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Kari Buttera

Clinical Assistant Professor, Field Education

headshot of Kari Buttera


(217) 333-5771

School of Social Work

1010 W Nevada Street

Urbana, IL 61820



531, 532

What I Do

Kari has worked in private, charter, and public-school settings serving students and families with diverse and complex needs. She also has experience working in non-profit settings serving youth in the foster care system. Kari has worked with children, teens, and young adults ages 3-22.

After graduating with her MSW, Kari moved to Washington, DC where she worked in a special education school serving students from District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). She obtained her LICSW (Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker) in DC. Kari then moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she worked at a non-profit agency with teens and young adults who were aging out of the Philadelphia foster care system. Kari provided mental health and case management services to teens and young adults from diverse backgrounds with varying mental health needs. She also was responsible for the supervision of interns for the agency. She provided individual and group supervision to social work interns and to staff seeking their clinical licensure. Kari then moved back to the Northern Virginia area and worked in charter school and public-school settings. While working for a large public-school division, Kari served as a crisis team leader and as a trauma trainer for school staff. She promoted trauma informed classroom practices and restorative approaches to improving behavior and outcomes for students.

After moving back to Illinois in 2019, Kari worked as a school social worker in a public high school setting in Northern Illinois. Kari recently joined the University of Illinois School of Social Work Field Office as a Field Liaison. She looks forward to sharing her passion for the field of social worker with her students.


Kari Buttera graduated from the University of Illinois with a BS in Psychology in 2005 and an MSW in 2007. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Kari holds a Professional Educator’s License (PEL) with an endorsement as a School Social Worker in Illinois and a Pupil Personal Services License in Virginia.

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