Cara Karter

Coordinator of Research Support

Cara Karter is Chapin Hall’s Coordinator of Research Support and Editorial Manager for the Journal of Child and Family Studies, housed at Chapin Hall. Karter provides critical research support to the Director of Research and other Chapin Hall research staff. Her responsibilities have included leading components of projects at every stage of the research process. She also contributes to proposal and product development and the implementation of research policies, procedures, and data governance. As Editorial Manager for the journal, Karter is responsible for completing desk reviews; corresponding with potential and current authors, associate editors, and editorial board members; advising the Editors-in-Chief on strategic decision making; and managing many of the day-to-day operations of the journal.

Previously, Karter held positions as a Research & Evaluation Specialist at After School Matters; as a research Project Assistant at Chapin Hall; and as Evaluation Lead and Project Director for a sustainable development effort in rural Nicaragua. She has a wide range of evaluation experience in adolescent youth development, early childhood, housing/homelessness, and juvenile justice/community policing. Karter is skilled in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research and has conducted dozens of focus groups, interviews, and program observations throughout her career. She is also particularly skilled in research communication and project management. She is a certified assessor using the Dimensions of Success and Youth Program Quality Assessment tools. Karter serves as a Reviewer for the Journal of Youth Development.

Karter is passionate about promoting the use of translational, community-driven research as a vehicle to amplify participant voices and drive better decision making that enriches child and youth development. Karter received a Bachelor of Science in Social and Economic Development Policy and a certificate in Leadership Studies from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Certificate in Leadership Studies, Illinois Institute of Technology

Bachelor of Science in Social and Economic Development, Illinois Institute of Technology

Invited Presentations

Karter, C. (2020, February). Lessons learned from the Engineers Without Borders – IIT San Claudio Program. Invited presentation to the Engineers Without Borders – Illinois Institute of Technology chapter, Chicago, IL.

Farrell, A. F., Kull, M. & Karter, C. (2019, December). Supporting Families of Young Children Experiencing Homelessness. Invited webinar presentation to the Illinois Early Intervention Training Project. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Farrell, A. F. & Karter, C. (2019, October). Developing logic models: Workshop. Invited presentation to the Youth Services Division of the Chicago Department of Family Support Services. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Farrell, A. F. & Karter, C. (2019, October). Being effective partners with community organizations: Workshop. Invited presentation to Harris Community Action at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Farrell, A. F., Moore, F., & Karter, C. (2019). Child Thrive: A work in progress. Invited presentation to the Board of Directors of the Children’s Place Association. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Farrell, A. F. & Karter, C. (2019). Developing logic models: Workshop. Invited presentation to the Chapin Hall Collaborative of Youth Service Providers. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Karter, C. (2018). Bridging the divide: Initial implementation results from the After School Matters – Chicago Police Department initiative. Invited presentation at the Chicago Police Department’s Community Policing Sergeants meeting. Chicago, IL: After School Matters.

Axelrod, J. & Karter, C. (2016). The power of context: Understanding adolescent brain development. Invited presentation to the 5 by 25 Steering Committee convened by Children’s Home and Aid. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Axelrod, J. & Karter, C. (2016). Chicago opportunity youth community-based organization survey. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago and Thrive Chicago.

Axelrod, J. & Karter, C. (2016). Philadelphia library-school partnership survey results. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago and Philadelphia, PA: Free Library of Philadelphia.

Conference Presentations

Byers, K. B., & Karter, C. (2020). The Housing Insecurity Scale: Development and Validation of a Comprehensive Housing Insecurity Survey Measure. Oral paper at the 24th Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research, Washington, DC.

Karter C. (Chair), Shimshock, S., Farrell, A.F., Epstein, R.A., & Spain, A.K. (2019, November). Re-thinking the evaluator as facilitator of collaborative inquiry. Peer reviewed panel discussion presented at the American Evaluation Association Eval2019 Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

Farrell, A. F., Karter, C., Kull, M., & Fergusen, M. (2019). Piloting a housing screener in early childhood: The role of community partnership in instrument development. Oral presentation at the Society for Community Research and Action Biennial Conference, Chicago, IL.

Karter, C., & Brown, J. (2018). An internal implementation evaluation of police involvement in youth programs: Summer 2018 After School Matters-Chicago Police Department Initiative. Oral presentation at the Midwest Ecological Community Psychology Conference, Chicago, IL.

Panel Discussions

Global Dialogue Session: How do we develop and maintain communication with community partners? Panel presentation at the Engineers Without Borders USA National Conference, Reston, VA, November 2014.

