Mark Testa

Mark_Bio2Mark 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 in the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 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. From 1994 to 1999, he held a joint appointment at the University of Chicago as Associate Professor and Research Director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.


Dr. Testa is 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 currently the Principal Investigator (P.I.) for the evaluation of the $100 million federal Permanency Innovations Initiative and P.I. for the evaluation of the Illinois IV-E waiver demonstration of child-parent therapeutic interventions for foster children aged birth to three years old.

Professor Testa has received numerous awards for his scholarship and public engagement, including the UNC School of Social Work Excellence in Research Award, 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. His recent publications include: “Bridging the gap between research and practice: The work of the steering team for the child welfare research and evaluation translational framework workgroup with commentary from B. Deakins and M. Baldwin, U.S. Children’s Bureau” with Diane DePanfilis, Ruth Huebner and Renda Dione, R. in Journal of Public Child Welfare (In press); “Insuring the integrity and validity of social work interventions: The case of the subsidized guardianship waiver experiments” with Kevin White in the Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work (2014); Fostering accountability: Using evidence to guide and improve child welfare policy (Oxford University Press, 2010), co-edited with John Poertner; and Child welfare and child well-being: New perspectives from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (Oxford University Press, 2009), co-edited with Mary Bruce Webb, Kathryn Dowd, Brenda Jones Harden, and John Landsverk.