In The Media

Research Roundup – Risk Factors for Trafficking Among Homeless Youth

May 30, 2017

University of Pennsylvania Almanac

A collaboration between the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research at the University of Pennsylvania, Covenant House and Loyola University’s Modern Slavery Research Project has identified risk factors that make homeless youth vulnerable to human trafficking, including exploitation for sex, labor or both.
Read More >

Preventing Human Trafficking of Homeless Youth by Building Connections

May 19, 2017

Alaska Public Media

Young people who are homeless in Alaska are at high risk for human trafficking, but there are ways to prevent the problem.
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Study: 1 in 5 Homeless Teens Become victims of trafficking

May 9, 2017

Tucson News

New reports are shedding light on how common trafficking is among homeless youth around the country.
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Life with Gracie: Homeless youths more likely to be bought and sold for sex

April 25, 2017

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Je’Brial Lee talks about her years in metro Atlanta’s sex trade the way one talks about a day at the office, only she was posing in sexy outfits, naked inside cages and performing untold sex acts.
Read More >

Human Trafficking’s High Toll on Homeless Youth

April 17, 2017

USNews

The trafficking of young adults isn’t only a problem in developing nations. In the U.S. and Canada, nearly one-fifth of homeless youth are victims of human trafficking, according to new studies.
Read More >

One-fifth of homeless youth in Philly have been trafficked for sex, new study finds

April 17, 2017

WHYY

It’s something advocates for homeless young people have known for a long time: That vulnerable population is often targeted by human traffickers.
Read More>

Homeless Youth at High Risk of Human Trafficking

April 17, 2017

The New York Times

For decades, one set of activisits and legislators have fought to end human trafficking, while a different set have worked tirelessly to try to end homelessness. Activisits and legislators have rarely teamed up to fight the two issues simultaneously.
Read more >

New Study Shows Homeless Youth Targets For Sex Traffickers

April 17, 2017

CBS Philly 

With the NFL Draft just around the corner, Philadelphia could become a prime target for human sex traffickers. A new study released by the University of Pennsylvania reveals startling statistics that show that the city’s homeless youth population could be the most vulnerable.
Read more>

One in Five Homeless Youth Trafficked, New Research Reveals

April 17, 2017

Huffington Post

This morning researchers at two universities released the most comprehensive findings to date on the prevalence of human trafficking among homeless youth in the United States and Canada, reporting that 19.4 percent of homeless youth have been the victims of human trafficking – 15 percent trafficked for sex, 7.4 percent trafficked for labor, and 3 percent trafficked for both.
Read more>

Field Center at Penn Identifies Risk Factors Making Homeless Youth Vulnerable to Sex Trafficking

April 2017

Social Work Today

The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research at the University of Pennsylvania has joined forces with Covenant House, an agency dedicated to helping homeless youth, and Loyola University’s Modern Slavery Research Project to conduct a first-of-its-kind study on the prevalence of human trafficking among homeless youth.
Read more>

One in Five Homeless Youth Is a Human Trafficking Victim, Studies Find

April 18, 2017

Philanthropy News Digest

Nearly a fifth of homeless youth in the United States and Canada are victims of trafficking, reports from the University of Pennsylvania and Loyola University New Orleans find.
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20% of homeless youths in U.S. are victims of human trafficking: Report

April 18, 2017

Metro

In the largest study of its kind, researchers interviewed homeless youths 21 and under in a dozen cities, including Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Washington.
Read more>

Largest-Ever Research Studies Find One-Fifth of Surveyed Homeless Youth in the United States and Canada Are Victims of Human Trafficking

April 17, 2017

Crossroads Today

Researchers announced findings today from the largest-ever combined sample of homeless youth in the United States and Canada, revealing that nearly one-fifth are victims of human trafficking, including those trafficked for sex, labor, or both.
Read more>

Advocates Promote Awareness of Prenatal Drug Abuse

January 29, 2017

The Tribune-Democrat

The recent death of Summer Chambers – a 5-month-old who perished of dehydration and starvation after the apparent fatal overdoses of her parents – has prompted conversations across the state about the welfare of children.
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Field Center Staff and Students participate in rally to support Safe Harbor for victims of child sex trafficking

October 17, 2016

Fox 43

People gathered at the state capitol to show their support for Senate Bill 851. That bill would make child sex trafficking victims immune to charges for prostitution and other offenses that happened while they were victimized.
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Protecting Our Nation’s Children: See Something, Say Something

July 29, 2016

Child’s World America

In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, something did not look quite right. A neighbor was concerned that children were being harmed. She picked up the phone and made a call. This phone call, to the statewide child abuse hotline, resulted in a response by law enforcement and child welfare professionals, who made an alarming discovery.
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Bucks case shows value of child-abuse reports – Commentary by Debra Schilling Wolfe

June 22, 2016

Philadelphia Inquirer

Thanks to a concerned neighbor, 12 children are a little bit safer. When something did not look quite right, a woman in Bucks County said something. Her action triggered a response that resulted in the arrest of three adults, including the biological parents who “gifted” their then-14-year-old daughter to a man who subsequently impregnated her not once but twice. The now-18-year-old girl, her babies fathered by this man who considered her his “wife,” and an additional nine girls suspected to be her younger siblings have ended their captivity and can begin the long process of healing.
Read more >

Pennsylvania County Leads in Use of Big Data to Stem Child Abuse, Probes Ethics First

May 26, 2016

The Chronicle of Social Change

Computer algorithms guide our decisions in big ways and small. They nudge us to buy a particular blender on Amazon and tailor ads to our interests on our Facebook pages, but also seek to reduce repeat domestic violence arrests and assess risk during criminal sentence proceedings.
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Pennsylvania’s Child Welfare Funding Crisis Drags On

