News From the Field (June 2021)
National child welfare policy, practice and research
On May 3, the Young Professionals Council (YPC) hosted their first virtual fundraiser to support the Field Center’s work. Creatively adapting to fundraising during a pandemic, the YPC partnered with Zumba coach and trainer April Smiles to offer a virtual Zumba class, followed by a raffle giveaway for participants. All donations to the Field Center generated through this event were matched dollar for dollar by the Joseph and Marie Field Foundation. The Field Center is immensely grateful for the support of the YPC and we invite you to learn more about two members of the Council here:
We are thrilled to highlight Advisory Board member Dr. Betsy Schur Levy. Dr. Betsy Schur Levy is a licensed clinical psychologist who resides in New York City. Dr. Schur Levy received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980, graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She completed her Master’s of Science and Master’s of Philosophy degrees at Columbia University in 1984 and 1987 and then earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology at Columbia University in 1988. 
Dr. Schur Levy has a full-time private practice in New York City, where she has been a psychotherapist for over 30 years. She lectures and teaches in New York City and Philadelphia, and is an adjunct faculty member in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Schur Levy’s private practice includes work with children, adolescents, young adults, adults and couples. Dr. Schur Levy served as the consulting psychologist for the 92nd St. Y Nursery School for 25 years. 
Dr. Schur Levy served on the Board of Overseers of the School of Social Policy & Practice from 2004 until 2020 and is a longstanding member of the Trustees Council of Penn Women where she has served as co-chair of the student life and programming committee. Dr. Schur Levy most recently joined the Advisory Board of the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research.
By Jessi Nguyen, Field Center Undergraduate Intern
As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, I spent my junior year at Beloit College, where I am an international student, participating in virtual learning from halfway around the globe. I expected only mid-night classes and academic discussions through monitors until I had the opportunity to sign up for The Philadelphia Center, an off-campus urban experiential program for students to earn college credit while living, learning, and interning in Philadelphia. Though the program was virtual this year, my internship at the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice and Research had a profound impact on my undergraduate experience. Working for the Field Center, I was offered unique opportunities in studying and learning about the American child welfare system, and I worked alongside accomplished professionals in this field.

Child Protective Services, or a child welfare system, is actually not a familiar concept in my home country, Vietnam. Thus, I started my internship with a free online course titled Creating an Effective Child Welfare System by the late Professor Richard J. Gelles, Field Center Founding Faculty Director.

By Anish Raj, MD & Cindy W. Christian, MD
In recent years, the issue of human trafficking has become recognized as a child welfare and public health priority. The most common manifestation involving children of the United States is domestic minor sex trafficking. Over the past decade, prominent organizations have advocated for plans of action to improve access to and provision of appropriate care to trafficked individuals. With the support and input of community stakeholders, CHOP’s Safe Place: The Center for Child Protection and Health and CHOP Karabots Pediatric Care Center have conceived a novel, interdisciplinary model of healthcare delivery to meet the medical and forensic needs of sex-trafficked youth. The proposed clinic, titled the Adolescent Protection Collaborative, recently secured grant funding through the Oscar & Elsa Mayer Family Foundation for an anticipated launch date in July 2021.

With the APC, we aim to pioneer a youth-friendly, trauma-informed clinical service that provides easily accessible, high-quality care to vulnerable youth and a safe, compassionate point of contact within the health system. For those interested in learning more about serving sex-trafficked youth, please join us for the multidisciplinary CHOP virtual symposium titled Addressing the Biopsychosocial Needs of Sex-Trafficked Youth on September 30, 2021. 

Through the Multidisciplinary Student Training Institute, The Field Center provides research, internship and field placement opportunities for selected students across multiple disciplines. Students receive training, career mentorship, and hands-on work experience within the field of child welfare. Meet our stellar PhD student, who joined the Field Center in August 2020, below:
John Gyourko is a PhD in Social Welfare student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2). His advisor is Managing Faculty Director Johanna Greeson. A Virginia native, John earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Virginia Tech and his Master of Social Work degree at Virginia Commonwealth University. He received the 2020 MSW Student of the Year award from the National Association of Social Workers (Virginia chapter). Prior to joining SP2 and the Field Center, John held multiple clinical and macro practice positions with public and private social service agencies. John’s research interests include fraud victimization and financial behaviors of current and former foster youth, risk and resilience factors impacting transitions from foster care to adulthood, adult functioning and life outcomes of foster care alumni and Independent Living Services for youth in foster care.

