The University of Pennsylvania will be the site of a three-day conference, â€śOne Child, Many Hands: A Multidisciplinary Conference on Child Welfare,â€ť that will explore child welfare in the age of reform. It is set for 8 a.m.â€“5 p.m. June 12-14 in the Perelman School of Medicineâ€™s new Smilow Center for Translational Research, 3400 Civic Center Blvd., Philadelphia.
Designed for child welfare practitioners, policy makers and administrators, this bi-annual event, hosted by the Field Center for Childrenâ€™s Policy, Practice & Research, will feature nearly 100 presenters, panel members and speakers.
The conference includes panel discussions about various critical and controversial topics in child welfare, including â€śThe Role, Responsibility and Ethics of the Media in Reporting Child Abuse,â€ť and â€śJerry Sandusky as an Agent of Social Change: Pennsylvaniaâ€™s Efforts at Reform,â€ť in which former Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly will speak publicly for the first time about prosecuting the case.
â€śPeriodically, in the course of trying to resolve a serious social problem such as child abuse and neglect, a transformative event occurs that requires us to evaluate what we have done and how to improve our efforts. The Jerry Sandusky/Penn State sexual abuse scandal was one of those potentially transformative events,â€ť Richard J. Gelles, dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice and faculty director at the Field Center for Childrenâ€™s Policy, Practice & Research, said. â€śThis yearâ€™s Field Center conference reviews the Sandusky case, from the grand jury probe to the current efforts to enact legislative reforms.â€ť
Acclaimed author and screenwriter Antwone Fisher, whose autobiographical story was the focus of a film starring Denzel Washington, will open the conference Wednesday morning.
State Rep. Louise Williams Bishop, a legislator, radio personality, minister and survivor, will deliver the luncheon keynote Thursday.
Organizers plan to close the conference on Friday at 1 p.m. by looking forward, as Gelles, widely recognized as one of the most influential thought leaders in child welfare, will peer into the future with â€śWhat Will Child Protective Services be like in 2020?â€ť
â€śThis yearâ€™s conference also allows speakers and attendees to consider what child protective service and child welfare policy might become in the next five to 10 years,â€ť Gelles said.
Marking its 10th anniversary, the Field Center for Childrenâ€™s Policy, Practice & Research has posted additional information, including the entire conference schedule here.