March 21, 2016

The Chronicle of Social Change

Child welfare funding may have been blue-lined in December, but organizations across Pennsylvania are still in the red.
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The Sad History of Children and Drug Disasters

March 20, 2016

The Daily Pennsylvanian

One paradox of modern health care is as disturbing as it is baffling: Even though almost every 20th-century law aimed at improving drug safety was enacted in response to a pediatric drug disaster, the systems we put in place to improve safety ultimately proved problematic.
Read more  >

Federal Commission Releases Recommendations to End Child Abuse Fatalities

March 17, 2016

Youth Today

A federal commission wants the states to examine all child abuse and neglect fatalities from the past five years as part of a national strategy to end such deaths. The commission also said all reports of neglect or abuse of children under age 3 should receive responses, rather than some being screened out, with the fastest response times required for children under age 1.
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Montco Court’s Dicta on Protection for Children Is ‘Disturbing’

March 15, 2016

The Legal Intelligencer

The article, “Child in U.S. Illegally Doesn’t Qualify as Dependent,” published Feb. 23 in Legal sibling publication Pennsylvania Law Weekly, summarized a county dependency case, but overstates the court’s holding and characterizes the court’s dicta as legal reasoning.
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Pennsylvania Works to Provide ‘Normalcy’ for Foster Youth

March 12, 2016

The Chronicle of Social Change

A federal law that went into effect last year promotes the idea that foster youth need to be engaged in the everyday activities that all other young people enjoy to improve their outcomes as adults.
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Definition of “Masking Crimes” Holds Up Penn. Safe Harbor Law

March 1, 2016

The Chronicle of Social Change

Late last year, Pennsylvania’s latest attempt to serve children who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation stalled in the Senate Appropriations Committee. The reason, according to advocates, is not so much about a dearth of political will, but rather the fear that the law will provide blanket immunity to minors engaging in crimes not related to being exploited.
Read more >

As Americans begin venturing into Cuba, Penn students and researchers lead the way

February 3, 2016

The Daily Pennsylvanian

From the moment they arrive on campus, Penn students dream of spending part of their college years in Paris, London or Madrid. Not many plan to spend time in a nearby country whose relationship with the United States has been marked by conflict for the past several decades.
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U.S.-Cuba relations expand, broadening work and experiences of Penn community

January 21, 2016

Penn Current

“Debra Schilling Wolfe, executive director of the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice, and Research in the School of Social Policy & Practice, traveled in September to Cuba with a 15-person appointed national research delegation sponsored by the Child Welfare League of America and the Coalition for Research to Practice.”
Read more >

Field of Dreams Luncheon

December 13, 2015

Philly.com

On Oct. 30, about 160 attendees from Philadelphia’s legal, medical, education, business, philanthropic, and social-welfare communities came together for the 2015 Field of Dreams Luncheon.
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Is poverty a crime?

October 29, 2015

Philly.com

One story in Philadelphia recently captured a lot of attention. Just before midnight on a Friday two weeks ago, a SEPTA police officer found 2-year-old Jeremiyah wandering in LOVE Park, alone. He had no shoes and no coat, despite the fact it was one of the coldest nights of the fall season thus far. The officer contacted the city Department of Human Services; a worker took Jeremiyah to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for evaluation and subsequently placed him in foster care. A few hours later his parents, Michael Jones and Angelique Roland, who had been sleeping in a cardboard box with Jeremiyah and his 4-year-old sister, Malaysia, woke up. The parents panicked when they realized Jeremiyah was missing and contacted authorities. Within a few hours, Malaysia, too, was in the city’s care.
Read more >

Unthinkable crime in Detroit

August 16, 2015

Michigan Chronicle

It’s an unthinkable crime — a mother killing her child. The statistics are deeply distressing. In the United States, when young children are murdered, the parents are usually their executioners. Instances in which parents kill their children are so horrifying and tragic that they defy explanation. And published scientific and medical research, meanwhile, doesn’t offer much epidemiological context to help people understand patterns in such heinous crimes.
Read more >

Placement of children delayed as concepts clash

March 28, 2015

Arizona Daily Star

Lin Leclair-Turner and her husband were Pima County’s 2011 foster parents of the year, but recent heartbreak over a child’s case — and their overall frustration with a backlogged system — has them questioning whether they will continue.
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Set aside ‘Little Orphan Annie.’ How do we really deal with unwanted kids?

February 3, 2015

Philly.com

Americans prefer stories about our most vulnerable youngsters to have a happy ending, like the comic book character “Little Orphan Annie,” so popular that she returned as a musical and was recently remade into the move “Annie.” It allows us to indulge in the fantasy that plucky orphans and foster children benefit less from governmental investment (one that might require increasing taxes and more infrastructure) and more from wealthy larger-than-life private citizen rescuers like “Daddy Warbucks” (the comic strip) or “Will Stacks” (the 2014 movie).
Read more >

Child Death Stats In Florida Don’t Tell The Whole Truth

October 20, 2014

Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

Despite reform efforts aimed at creating more transparency surrounding the death of children the state is monitoring, those deaths are still being undercounted, according to The Miami Herald.
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Despite reforms, child deaths still uncounted in Florida

October 18, 2014

Miami Herald

In Lake County, a disfigured 2-month-old whose mother did not want him is left alone in a motel room for 90 minutes, and is later found smothered. His family had been the subject of 38 prior investigations by the state’s child welfare agency.
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Four Arrested In Connection To Autistic Child’s Death

August 27, 2014

CBS Miami

Shortly after Tamiyah Audain’s 12th birthday, the severely autistic girl who never spoke a word, died. After a lengthy investigation, police said her death appeared to be abuse or even torture. On Wednesday, four women — including Audain’s caregiver, a ChildNet employee and two psychologists — were charged in connection with her death.
Read more >