Read John’s full bio on our website here.
Program Manager Sarah Wasch presented a workshop titled “Fostering Independence Through Education Tuition Waiver Program” at the Philadelphia Department of Human Services’ 18th Annual Adoption/Permanency Conference hosted by Together as Adoptive Parents.
Managing Faculty Director Johanna Greeson and Program Manager Sarah Wasch presented at the Embark Georgia 2021 Virtual Leadership Conference on The Experiences of Older Youth In & Aged Out of Foster Care During COVID-19.
Program Manager Sarah Wasch presented a session titled Building Campus Support Programs and Networks - Perspectives from Michigan and Pennsylvania, alongside Karie Ward of Fostering Success Michigan, at the Embark Georgia 2021 Virtual Leadership Conference.
Managing Faculty Director Johanna Greeson and Program Manager Sarah Wasch presented a session titled 'They Act as A Family to Me': Why Relational Permanence Matters for Older Youth in Foster Care” at The 2021 Florida Institute for Child Welfare Symposium.
Managing Faculty Director Johanna Greeson was a featured speaker at the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) 2021 OVC Applied Research and Best Practice Symposium: Helping Children with Disabilities Thrive. Her presentation on recommendations for meeting the needs of older youth in and aged out of foster care during COVID-19 is available here.

Faculty Director Kara Finck, Esq. presented at the Columbia Journal of Race and Law Volume 11 Symposium, Strengthened Bonds: Abolishing the Child Welfare System and Re-Envisioning Child Well-Being. The panel, titled Looking Through Client Lenses: Youth of Color, LGBT Parents and Youth, Disabled Parents, included youth advocates from Youth Fostering Change and Marcía Hopkins of Juvenile Law Center discussing their collaborative article titled “Families Matter: Constructing an Anti-Racist system from the Perspective of Youth Advocates and Interdisciplinary Collaboration.” 

Faculty Director Sara Jaffee presented at the Summer Training Institute for Research in Child Abuse and Neglect, sponsored by NICHD and run by researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Washington University in St. Louis.

Field Center experts recently published the following:
Anto, M., Jaffee, S., Tietjen, G., Mendizibal, A., & Szperka, C. (2021). Adverse childhood experiences and frequent headache by adolescent self-reportPediatric Neurology.

Bennett, C. E., & Christian, C. W. (2021). Clinical evaluation and management of children with suspected physical abusePediatric radiology51(6), 853-860.

Brumley, L. D., Nauphal, M., Schwartz, L. A., & Jaffee, S. R. (2021). Psychosocial correlates and consequences of adolescents’ self‐generated academic goals and appraisals. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 31(1), 204-217.

Ganesan, K., Shakoor, S., Wertz, J., Agnew-Blais, J., Bowes, L., Jaffee, S. R., Matthews, T. & Arseneault, L. (2021). Bullying behaviours and other conduct problems: longitudinal investigation of their independent associations with risk factors and later outcomesSocial psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 1-12.

McEvoy, R.C. (Field Center Lerner Fellow) (2021). The parent trap: rebalancing parallel enforcement between child protective services and law enforcement. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 169(3), 867.
Sierra, M. C. A., & Christian, C. W. (2021). Vitamin D, rickets and child abuse: controversies and evidencePediatric radiology51(6), 1014-1022.

Recent external grants received by faculty directors:

Co-Faculty Director Dr. Caroline Watts and colleagues from the Penn Graduate School of Education and the Netter Center received one of President Gutmann’s inaugural Projects for Progress grants to build on Penn’s commitment to social justice and civic engagement in Philadelphia. Watts and colleagues will address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on West Philadelphia elementary students’ school readiness and teachers’ instructional capacity in the upcoming school year. Read more about the Projects for Progress winners.

Co-Faculty Director Dr. Caroline Watts and colleagues from the Penn Graduate School of Education and the Netter Center received a grant from the William Penn Foundation’s Family Recovery Fund to design and implement a six-week intensive summer program for students in grades 1st through 8th at Penn Alexander School in West Philadelphia. The goal is to re-engage the students socially while helping to prepare them for the upcoming school year.
The Field Center in the Media:
Protecting Children, Preserving Dreams
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