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Merlin Taber Collaborative Research Fund

Taber Collaborative Research Fund grapic and photo

Honoring a Legacy and Inspiring Innovation in Child Welfare

With great reverence and excitement, we announce the establishment of the Merlin Taber Collaborative Research Fund, a tribute to the profound legacy of Dr. Merlin Taber and a beacon for the future of collaborative research in child welfare.

Merlin Taber once said that social work is the pragmatic pursuit of values. These values included protecting children from abuse and neglect while working towards them being raised in permanent and positive homes. Merlin recognized that this work required a collaborative approach that extended beyond the classroom and even the confines of academia to enact real, positive change in the lives of those we serve.

As a mentor, Merlin not only shared knowledge but instilled in his students an enthusiasm for interdisciplinary collaboration, leading to practical initiatives that reshaped the social work landscape. His dedication to applied assistance and the broader University land grant service mission forged strong partnerships with state and local agencies.

The Merlin Taber Collaborative Research Fund seeks to encapsulate the essence of Merlin’s illustrious career—a dedication to collaborative endeavors that transcend institutional and disciplinary boundaries. This fund is tailored to support and incentivize collaborative research projects between the School of Social Work and the Children and Family Research Center, mirroring Merlin’s interdisciplinary approach to comprehending and impacting critical issues faced by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

This initiative honors and perpetuates Merlin’s legacy of encouraging scholars to collaborate and embark on research that confronts pressing real-world social challenges. By fostering innovative policies and practices in the child welfare system, the fund becomes a conduit for positive change. It stands as a tribute to Merlin’s enduring influence, reminding future generations of social work professionals of the transformative power embedded in collaboration.

We extend an invitation to all who share an interest in honoring Dr. Taber’s legacy and supporting innovative research in child welfare to contribute to this meaningful initiative. Your involvement will celebrate Merlin’s enduring influence and pave the way for positive change in the child welfare system. Please contact Nathan Goebel in the Office of Advancement to learn more.

Thank you for joining us in celebrating the life and work of Dr. Merlin Taber and in supporting the future of collaborative research in child welfare.

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