Penn Conference Renews Energy on Transition-Aged Foster Youth

June 2, 2014

The Chronicle of Social Change

Andrew Bridge, former foster youth, Harvard Law graduate, and the author of the wildly popular novel “Hope’s Boy” has just quieted the crowd of roughly 150 child welfare advocates, researchers and youth services providers convened on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania for a two-day conference exploring issues facing youth aging out of foster care.
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The ‘Huge Red Flag’ That Frequently Gets Ignored

March 3, 2014

Miami Herald

The night before Aaden Batista died, his killer played a baseball game on his Xbox, smoked marijuana and gave the toddler a bath. As Aaden’s mother, Whitney Flower, worked as a medical assistant at a nearby hospital, Jason Padgett Sr. prepared the toddler for bed, putting on his diaper before, ultimately, viciously shaking him and slamming his head on the floor.
Read more >

Penn’s Field Center Hosts Annual Field of Dreams Luncheon

October 1, 2013

Penn News

The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research at the University of Pennsylvania will host its third annual Field of Dreams Luncheon, Friday, Nov. 1, at the College of Physicians, 19 S. 22nd St., Philadelphia.
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Penn’s Field Center Advocates Changing Higher Ed Policy for Former Foster Youth

September 12, 2013

Penn News

At a Field Center conference, Social Policy and Practice’s Debra Schilling Wolfe and Johanna Greeson discussed the needs of college-bound foster youth.
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How Googling Unmasks Child Abuse

July 13, 2013

The New York Times

During the Great Recession, child abuse and neglect appeared to decline. Incidents reported to local authorities dropped. “The doom-and-gloom predictions haven’t come true,” Richard Gelles, a child-welfare expert at the University of Pennsylvania, told The Associated Press in 2011.
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Antwone Fisher Opens Child Welfare Conference

June 25, 2013

SP2 News Break

Child welfare practitioners, policy makers, and administrators flocked to Philadelphia for the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research’s bi-annual conference, “One Child, Many Hands: A Multidisciplinary Conference on Child Welfare.”
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Young adults in the foster care system

June 3, 2013

“Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane,” WHYY Radio (Philadelphia)
Debra Schilling Wolfe of the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research speaks about older youth in the foster care system.

Listen now >

Making Medicaid Work for Children in Child Welfare: Examples from the Field

June 2013

This report explores the strategies used in four leading states – Arizona, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey – to boost the effectiveness of their Medicaid programs and improve care for children and families involved with child welfare. Representatives from each state’s Medicaid, behavioral health, and child welfare agencies were interviewed about their cross-agency partnerships; successes and challenges in collaborating; and lessons for other states.
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Disproportionality Rates for Children of Color in Foster Care. Technical Assistance Bulletin

May 2013

This publication offers extensive state-by-state data on disproportionality in foster care.  It also looks at disproportionality rates for the Model Courts Project in comparison to the state in which each of these courts is located.
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Multidisciplinary Child Protection Teams — The Social Worker’s Role

March/April 2013 Issue

Social Work Today

Dr. Cindy Christian and Debra Schilling Wolfe discuss the role of the social worker in a hospital-based multidisciplinary child protection team.
Read more >

SP2 Views

Join Dean Richard Gelles and Debra Schilling Wolfe, Executive Director as they discuss possible legislation changes in the wake of the Sandusky tragedy.

Join Dean Richard Gelles and Debra Schilling Wolfe, Executive Director as they discuss possible legislation changes in the wake of the Sandusky tragedy.

The Importance of Purpose

Refining Definitions

Practical Solutions

Read more >

Penn’s Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research Works To Change Child Protection Laws

January 2, 2013

Penn News

Change Agents: Richard J. Gelles, Cindy Christian and Debra Schilling Wolfe of Penn’s Field Center are helping legislators strengthen child protection laws in Pennsylvania.
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New year marks start of new laws in state affecting electronics disposal, euthanization, child abuse signs in schools

December 30, 2012

Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Debra Schilling Wolfe quoted on new law requiring child abuse training for school personnel.
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Inquirer Editorial: In Philly and the region, a wealth of good citizens

December 30, 2012

Philadelphia Inquirer

Congratulations to Dr. Cindy Christian, finalist for the Philadelphia Inquirer Citizen of the Year Award!
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Op-ed: Pa. task force recommendations pave way for stronger abuse laws

December 29, 2012

The Harrisburg Patriot-News

Debra Schilling Wolfe of the School of Social Policy & Practice authors an op-ed on the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection.
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PA Task Force on Child Protection, post-Sandusky

December 5, 2012

RadioTimes

Listen to Dr. Cindy Christian, Field Center Faculty Director and Pennsylvania Task Force Member, discuss the task force and its findings.
Listen now >

Pennsylvania Must Undergo a ‘Culture Change,’ Child Protection Task Force Says

November 27, 2012

The Harrisburg Patriot-News

Read Debra Wolfe’s quote about Pennsylvania making changes to child protection.
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‘Sweeping’ Changes to Pa. Child Abuse Laws

November 27, 2012

Associated Press

Dr. Cindy Christian, Field Center Faculty Director and Pennsylvania Task Force Member, quoted on the proposed expansion of the definition of child abuse in Pennsylvania.
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NASW-PA Announces Dean Richard Gelles Public Citizen of the Year

November 25, 2012

Congratulations to Dean Richard Gelles! PA National Association of Social Workers (NASW) 2012 Citizen of the Year
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Many Officials Failed to See Threats to Khalil Wimes

September 17, 2012

Philadelphia, Inquirer

Read more >

State’s Ready by 21 Prepares Foster Youth For Life: Program Helps Kids Who Age Out of Foster Care

August 19, 2012

The Baltimore Sun

Field Center Executive Director, Debra Schilling Wolfe, comments on the importance of mentors as foster children age out of the system.
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DHS Change Will Emphasize Private Oversight

August 7, 2012

Philadelphia Inquirer

Field Center Executive Director, Debra Schilling Wolfe, comments on the changes at DHS.
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Field Center experts respond to the tragedy at Penn State: Will Pennsylvania Finally Learn From Sandusky?

