Jason Brennen

Senior Policy Analyst

Jason Brennen is a Senior Policy Analyst at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Currently, Brennen is part of the Defending Childhood Initiative, funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Brennen provides training and technical assistance to support state teams made up of senior-level leaders of child serving agencies from Washington, Connecticut, and Illinois. He works with leaders to develop enhanced mental health policies and practices across service systems. Brennen also provides evaluation and implementation support to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services’s programs and practice models for youth at risk for delinquency, homelessness, and human trafficking. Working with the Cook County Circuit Court, he is engaged in several related projects designed to enhance positive youth outcomes in the domains of mental health screening and assessment and referral, education, and case practice.

Prior to joining Chapin Hall, Brennen was Senior Program Administrator in the Mental Health Services & Policy Program (MHSPP) at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, where he oversaw research activities with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). His time with MHSPP involved development, implementation, and management of ongoing training efforts for statewide caseworker and supervisory staff using the Child and Adolescent Needs & Strengths (CANS) clinical assessment tool and related case practice protocols. Similar efforts involved the support of IT development to assess, develop, and deploy online case management systems for DCFS and DJJ. As an administrator, Brennen also provided oversight of MHSPP operations, including within the areas of strategic planning, program development, budget and finance, grants and contracts, evaluation, communications, IT services, staff management, and recruitment.

Brennen holds a master’s in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University.

Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration, Northwestern University

Bachelor of Arts, Brown University.

Burnett-Ziegler, I., Brennen, J., & Jackson, C. (2009). Illinois’s Mental Health Juvenile Justice initiative: Use of standardized assessments for eligibility and outcomes. In J. Lyons, & D. Weiner (Eds.), Behavioral health care: Assessment, service planning, and total clinical outcomes management (pp. 11-1 – 11-18). Kingston, NJ: Civic Research Institute.