Faculty & Staff


Amy Vargo, PhD

Amy Vargo, PhD

Research Assistant Professor

Phone: 813-974-5356
Fax: 813-974-7376
Office: MHC2420

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Dr. Vargo is a Research Assistant Professor in USF’s Department of Child and Family Studies with 22 years’ experience in child welfare and behavioral health service evaluation.  She currently serves as a Principal Investigator for the National Institute of Justice’s STOP Program Grantee Perspectives on Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program Implementation Evaluation and training curriculum developer for The Center for Child Welfare. 

Dr. Vargo has served as a Principal Investigator for Florida’s Child Welfare Pre-Service Training Evaluation, Florida’s Title IV-E Waiver Evaluation, Florida’s Child Welfare Prepaid Mental Health Plan Evaluation, and Florida’s Child Welfare Privatization Evaluation.  At a federal level Dr. Vargo has served as Co-PI on two evaluations of the Western and Pacific Child Welfare Technical Assistance Implementation Center and the National Child Welfare Leadership Evaluation.  Her research and scholarship have focused on improving care for vulnerable populations, specifically children who enter the child welfare system and their families. 

Research areas Dr. Vargo has focused on include child welfare systems change from an implementation science perspective, identification of evidence-based and promising practices within child welfare and children’s behavioral health, and the quality of services provided to children and families who have experienced trauma.  She has worked with different tribal and ethnically diverse populations nationally and within Florida, and also has extensive experience leading multi-researcher teams conducting mixed-method research.