June 26,2012

PennLive.com

Op-Ed by Field Center Executive Director Debra Schilling Wolfe
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Tell Toddlers What’s Private About Their Bodies

June 20, 2012

CNN.com

Op-Ed by Dr. Cindy Christian, Field Center Faculty Director
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Gelles: Children’s Safety Must Be A Priority

May 2, 2012

The Arizona Republic

Field Center Faculty Director Richard Gelles discusses the position that preserving families should be considered less vital in this op-ed.
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Child Welfare: Protecting Children’s Interests

April 30, 2012

WHYY 91 FM Radio Times

Click Here to listen to Field Center Faculty Director Richard Gelles in his interview on Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane about the tragic death of Kahlil Williams.
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Revisiting Child Abuse Reporting Laws

March/April 2012

Social Work Today

Article by Field Center Executive Director, Debra Schilling Wolfe
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Aging Out of Foster Care

March/April 2012

Social Work Today

Read more >

Dr. Cindy Christian of Penn’s Field Center Named to Task Force on Child Protection

January 12, 2012

Penn News

Cindy Christian, a faculty co-director at the Field Center for Children’s Policy Practice & Research, has been appointed by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett to a new 11-member Task Force on Child Protection.
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Child Abuse: New US Data Shows Continuing Drop

December 12, 2011

Huffington Post

Dean Gelles, Field Center Faculty Director, quoted on the recession’s impact on child welfare
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Data show no spike in recession-related child abuse

December 12, 2011

USA Today

The recession has not resulted in more child abuse, which continues to decline, according to the latest federal figures.
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Can Workplace Rules, Laws Help Protect Kids?

December 11, 2011

NBC10@Issue

Video Part 1 & Video Part 2 (Linked in two parts)
Watch now>

Just whom did the Second Mile serve?

November 28, 2011

Philly.com

The Second Mile, founded by former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, has asserted that it served more than 100,000 children statewide last year, but the number who received sustained or continuing attention is much smaller, according to its reports.
Read more >

Adoption, foster circles reeling after Sandusky portrait

November 27, 2011

Pittsburgh Tribune

Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant football coach at the center of the Penn State child sexual abuse scandal, should have been a familiar figure to child welfare officials around his central Pennsylvania home for decades.
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Will More Laws Help Children?

November 23, 2011

Philly.com

Op-Ed by Dr. Richard Gelles, Field Center Faculty Director
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Another Indecent Assault Incident on Penn State Campus

November 22, 2011

Pittsburg Post-Gazette

Penn State police on Monday confirmed that they have referred another previous report of indecent assault to the state police for further review.
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PA Laws Regarding Child Abuse Should Be Changed in the Wake of Penn State Scandal, Advocates Say

November 21, 2011

The Republic

Child advocates called Monday for changes in state laws they say could have stopped the alleged child sex abuse by a former Penn State assistant football coach and would help protect other youngsters.
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Child Advocates Call for Changes in PA Laws

November 21, 2011

Philly.com

Child advocates called for changes Monday in state laws that they say could have stopped the child sex abuse a former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach is accused of committing and would help protect other youngsters.
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Despite Scandal, US Makes Headway vs Sex Abuse

November 16, 2011

Huffington Post

Field Center Faculty Director, Dr. Richard Gelles, comments on progress in the child welfare system.
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Formerly Fostered Youths Need Extra Care

November 3, 2011

Philadelphia Tribune Online

Philadelphia Tribune reports on Public Hearing on Youth Aging Out of Foster Care hosted by the Field Center.
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Aging Out at 21? Child Welfare Advocates Say Yes

November 2, 2011

Newsworks

WHYY reports on Public Hearing on Youth Aging Out of Foster Care hosted by the Field Center.
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Penn’s Field Center for Children’s Policy Practice & Research Hosts Senate Committee Public Hearing

October 26, 2011

Science Wire

Research Hosts Senate Committee Public Hearing
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Philly’s Department of Human Services Under the Microscope

October 21, 2011

Newsworks

Many eyes are on Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services this week.  Yesterday marked a final chapter in the Daniael Kelly case.   The 14-year-old’s 2006 starvation death sparked major reform at DHS.  Now come reports that the woman who is accused of keeping mentally disabled adults captive in a Tacony basement, previously lost and regained custody of her children after contact with DHS.
Read more >

Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research to Host Senate Committee Public Hearing

October 1, 2011

Penn News

The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research will host a public hearing, “Foster Care: Aging Out – Options and Obstacles,” Wednesday, Nov. 2, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in Claudia Cohen Hall, 249 S. 36th St., on the University of Pennsylvania campus.
Read more >

Field Center Announces Fellow at First Annual “Field of Dreams” Luncheon

September 23, 2011

Penn News

Tara Grigg Garlinghouse has been selected for the first Alan Lerner Fellowship in Child Welfare Policy.
Read more >

Field Center Hosts First Annual “Field of Dreams” Luncheon

September 20, 2011

Penn News

The University of Pennsylvania’s Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research will host its inaugural “Field of Dreams” luncheon, Friday, Sept. 23, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the College of Physicians, 19 S. 22nd St., Philadelphia.  WPVI-TV anchor Monica Malpass will be the event’s master of ceremonies.
Read more >

Academy of Pediatrics Beefs Up Protections

July 21, 2011

Deleware Online

Field Center Faculty Director, Dr. Cindy Christian, co-wrote the new policy statement for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Read more >

Penn President Amy Gutmann to Receive Judge Lois Forer Child Advocacy Award

April 12, 2011

Penn News

Penn President Amy Gutmann received the Judge Lois Forer Child Advocacy Award and School of Social Policy & Practice Dean Richard Gelles received the Distinguished Advocate Award at the Philadelphia Support Center for Child Advocates Annual Awards Ceremony on April 13, 2011.
Read more >

Why did Fla. children slip through cracks?

