Penn Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research: “Can America Stop Hurting Its Children?”

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto | jdisanto@upenn.edu | 215-898-4820April 23, 2012

PHILADELPHIA – At its April 24 Spring 2012 Community Symposium, the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research at the University of Pennsylvania poses the question, “Can America Stop Hurting its Children?”

The Symposium will be from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Levy Conference Center at the Penn Law School, 34th and Chestnut streets.

With John Leventhal, a professor of pediatrics at the Yale University School of Medicine, as its keynote speaker, the Field Center will examine whether America has the ability to stop hurting its children, how the definition of child abuse has helped shaped developments in the last 50 years and the future of child protection.

Leventhal is also the medical director of the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital Child Abuse Program.

He is recognized nationally for his research in the area of child maltreatment, where he has focused on its epidemiology, peri-natal risk factors for abuse and neglect and distinguishing abuse from accidental injuries.

“We are honored to bring someone of Dr. Leventhal’s stature to Philadelphia to address how far we have come, yet how much farther we need to go to protect children from abuse,” says Debra Schilling Wolfe, the Center executive director.   “His most recent research, Using U.S. Data to Estimate the Incidence of Serious Physical Abuse in Children, is the first study to provide national estimates on the occurrence of serious injuries due to physical abuse, has great impact on future child abuse prevention efforts.”

In 1962, five researchers published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association about “The Battered Child Syndrome,” a moment that defined child abuse as a public health problem. 

In the 50 years since then, there has been a shift in the way people think about child abuse, but researchers at the Field Center say there is much more to be done.

This event is free and open to the community through a grant from Penn’s University Research Foundation. Continuing Education Credits are available for social workers for $25, payable by check at the door.

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