University of Pennsylvania's Field Center Celebrates Five Years of Making a Difference

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto-Haines | jdisanto@upenn.edu | 215-898-4820April 20, 2009

PHILADELPHIA — The University of Pennsylvania’s Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research celebrates its fifth anniversary with a reception on Thursday, April 23, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Please Touch Museum, 4231 Ave. of the Republic in Philadelphia.

Guest speakers include 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 will honor 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 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.

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Editor’s note: This event is not open to the public. It is by invitation only and members of the press are welcome to attend. If you’re a journalist or producer and you’re interested in attending, please contact Jill DiSanto-Haines at 215-898-4820 or jdisanto@upenn.edu to RSVP.

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