February 18, 2011

CNN.com

Op-Ed by Dr. Richard Gelles, Field Center Faculty Director.

The tragic case of Jorge Barahona of Florida is yet another reminder of the shortcomings of the nation’s child protective service systems.
Read more >

Shaken-Baby Syndrome Faces New Questions in Court

February 2, 2011

New York Times

At 4 months, Noah Whitmer was an easy baby. Super tranquilo,remembers Trudy Eliana Muñoz Rueda, who took care of Noah at her home day care center in Fairfax County, Va. Rueda and Noah’s mother, Erin Whitmer, both noticed when he stopped taking his bottle well and napping as usual in the middle of his fifth month, in April 2009.
Read more >

J. Rhodes Haverty Lecture

October 21, 2010

Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA

Richard J. Gelles, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania Georgia State University’s 2010 J. Rhodes Haverty Lecture speaker
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The urgency for real-time, mobile, interoperable information systems in child welfare and beyond

July/August 2010

Pennsylvania County News

What resulted [from the Child Welfare Summit] was a commitment to explore the development of a system that could track cases in real time and alert supervisors and administrators of gaps or inadequacies in casework services, while providing caseworkers in the field with critical case information to improve decision-making.
Read more >

Editorial: Another plus for DHS

July 14, 2010

Philadelphia Inquirer

The city has made a solid choice in tapping Cindy W. Christian, a respected pediatrician and advocate for children, for the newly created medical director position.
Read more >

6 pediatricians raised concerns about discredited Erie forensic nurse

July 4, 2010

Erie Times-News

Six doctors who specialize in pediatrics warned of problems with the work of Rhonda Henderson, an Erie forensic nurse, in a March 30 letter they sent to Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri and four other district attorneys in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Read more >

Child abuse expert hired for Philadelphia’s DHS

July 2, 2010

Philadelphia Inquirer

Field Center Faculty Director Cindy Christian hired as the city’s first medical director of the Department of Human Services.
Read more >

Kids, doctors and parents’ fears: Bradley case spurs discussion about third party in exam room

June 14, 2010

The Delaware News Journal

Cindy Christian of the Field Center and the School of Medicine discusses the Dr. Earl B. Bradley molestation case.
Read more >

Danieal Kelly’s injuries called multiple, severe

February 13, 2010

Philadelphia Inquirer

Cindy Christian of the Field Center and the School of Medicine discusses Danieal Kelly’s injuries.
Read more >

Damning medical testimony in Danieal Kelly case

February 13, 2010

Philadelphia Daily News

Cindy Christian of the Field Center and the School of Medicine’s testimony about Danieal’s medical records left little doubt that MultiEthnic had turned a blind eye to her plight.
Read more >

Penn hosts discussion on children’s health care

February 2, 2010

The Daily Pennsylvanian

The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research hosted a discussion of what lies ahead for health reform. The panelists included U.S. Representative Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania’s 13th District and Donald Schwarz, Philadelphia deputy mayor for health and opportunity. State Representative Mike Gerber introduced the two speakers.
Read more >

Kerrigans Faced Dilemma With Adult Son

January 27, 2010

Boston Globe

Dean Richard Gelles is cited for his book “The Violent Home” as he discusses children who abuse parents.
Read more >

Beneficiary and Victim of the System: Sick Child, No Support… but Hope

January 26, 2010

Philadelphia Daily News

Richard Gelles, Dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice and Field Center Faculty Director, says “young adults who come out of the child-welfare system face a ‘significantly higher’ risk of becoming homeless and of ending up on welfare.”
Read more >

Va. day-care provider convicted in ‘shaken baby’ case

January 22, 2010

Washington Post

Cindy Christian of the Field Center and the School of Medicine discusses shaken-baby syndrome.
Read more >

Engaging globally and locally

January 21, 2010

Penn Current

Richard Gelles, dean of Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice, says many of the pressing problems that we face–from housing and unemployment, to poverty and hunger–transcend disciplines. Solving these issues, he says, has to take a multidiscplinary approach.
Read more >

Mother Charged With Murder in Abuse Death of Charlenni

January 13, 2010

Philadelphia Daily News

Cindy Christian of the Field Center and the School of Medicine discusses a Philadelphia child-abuse case.
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Litany of injuries opens child-abuse hearing

January 13, 2010

Philly.com

Cindy Christian of the Field Center and the School of Medicine discusses a Philadelphia child-abuse case.
Read more >

A Government That Works

November 9, 2009

Bigthink.com

In a free-market society, distinguishing between rights and privileges has become a murky and often quarrelsome decision. Here Richard Gelles, the Dean of Penn’s School of Social Policy, pinpoints our key misconception of the role of social programs.
Read more >

The Case for the Public Option

November 8, 2009

Bigthink.com

Richard Gelles, the Dean of UPenn’s School of Social Policy, argues that universal healthcare is basic human entitlement.
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Preventing Child Abuse & Improving Responses to Families in Crisis

