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Mark F. Testa, PhD

Inducted in 2017

Mark Testa is the Sandra Reeves Spears and John B. Turner Distinguished Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Previously he was a Professor at the University of Illinois and Director of the Children and Family Research Center, an independent research organization created jointly by the University and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). From 1994 to 2002, he held a joint appointment at the University of Chicago (1994-1999) and the University of Illinois (1999-2002) as Research Director of the Illinois DCFS. Currently, he is the Governor’s appointed member of the Permanency Innovations Oversight Committee of the North Carolina General Assembly and member of the Expert Panel appointed under the B.H. Consent Decree by the federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division.

Dr. Testa was the architect of the Illinois Subsidized Guardianship Demonstration and led the evaluations of similar IV-E waiver demonstrations in the states of Wisconsin and Tennessee. He is the principal investigator for the evaluation of the federal Permanency Innovations Initiative. He is also principal investigator for the evaluation of the Illinois waiver demonstration for foster children aged birth to three years old and the evaluation of Safe Families for Children funded by the Arnold Foundation, He is a co-investigator with RTI, International for two federal projects: Understanding Postadoption and Guardianship Instability and the Third National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being.

Professor Testa has received awards for his scholarship and public engagement, including the 2017 Social Policy Award from the Society for Social Work and Research, 2006 Angel in Adoption from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Adoption 2002 Excellence Award for Applied Scholarship and Research on kinship care and permanence.

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