Poster Sessions

Karter, C. (2019, November). Climbing Hart’s ladder: A sampling of methods for engaging youth in evaluation and decision-making. Poster presented at the American Evaluation Association Eval2019 Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

Karter, C. M. & Washington, L. A. (2015). Stimulants for enhancement purposes: Perceptions, attitudes, and usage among university students. Poster session presented at the International Neuroethics Society Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

Media and Knowledge Translation

Farrell, A. F., Cooley, M. E., & Karter, C. (Forthcoming). The Family First Prevention Services Act: Challenges and opportunities for research and practice. NCFR Report, Volume 65.3.

Karter, C. (2019, December 11). Climbing Hart’s ladder: Methods for engaging youth in evaluation and decision-making [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://aea365.org/blog/yfe-tig-week-climbing-harts-ladder-methods-for-engaging-youth-in-evaluation-and-decision-making-by-cara-karter/

Karter, C. (2019, July 23). Using process mapping to visualize program components [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://aea365.org/blog/cea-affiliate-week-using-process-mapping-to-visualize-program-components-by-cara-karter/

Karter, C. (2019, May 23). How universal approaches can maximize prevention efforts [Entry point web piece]. Retrieved from https://www.communitypsychology.com/universal-approaches/

Karter, C. & Brown, J. (2018, December 12). Co-leading evaluations with youth [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://aea365.org/blog/yfe-tig-week-co-leading-evaluations-with-youth-by-cara-karter-and-julian-brown/

Karter, C., Lambie, A., & Lopez, M. (2018, August 14). Valuing youth voices in evaluation [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://aea365.org/blog/cea-week-valuing-youth-voices-in-evaluation-by-amanda-lambie-cara-karter-and-michelle-lopez/

Award to support writing for publication — Society for Community Research and Action, 2019.

Most Influential in Research & Evaluation — After School Matters, awarded by National Afterschool Association, 2018.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Byers, K. B. & Karter, C. (Under Review). The Housing Insecurity Scale: Development and Validation of a Comprehensive Housing Insecurity Survey Measure. SSM: Population Health.

Karter, C. & Lambie, A. L. (Under Review). Bridging the divide: Examining police involvement in youth programs. Journal of Youth Development.

Karter, C., Farrell, A. F. (In Preparation). Validation of a brief housing screener: The Early Childhood Quick Risks and Assets for Family Triage. American Journal of Community Psychology.

Karter, C. M., Washington, L. A., & Ludlam, A. J. (2016). Stimulants for enhancement purposes: Perceptions, attitudes, and usage among university students. Modern Psychological Studies, Spring 2016.

Glade, S., Karter, C., & Pagilla, K. (2014). Case studies from a community-focused engineering program with projects in Haiti and Nicaragua. International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering, Special Edition Fall 2014, 551-562.

Book Chapters

Daro, D. & Karter, C. (2019). Universal services: The foundation for effective prevention. In B. Lonne, D. Scott, D. Higgins & T. Herrenkohl (Eds.), Re-visioning public health approaches for protecting children. New York, NY: Springer Publishers.

Reports & Research Briefs

Karter, C., & Daro, D. (2020, March). Chapin Hall Learning Organization Survey: Fiscal Year 2020. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Kull, M., Karter, C., & Farrell, A.F. (2019). HomeWorks early learning connections for housing stability: Program processes and theory of change. Technical report prepared under contract with The Connection, Inc. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Karter, C., Moore, F., Farrell, A. F., & Green-Rogers, Y. (2019). Positive youth development & engagement: A brief on theory & evidence. Brief prepared under contract with UCAN. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Karter, C. (2018). Bridging the divide: Chicago Police Department Initiative. After School Matters Research Brief (2). Chicago, IL: After School Matters.

Farrell, A. F., Karter, C., & Kull, M. (2017). Screening for housing instability in early childhood service provision. Technical report prepared under contract with The Connection, Inc. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Brennen, J., Karter, C., Moore, F., & Axelrod, J. (2017). Understanding the alignment of service provider utility with contractual reporting requirements. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Karter, C., Wagener, S., & Daro, D. (2017). Doris Duke Fellowship networking survey report 2016. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Brown, M., Spain, A., Karter, C., & Axelrod, J. (2017). Addressing the social determinants of health: An overview of funding for health and early childhood system innovation. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Spain, A., Axelrod, J., & Karter, C., (2017). Addressing family stressors and promoting protective factors with families in pediatric primary care settings: Initial implementation of Project DULCE in five communities. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Karter, C., & Daro, D. (2016). Planning to prevent child maltreatment: Strategies to support an integrated child maltreatment prevention framework. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Daro, D., Jarpe-Ratner, E., Karter, C., Crane, K., & Bellamy, J. (2016). Child abuse prevention: A planning framework for action. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.