November 5, 2009

Video posted by EdLaborDemocrats

Carol Wilson Spigner, DSW, Associate Professor and Clinician Educator at the School of Social Policy and Practice for the University of Pennsylvania, testifies at a hearing about Preventing Child Abuse and Improving Responses to Families in Crisis.
Read more >

Charleeni Ferreira and the Challenges of the Child Welfare System

October 29, 2009

WHYY Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane

Ten year old Charleeni Ferreira died last week in Philadelphia from injuries related to physical abuse. Her family was the subject of several abuse investigations and she was seen by health care providers over the course of several years. We talk about this case and the challenges facing the child welfare system and the people who work in it. Guests include University of Pennsylvania’s Richard Gelles, Margie Gualtieri of the Support Center for Child Advocates and Jackie Block Goldstein from the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance.
Read more >

It’s the duty of us all to stop child abuse

October 27, 2009

Philadelphia Inquirer

“Child abuse can’t be investigated unless someone reports it. Unfortunately, we live in a no-snitch culture,” says Debra Schilling Wolfe of the University of Pennsylvania’s Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice and Research. “And children are afraid to tell. If they do, it’s going to get worse.”
Read more >

Mission Possible

October 8, 2009

Norristown Times Herald

The long-envisioned Mission Kids child advocacy center has found a place to call home. The first-of-its-kind facility in Montgomery County, championed by District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, held its grand opening Wednesday at an office in East Norriton.
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Field of Dreams – and Challenges – for Children

September/October 2009

The Pennsylvania Gazette

Senior editor Samuel Hughes interviews Executive Director Debra Schilling Wolfe about the current challenges and opportunities for the Field Center.
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Arise Academy: The First Charter School Exclusively for Foster Care Children

September 24, 2009

WHYY Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane

There are almost 21 thousand foster children in Pennsylvania, and more than 5 thousand in Philadelphia. But they’re not staying in school: Between 2000 and 2004, more than 75 percent of Philadelphia students in foster care dropped out of school. To those shattering statistics, a novel response is being tried: A new charter school has just opened in Philadelphia devoted solely to foster children. Guest host Dave Davies talks with Jill Welsh Davis, board president and founder of the Arise Academy, and Debra Schilling Wolfe of the Field Center at Penn, a leading expert on children’s welfare, about foster children in Philadelphia.
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Penn’s Field Center’s Partnership to Design New Technology for Use in Montgomery County Child Welfare

September 8, 2009

University of Pennsylvania Almanac

The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice and Research at the University of Pennsylvania announced a partnership with Montgomery County, PA, Stewards of Change, Microsoft Corp. and Motorola to pilot the Information Portability Project.
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Girl’s Death Spurs Official To Rework Social Services. Pr. William Tragedy Becomes Case Study

August 25, 2009

Washington Post

Richard Gelles, dean at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, said real change in an organization with the size and scope of social services requires sustained efforts.
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Couple Shot in Murder-Suicide, Police Say

August 22, 2009

Washington Post

Experts say increased domestic violence could be one byproduct of the tension of the economic crisis.
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Information Portability in Child Welfare

August 1, 2009

Social Work Today

The child welfare system may soon receive a big, and much-needed, shot of IT—with the potential to drastically improve both children’s and caseworkers’ safety.
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National Institute of Justice Panel Explores Familicide Phenomenon

July 27, 2009

Corrections.com

On June 2, 2009, the National Institute of Justice convened a panel of experts to discuss research findings and possible ways to prevent future familicides from occurring.
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UPenn pilot program to design ‘PDAs on steroids’ for Montgomery County child welfare caseworkers

May 28, 2009

Keystone Edge

The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research is spearheading a pilot program to design digital devices for child welfare workers in Montgomery County.
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Family Killers Reveal Patterns

May 28, 2009

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

It’s hard to make sense of stories about a family man accused of killing his wife and two children. But experts in domestic violence say there are behavioral patterns associated with the crimes that can help answer some troubling questions.
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UPenn Unveils New System to Track Children’s Welfare

May 24, 2009

KYW Newsradio

A new program has been unveiled that will help improve child welfare.
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High-tech partners aim to coordinate child welfare

May 22, 2009

Government Health IT

Consulting contract between the Field Center and Montgomery County.
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DHS Caseworkers Get High Tech Upgrade

May 22, 2009

WHYY Radio

The University of Pennsylvania’s Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice and Research announced a new partnership today. The “Information Portability Project” is a collaboration with Montgomery County and business and advocacy groups. It’s designed to protect children and Department of Human Services workers.
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University of Pennsylvania, Montgomery County Partner on Integrated, Interoperable System Design for Child Welfare

May 21, 2009

Reuters PRNewswire

Microsoft, Motorola Join Effort to Link Services, Caseworkers
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Despondent Dads Driven to Kill Loved Ones

May 19, 2009

CNN

In some of this year’s most disturbing cases of family violence, fathers have turned against their own flesh and blood.
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Penn’s Field Center Celebrates Anniversary

May 12, 2009

Penn News

The University of Pennsylvania’s Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research celebrated its fifth anniversary with a reception on April 23 at the Please Touch Museum honoring founding benefactors Joseph and Marie Field.
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13-Year-Old: “She Got Shot in the Head”

May 5, 2009

Media General News Service

Troy Bellar fatally shot himself in his front yard Sunday evening with the same rifle he had used to kill his wife, Wendy, their 4-month-old son, Zachary, and their 8-year-old son, Ryan.
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Domestic Violence Rises During Downturn in the Economy

May 3, 2009

Providence Journal

Some studies show that the amount of domestic violence is increasing, either in frequency or severity, in part, because of the weak economy.
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Dad Says Son Appeared Normal Before Polk Murder-Suicide

May 3, 2009

Tampa Tribune

They can be tied to the nation’s economic woes, said Richard Gelles, dean of the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.
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Are Familicides on the Rise?

