Letter from the Director

4022-TFC_Staff_DebbyWolfe_158x231Thank you for your interest in The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research at The University of Pennsylvania. It is our mission to improve the lives of children who are victims of abuse and neglect.

The Field Center is the only organization of its kind that brings together our nation’s leading experts in the field of child abuse from multiple disciplines with the resources of Penn’s Schools of Social Policy & Practice, Law, Medicine and Nursing, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Together, we strive to make critical changes to the child welfare system. We do this through policy and practice improvement, bringing the latest research and promising practices to the communities and agencies we serve, providing critical training to professionals across all of the disciplines and fields that touch the lives of victims, supporting legislative reform, and advocating for those children who have no voice.

Child abuse is a national crisis and the systems that are charged with the protection of children all too often fail them. The numbers are astounding:
3 million reports of child abuse are made each year. But what is even more troubling is that, of the 1,500 to 2,000 children killed by their caretakers each year, over half die after they have already come to the attention of child welfare agencies. This is where the Field Center makes a difference.

Our experts have their ears to the ground and we proactively address critical and emerging issues. When the Sandusky tragedy broke, the Field Center was at the forefront of recommending and advocating for changes to laws and practices. Our multidisciplinary team members were among the first to identify how technology could be used in child welfare to help save the lives of children. The Field Center identified how cases were tragically falling through the cracks when child abuse reports involved more than one state, bringing this to the attention of the federal government for the very first time.

We invite you to be a voice for these victims, and to support our critical work. Partner with us to protect children and preserve their dreams. Abused and neglected children are counting on us. We can’t let them down.




Debra Schilling Wolfe
Executive Director