of our draft manuscript. We would also like to acknowledge the assistance of John Rogers, Senior Statistician at Westat, in preparing the power calculations presented in Chapter 5 and to thank Joseph Doyle, the Alfred Henry and Jean Morrison Hayes Career Development Associate Professor of Economics in the MIT Sloan School of Management, for his review of Chapter 7.