April 30, 2009

Babble Australia

Dr. Richard Gelles of the University of Pennsylvania says that today’s economic crisis is driving a spike in this type of crime, during which we can expect to see a dozen or more a year.
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Pediatricians to say ‘abusive head trauma,’ not ‘shaken baby syndrome’

April 28, 2009

USA Today

Dr. Cindy Christian, a co-author of the policy statement and a child abuse researcher at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said evidence shows babies can be injured by severe shaking alone but sometimes they have head injuries caused by other abuse as well.
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Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research: Five Years of Making a Difference

April 28, 2009

University of Pennsylvania Almanac

“The Field Center’s fifth anniversary marks a milestone in our critical work to improve the systems that serve victims of child abuse and neglect,” Debra Schilling Wolfe, the Center’s executive director, said.
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In Families’ Tragic Deaths, a Hint of Paternalism

April 27, 2009

Baltimore Sun

It wasn’t the economy. It wasn’t stress. It wasn’t mental illness. It hit me the minute I heard the news – it was ownership.
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Md. Family, Killed by Father’s Hand, Laid to Rest in Md.

April 25, 2009

Washington Post

Father, beset by financial pressure, killed wife, three children, and himself.
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iPhone program stirs up outrage It simulates brutalizing a baby. Apple apologized.

April 24, 2009

Philadelphia Inquirer

Searching for a silver lining, pediatrician Cindy Christian, co-director of the Center for Child Protection and Health at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, thanked Apple for finding “an unfortunate way to raise awareness” of child abuse.
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Don’t Blame The Economy For Familicide

April 23, 2009

NPR Here & Now

We look at the deeply troubling and rare phenomenon of family murder suicides.
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Child Advocates to Examine Beating Death of Jamarr Cruz

April 14, 2009

WHYY Radio

Professor Richard Gelles is the dean of the school of social policy and practice at the University of Pennsylvania. He says welfare agencies are not doing enough to make sure their therapy programs are working, and some perpetrators are beyond help.
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Body learns to survive when conditions are dire

October 15, 2008

The Seattle Times

Combine starvation, social isolation and depression. In such cases, a child’s sense of trust is annihilated, said Debra Schilling Wolfe, executive director at the University of Pennsylvania’s Field Center, which focuses on child-welfare reform.
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Report on DHS Hits Return Rate

September 11, 2008

Philadelphia Inquirer

A new, wide-ranging report that delivers both discouraging and hopeful news on child welfare in the city found that children discharged from Philadelphia’s foster-care system reenter it at “extremely high rates.”
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Parents, Social Services Implicated in Child Neglect

August 18, 2008

NPR: Tell Me More

Gruesome photographs of the scarred and starved body of Danieal Kelly, a Philadelphia girl who suffered from cerebral palsy, sparked citywide outrage when she died in 2006. Now, her parents face criminal charges related to her death, and so do social service workers who allegedly ignored warning signs. Philadelphia reporter Elizabeth Fiedler says the city is taking a second look at its attentiveness to children at-risk.
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Municipalities Struggle To Adequately Train Social Workers

August 18, 2008

NPR: Tell Me More

In light of the Danieal Kelly case, Tammy Linseisen, a professor at the University of Texas in Austin, and Debra Schilling Wolfe, of the Field Center for Children’s Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, talk about training and supporting social workers, and other staff charged with keeping vulnerable children safe from harm.
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First Steps to Fixing the DHS

August 8, 2008

Philadelphia Inquirer – Op-Ed

To change how the agency serves children, begin with a foundation.
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No More Danieals

August 7, 2008

Philadelphia Daily News

What some experts say about fixing the problem.
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7 More Social Workers Are Suspended in Death of Girl, 14

August 5, 2008

New York Times

Philadelphia city officials on Monday suspended seven more social workers accused of negligence in connection with the starvation death of a 14-year-old disabled girl in a city agency’s care.
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A New Place…for Children to Feel Safe

November 25, 2007

Norristown Times Herald

Montgomery County, PA’s efforts to open a child advocacy center, aided by the Field Center.
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City stays course at Tenn. child center

October 11, 2007

Philadelphia Inquirer

Though a teen’s death there was ruled a homicide, DHS said the rest of its youths couldn’t be removed any faster.
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Cradle to a Quick Grave

April 16, 2007

Philadelphia Daily News

“The leading cause of death in infancy is prematurity, but every child homicide concerns me,” said Dr. Cindy Christian, a consultant on the city’s child fatality review team and chairwoman of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
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Police on lookout for other assault victims of lawyer

January 18, 2007

Philadelphia Inquirer

Richard Gelles, dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice and an expert in child welfare issues, said police should be expected to seek other possible victims in such a case.
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City won’t release DHS data: the city solicitor denied an Inquirer request for internal reviews of child abuse deaths

November 18, 2006

Philadelphia Inquirer

“DHS is the only agency in the city that does their own investigation and then it doesn’t release the results,” said Richard Gelles, dean of the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.
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The pique behind the scenes on DHS

October 22, 2006

Philadelphia Inquirer

Richard Gelles, dean of the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, said he was glad to hear that Street planned to include outsiders. “The devil is in the details,” he said.
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Public reporting of abuse debated

October 18, 2006

Philadelphia Inquirer

“Of course this legislation doesn’t go far enough,” said Richard Gelles, dean of the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. “The only appropriate way to go is the way California has gone and Rhode Island has gone and Connecticut has gone, and that is to create an ombudsman with subpoena power who can review deaths independently.”
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Hearings urged on DHS conduct

October 17, 2006

Philadelphia Inquirer

[City Controller Alan] Butkovitz said he would ask experts, including Richard Gelles, dean of the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, to testify about how to improve the department’s investigative procedures.
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DHS ‘death reviews’ are kept confidential

October 15, 2006

Philadelphia Inquirer

“We do not have a system in the city of Philadelphia for an external fatality review that would be put on the public record, which we should,” said Richard Gelles, dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Work.
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INQUIRER INVESTIGATION: ‘Bury Your Mistakes’ Despite DHS vows of reform, children it checks on are still dying. Its response: Secrecy.

