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Panel 7: State of Policy & Interventions for Youth in Extended Care

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Mark Courtney, PhD
Mark Courtney

Mark is a Professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. His fields of special interest are child welfare policy and services, the connection between child welfare services and other institutions serving vulnerable populations, and the professionalization of social work. His current work includes studies of the adult functioning of former foster children, experimental evaluation of independent living services for foster youth, and the influence of juvenile courts on the operation of the child welfare system. Professor Courtney is a Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and the Society for Social Work and Research. He received the 2015 Society for Social Work and Research Distinguished Career Achievement Award and the 2010 Peter W. Forsythe Award for leadership in public child welfare from the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators. 

Sarah Hurley, PhD
Sarah Hurley

Sarah is the Director of Data Science at Youth Villages in Memphis Tennessee. In this role, Dr. Hurley leads the development of business intelligence applications that draw from the agency’s electronic medical records, HR, and finance systems, providing program and agency leadership with mobile data visualizations to monitor critical operational and clinical indicators. She manages the agency’s outcome evaluation process that tracks youth discharged from Youth Villages. She directed all activities related to participation in the recent random assignment evaluation of the YVLifeSet program and continues to work to establish evidence for YV programs.

Catherine Heath

Catherine is a Child and Family Program Specialist at the Children’s Bureau, US Department of Health and Human Services, which partners with federal, state, tribal, and local agencies to improve the overall health and well-being of children and families. In addition to serving as the bureau’s youth specialist, Ms. Heath is responsible for the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, which provides age-appropriate independent living services to youth and young adults who are in out-of-home placements. Prior to joining the Federal Government, Catherine worked as a statewide independent living coordinator for the State of Florida.