Tara Phebus

Executive Director, Nevada Institute for Children's Research and Policy
Expertise: Children's health and safety, Injury prevention, Child welfare, Juvenile justice


Tara Phebus is the executive director at the Nevada Institute for Children's Research and Policy at UNLV (NICRP). Its mission is to use community-based research and program evaluation to help improve the lives of children and families in Nevada.

Phebus has worked for the NICRP since 2004, where she conducts applied research and program evaluation. Her research and evaluation projects cover a variety of children's issues, including health and safety, injury prevention, child welfare, juvenile justice, early childhood education, and social marketing evaluation. Each year the NICRP issues reports on the health status of Nevada kindergartners and the manners and causes of child death cases in Nevada.


  • B.A., Business Administration, Doane College
  • B.A., Sociology, Doane College
  • M.A., Sociology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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child development, law

Tara Phebus In The News

September 16, 2019
With a new school year in full swing, parents of preschool-aged children may be asking themselves whether or attending preschool makes much a difference for young developing minds.
Las Vegas Review Journal
June 16, 2019
Despite marginal improvements in child well-being since 2010, Nevada remains ranked among the worst states in a nationwide study about the topic released Monday.
Nevada Current
September 21, 2018
Tara Phebus, director of the Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy at UNLV, says the Fatality Review Team usually takes up two cases a year from rural Nevada counties. Laxalt’s office contracts with the institute to facilitate case reviews and policy recommendations, as did his predecessor, Catherine Cortez Masto, now a U.S. Senator.
Las Vegas Review Journal
May 8, 2017
Once again, Nevada lands at the bottom of a list, this time ranking the best and worst states for children’s health care. The state finished No. 51 (the study included the District of Columbia) in research by WalletHub, a credit services website. The findings continue a long, depressing tradition for Nevada, which is no stranger to performing poorly in measures of health. However, valley health care professionals say they’re optimistic that medical services for kids are improving in the state, even if it’s happening more slowly than anybody would like.

Articles Featuring Tara Phebus

Children on a playground
Business and CommunityAugust 10, 2017
Ninth annual check of state’s entering kindergartners showed more have health insurance, yet barriers to health care access still exist.
girl coloring on yellow paper
Arts and CultureAugust 30, 2016
Do you know where your favorite candidates stand on the issues that most affect Nevada children?
children lean against chain-linked fense with backpacks
ResearchSeptember 22, 2015
Annual survey shows the number of Silver State kindergarteners with health insurance has spiked to 92 percent.
children listen to a science lesson at school
Campus NewsMarch 9, 2015
W.K. Kellogg Foundation funds support research and awareness programs for Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy at UNLV, Children’s Advocacy Alliance.