October 15, 2006

Philadelphia Inquirer

“In Philadelphia, you can bury your mistakes,” said Richard Gelles, dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Work.
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Biases, mimicking disorders confound child abuse dx.

July 1, 2006

Clinical Psychiatry News

Child abuse remains one of the most misdiagnosed problems in all of pediatrics, Dr. Cindy Christian said at a meeting of the Eastern Society for Pediatric Research.
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States Underserve Disabled Foster Kids, Study Says

May 4, 2006

NPR All Things Considered

[Gelles] says many state agencies don’t discover disabled children’s problems early enough.
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Academy of Pediatrics beefs up protections

April 16, 2006

Philadelphia Inquirer

Trans-racial Adoption Debate Rages. About 28 percent of children in the public welfare system end up in adoptive homes where at least one parent is of a different race or ethnicity than the child, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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A Plea to Return Boy to Foster Family

April 15, 2006

Philadelphia Inquirer

The court-appointed guardian for a 3-year-old foster child removed last week from a Downingtown-area family has called on Chester County to reverse itself and allow the family to adopt him.
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Corzine Making Right Move on DYFS

April 14, 2006

Philadelphia Inquirer – Reader Response

Correcting the shortcomings in DYFS is a daunting task, yet one that must be met with concrete planning, a sense of urgency, and a focus on results.
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A Law’s Fallout: Women in Prison Fight for Custody

February 27, 2006

Wall Street Journal

It encourages adoption of many foster kids; mothers lose contact.
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Appeal Judges back Meadow

July 23, 2005

The Guardian UK

In the appeal court, Dr. Cindy Christian, associate professor of paediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, gave evidence by video link for the Crown Prosecution Service and backed Prof Meadow’s conclusions over Shane’s death.
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The Tavis Smiley Show Interview with Dr. Carol Spigner

May 24, 2004

WHYY 91 FM Radio

After a year of analysis, conversations with professionals, parents and children, the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care released recommendations to overhaul America’s foster care system. NPR’s Tony Cox speaks with Carol Spigner, a member of the Pew Commission and professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice.
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Child Welfare Must Become Real Priority

January 5, 2004

Athens Banner Herald

Keeping children safe and secure ought to be easy. Sadly, in a world where families are dissolving, where children are taught that many adults can’t be trusted and where the systems designed to protect children in need are in crisis, it is not.
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Dr. Carol Wilson Spigner Given Award for Pioneering Work in Adoption

November 1, 2002

Press Release

Hailed as one of the foremost leaders in adoption today by the Child Welfare League of America, Carol Wilson Spigner has been given the organization’s Pioneer in Adoption award.
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Interview with Dr. Richard Gelles and Dr. Cindy Christian

October 1, 2002

WHYY 91 FM Radio Times

A mother caught on video repeatedly hitting her child, a toddler abandoned in an overheated car, a teenager starved to death, a boy forced by his parents to sell drugs — high profile news stories serve as evidence of our ongoing struggle with child abuse. We’re joined by Cindy Christian of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Richard Gelles, University of Pennsylvania professor of social work to talk about society’s legal and moral responsibility to protect children.
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Equal Access to Education

September 3, 2002

Philadelphia Inquirer

This week, while children across the state are sharpening their pencils and readying their backpacks, some youngsters in Pennsylvania won’t be enrolled in school. A month from now, many of them still will be waiting. They are among the state’s 23,000 foster children, kids placed temporarily in other homes because their parents cannot oversee their care.
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Easing a World of Hurt: A Well-Informed and Thorough Doctor Helps Children Suffering from Abuse

July 8, 2002

Philadelphia Inquirer

Most of us wouldn’t want to work in Dr. Cindy Christian’s world. Oh, we would enthusiastically approve of her goal – protecting children from abuse. But we wouldn’t want to work in her world, where young ones have adult-sized medical histories of bruises, fractures and intimate invasions.
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Child development know-how unmasks child abuse cases

July 1, 2002

Pediatric News

Primary care physicians are in the best position to identify certain cases of child abuse because of their understanding of child development, Dr. Cindy Christian and Dr. Randy Alexander agreed in a joint presentation at the annual meeting of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children.
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Why child agencies lose kids

June 6, 2002

Christian Science Monitor

Rilya Wilson’s story, everyone acknowledges, is appalling. It is the subject of astonishment from the street corners of Cuban barrios to Fort Lauderdale’s wholefoods markets: How could Florida simply lose one of its foster children?
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Colposcope documents child sexual abuse exam: but doesn’t always provide evidence

April 1, 2002

Patient Education Management

While the German court system may be different than that in the United States, the use of the colposcope in examinations of sexually abused children does not change the need for the victim’s testimony in the United States, says Cindy Christian, MD, chair of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a frequent expert witness in child sexual abuse cases.
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Grandparent Custody Rights: Best Interest of the Child or Interference with a Parent’s Prerogative

Spring 2000

The Philadelphia Lawyer

In many states, including Pennsylvania, grandparents have been given a special statutory status to seek partial custody or visitation over the objection of the parent. While it is not the special status of grandparents, but any third party’s ability to override a parent’s choice that is now under constitutional review, it should come as no surprise that grandparents are at the heart of the debate.
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