Research Data Analyst

Research Data Analyst
Children and Family Research Center
School of Social Work

The Children and Family Research Center (CFRC) at the School of Social Work’s Foster Care Utilization Review Program (FCURP) researchers (located in Chicago, IL) work in close partnership with the DCFS Division of Quality Assurance (DQA) to prepare for, conduct, and respond to the Federal Child and Family Services Review (CFSR). Using a continuous quality improvement structure, FCURP has played a vital role in building and maintaining a viable public-private framework for supporting ongoing efforts to enhance child welfare outcomes in Illinois at the state and local levels.

The primary responsibility will be research conducted for the Foster Care Utilization Review Program. This will include comprehensive performance reviews of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) and private child welfare agencies throughout the state using a continuous quality improvement framework.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assist with the development, implementation, and on-going improvement of evaluative research instruments designed to assess child welfare practices using both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods.
  • Conduct training for DCFS and private agency child welfare professionals on the outcomes and indicators measured in the CFSR.
  • Coordinate and facilitate onsite child welfare reviews in the role of Review Team Leader. This includes training staff to review supporting documentation, complete review instruments and related documents and conduct interviews with children, youth, families, caseworkers, supervisors, and other important stakeholders in cases selected for review.  In addition to leading reviews, Analysts must also be proficient as case reviewers.
  • Conduct post-review data entry, data cleaning, and analysis and develop detailed statistical and narrative reports designed to offer a comprehensive picture of current child welfare practices and client outcomes in relation to federal child welfare standards and policies and procedures set forth by the state.
  • Provide technical assistance to agencies and various DCFS divisions, as requested.
  • Conduct and facilitate focus groups and work groups around child welfare issues.
  • Conduct and facilitate discussions of child welfare data, including interpretation of the data, and facilitating the use of data to result in improved performance.
  • Conduct targeted utilization reviews of DCFS teams and private agencies throughout the state of Illinois, upon request from DCFS.
  • Study and report on additional issues in child welfare, as requested.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Education and Experience:
Bachelor’s degree in social work or a related field and at least three years of work experience in the child welfare field is required.  Master’s degree in social work or related field is preferred.

Knowledge Requirements:

  • Understanding and working knowledge of Illinois’ child welfare system and the ability to apply them to both micro-level and systemic foster care issues i.e., DCFS Rules and Procedures, performance standards, court processes, etc.
  • Understanding of program monitoring and quality improvement processes.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Must be able to travel throughout the state as needed; occasional extended stays will be required
  • Candidates must be comfortable speaking to large groups of child welfare professionals and facilitating groups in the data collection process
  • Candidates must be experienced and comfortable conducting in-person interviews with all levels of client stakeholders and child welfare staff
  • Must be able to work well in a team environment as well as independently
  • Working knowledge of research concepts, data analysis and reporting

This is a 12-month academic professional position. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. To ensure full consideration complete applications must be submitted by June 11, 2015. The start date will be as soon as possible after the close of the search. Please create your candidate profile at and upload a cover letter, resume, and the name, address, and phone numbers of three references.
For further information regarding application procedures, you may contact Jaime Waymouth.

You may also visit  the Children and Family Research Center website for more information.
Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with a disability. Illinois welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusively. (