The University of Pennsylvania will be the site of a three-day conference, ‚ÄúOne Child, Many Hands: A Multidisciplinary Conference on Child Welfare,‚ÄĚ that will explore child welfare in the age of reform. It is set for 8 a.m.‚Äď5 p.m. June 12-14 in the Perelman School of Medicine‚Äôs 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 Children‚Äôs 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 ‚ÄúThe Role, Responsibility and Ethics of the Media in Reporting Child Abuse,‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúJerry Sandusky as an Agent of Social Change: Pennsylvania‚Äôs Efforts at Reform,‚ÄĚ in which former Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly will speak publicly for the first time about prosecuting the case.
‚ÄúPeriodically, 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,‚ÄĚ Richard J. Gelles, dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice and faculty director at the Field Center for Children‚Äôs Policy, Practice & Research, said. ‚ÄúThis year‚Äôs Field Center conference reviews the Sandusky case, from the grand jury probe to the current efforts to enact legislative reforms.‚ÄĚ
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 ‚ÄúWhat Will Child Protective Services be like in 2020?‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThis year‚Äôs 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,‚ÄĚ Gelles said.
Marking its 10th anniversary, the Field Center for Children‚Äôs Policy, Practice & Research has posted additional information, including the entire conference schedule here.