Field Center Blog

Thank you for visiting the Field Center blog! Members of the Field Center network are passionate about our work and we welcome the opportunity to share more of our stories, reflections, and impacts with you. The Field Center hopes to use our blog to introduce you to members of our team, including faculty and staff, students and fellows, board members and donors, without whom our work on behalf of abused and neglected children would not be possible. Every stakeholder has a story to tell about why the Field Center’s work is a priority to them.

Each month, we will post a new blog entry, representing perspectives across multiple disciplines. Our team is excited to share our passion with you, and increase our ability to respond to pressing issues in real time. Happy reading, and please share widely with your networks!

Simple Stories Covering Hard Histories

November 30, 2021

By Nimo Ali, Field Center Lerner Fellow in Child Welfare Policy As I close out my first semester at the Field Center as the 2021-2022 Lerner Fellow, I am struck by the competing narratives of the Thanksgiving holiday and their echoes in the current Child Welfare System discourse. As an immigrant child, I learned the. . .

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Exploring Transracial Adoption and the Invisible Protection of Privilege

October 29, 2021

By Molly McLaurin, Field Center Young Professionals Council Member As an adult who grew up Black in a White family, I speak about adoption, and more specifically, transracial adoption, because I want to add the adoptee’s perspective to the public narrative. I joined the Field Center’s Young Professional Council because I simply want kids like. . .

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Missed Opportunities in Providing Pandemic Relief Funds

September 22, 2021

By Sarah Wasch, MSW, Field Center Program Manager At the end of this month, any pandemic relief funds earmarked for young adults aging out of foster care not distributed by states as part of the 2020 Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act are in danger of being forfeited and returned to the. . .

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Reconnection, Not Remediation, at West Philadelphia Summer Learning Program

August 25, 2021

By Julie Berger, M.Ed., Senior Research Coordinator, Office of School & Community Engagement, Penn GSE Caroline Watts, Ed.D., Director, Office of School & Community Engagement, Penn GSE; Field Center Faculty Director In the early Winter of 2020, as we began to face the likelihood of a full academic year of virtual learning for most Philadelphia. . .

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Finding Meaning in Our Losses

July 12, 2021

By Johanna K.P. Greeson, PhD, MSS, MLSP Managing Faculty Director, The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research David Kessler, one of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s proteges and grief expert, has written a new book Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief (2019). In 2016, Kessler lost his 21-year-old son David to an accidental drug overdose.. . .

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Children and the Influenza Pandemics of 1918-1919 and 2020-2021

June 23, 2021

By Cynthia Connolly, PhD RN, Field Center Faculty Director Professor of Nursing Rosemarie B. Greco Endowed Term Chair in Advocacy Associate Director, Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing In early December of 1918, physician Harriet L. Hartley, Chief of the Philadelphia Health Department’s Bureau of Child Hygiene, took the stage. . .

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Reflections on a Parental-Fault Paradigm in Child Welfare

May 31, 2021

By Chih McDermott, Field Center Lerner Fellow in Child Welfare Policy I applied to the Lerner fellowship because no one deserves the guarantee of their well-being more than young people, and because we need to ensure that well-being to overcome the deep inequities in our country. Similarly, I applied because I knew shockingly little about. . .

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Reflections on a Year of CASA Advocacy

April 28, 2021

By Felicia Saunders, Field Center Administrative Coordinator Joining the Field Center team two years ago filled me with a sense of pride and gave me a renewed sense of purpose in my work at Penn. It was an honor to know I’d be supporting a small but mighty team in such important work on behalf. . .

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My Path To Penn: A Personal and Professional Journey of Growth

March 22, 2021

By Hannah Rawdin, Director of Development at the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research I am honored to write our March blog post; not to speak about the topics my expert colleagues are so deeply committed to, but to share a bit about my journey to the Field Center and joining the ranks. . .

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Addressing The High Rates of Mental Illness among Detained Youth

February 22, 2021

By Sara Jaffee, PhD., Field Center Faculty Director, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Psychology In recent years, highly publicized suicides in detention centers like Riker’s Island in New York have focused a spotlight on mental illness in adult prison populations. A meta-analysis published in the February 2021 issue of the Journal of. . .

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A New Year and A New Conception of Justice for Children and Families

January 29, 2021

By Kara R. Finck, Esq., Field Center Faculty Director, Practice Professor of Law, Director of Interdisciplinary Child Advocacy Clinic Traditionally, a blog post at the start of the new year should be replete with hopes, aspirations and resolutions for the year ahead. I should be making predictions about the Biden administration’s plans for family and. . .

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Exploring Sibling Separation in Foster Care

December 8, 2020

By Sirui Chen, Field Center MSW Graduate Student December is a special month for families to get together and celebrate holidays. However, many children in foster care are not lucky enough to celebrate these special days with their loved siblings. Research estimates that more than 50% of children in foster care are separated from at. . .

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Meet the Young Professionals Council: Q&A on Equity in Child Welfare

November 23, 2020

By Jessica Barmash (Events Chair)I was introduced to the Young Professional Counsel (YPC) a little over three years ago by a colleague. At the time, I supervised a behavioral health emergency program at a foster care agency. Often, I felt like I was not doing enough, but through the YPC I was able to connect. . .

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Disproportionality, Disparity, and Definitions: Race and Child Welfare

October 27, 2020

Barbara Chaiyachati, M.D., Ph.D., Fellow Physician, Child Abuse Pediatrics, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Cindy W. Christian, M.D., Field Center Faculty Director, Anthony A. Latini Chair in Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on US minority populations and the spring’s video evidence of the unjust deaths of Black. . .

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In Their Own Words: The Importance of Family Connection

September 24, 2020

By Sarah Wasch, MSW, Field Center Program Manager September is National Kinship Care Month, and a fitting time to reflect on the importance of family connection. Kinship care is the care of children by grandparents and other relatives when their own parents are unable to care for them, and can refer to numerous caregiving situations,. . .

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