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Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice and Research: Five Years of Making a Difference
April 28, 2009, Volume 55, No. 31



The University of Pennsylvania’s Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research celebrated its fifth anniversary with a reception last week at the Please Touch Museum.

Speakers included Penn President Amy Gutmann, the Montgomery County District Attorney, Risa Vetri Ferman, and Administrative Judge Kevin Dougherty from Philadelphia Family Court.

The Field Center’s fifth anniversary reception honored Joseph and Marie Field, the Center’s founding benefactors.

“Thanks to the generosity, passion and commitment of Joe and Marie Field, the Field Center has become a leader and innovator in finding ways to protect the most vulnerable children,” said Dr. Richard Gelles, faculty director of the Center and dean of the Penn School of Social Policy & Practice. “Protecting at-risk children should be a top priority for everyone.”

“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. “As we reflect on the Center’s significant accomplishments in our first five years, we look forward to new groundbreaking interdisciplinary initiatives that will result in reducing trauma and saving children’s lives.”

The Field Center’s noteworthy accomplishments include:

• Bringing together technology experts, child-welfare leaders, business entrepreneurs and government officials to develop a national model of portable information technology to provide child-welfare workers with real-time information at their fingertips.

• Helping to establish a child advocacy center in Montgomery County, PA, so that victims of sexual abuse do not have to undergo multiple traumatic interviews with different people.

• Creating the “One Child, Many Hands: A Multidisciplinary Conference on Child Welfare,” the nation’s leading multidisciplinary conference on child welfare.

• Cultivating the next generation of leaders by training and mentoring medical, social work, law and public-health graduate students and fellows.

• Establishing a new county-wide medical clinic for victims of sexual and physical abuse.

The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research is an interdisciplinary collaboration of the University of Pennsylvania’s schools of Social Policy & Practice, Law and Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. It’s the only center of its kind in the nation. Guided by the country’s leading experts, the Field Center imparts critical change in the child welfare system to improve the lives of victims of child abuse and neglect.


Almanac - April 28, 2009, Volume 55, No. 31