News From the Field (FALL 2023)
National child welfare policy, practice and research
CRITICAL LEARNING AT THE KEMPE SUMMER INSTITUTE - CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE AND EQUITABLE EVALUATION TRAINING
YOUNG PROFESSIONALS COUNCIL HOSTS END-OF-SUMMER ICE CREAM SOCIAL
During the 2023-2024 Academic Year, the Young Professionals Council will offer a webinar of their own. Event information and registration will be posted on our Events Page shortly. To learn more about membership on the Young Professionals Council (Philadelphia-area only), send us an email!

*The Field Center’s Young Professionals Council activities are funded in part by a generous grant from the University of Pennsylvania’s Trustees’ Council of Penn Women.
PHD STUDENT JOHN GYOURKO RECEIVES NASW-PA PRESIDENTIAL SERVICE AWARD
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING NOW: TAKE CARE OF MAYA (Documentary)
By Katherine Paulikonis, MSW Student
On June 19, 2023, Netflix released the documentary Take Care of Maya, describing for viewers that “In this documentary, an anguished couple in Florida battles authorities for custody of their ailing daughter after being accused of child abuse.” Take Care of Maya explores the complex topic of Medical Child Abuse (MCA), or the provision of unnecessary and harmful or potentially harmful medical care of children at the hands of a caretaker.* Rarely do films or media grappling with child protection find their way to mainstream audiences, and this documentary’s quick ascension to Netflix’s Top 10 indicates a broad curiosity and interest in the domain of child welfare. 
 
Take Care of Maya challenges viewers to consider the impacts of an MCA case from the vantage point of the Kowalski family. The documentary details the family’s search for answers in treating Maya’s medical condition and subsequent experience on the receiving end of a child protective services investigation, resulting in Maya’s transition into state custody. This documentary is a tragic and thought-provoking production that sheds light on an under-discussed aspect of the child welfare system in the United States and its impact on families. For viewers who wish to learn more and gain a broader understanding about Medical Child Abuse and the role of Child Abuse Pediatricians, Field Center Faculty Director Dr. Cindy Christian has co-authored the referenced APSAC article on Medical Child Abuse, and recently participated in the CHOP podcast series “Pediatric Emergency Medicine Podcast” with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as a guest on the August 28, 2023 episode, “PEM Podcast: Take Care of Maya.”

*For a more detailed description of MCA, see Medical Child Abuse: A Guide for Child Protection Workers (Johnson et al., 2023). 
MSW STUDENT WELCOME
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 newest students below:
Adele Lehman is an Advanced Year Master of Social Service student at Bryn Mawr’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research with a Macro Practice concentration in Communities, Organizations, Policy, and Advocacy. She joined the Field Center in September 2023. Adele earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology in May 2023 from Bryn Mawr College and is completing a combined degree program, that enabled her to start working towards her Master of Social Service as a senior undergraduate student. Adele looks forward to her learning experience at the Field Center and engaging in policy advocacy to support the wellbeing of children and families.
Maggie Zhu is a second year MSW student with a Macro practice concentration at the University of Pennsylvania. She joined the Field Center in September of 2023. Maggie received her Bachelor’s degree in Arts & Science at the University of Colorado Boulder with a double major in Asian Studies & Linguistics, a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Certificate, and a minor in Korean language and culture. With the interest of experiencing and learning more practical Macro skills in social work, Maggie is excited to be a part of the Field Center and is ready to explore more about child and family research.

Read Adele and Maggie’s full bios on our website here.
FIELD CENTER RECENT PRESENTATIONS, PUBLICATIONS, & GRANTS
Faculty Director Dr. Cindy Christian gave a talk titled “Systematic reviews, clinical practice guidelines and clinical pathways in child abuse pediatrics” at the Linköping University Department of Pediatrics in Linköping, Sweden.
 
Associate Director Sarah Wasch hosted and moderated a recorded webinar titled “After Admission – Getting College Ready” through the Foster Care to College initiative.

Faculty Director Dr. Sara Jaffee received a five-year R01 grant from the NIH (2023-2028) titled “Evaluating the impact of PHLHousing+ on reducing health disparities.”

Faculty Director Dr. Cindy Christian was a guest on the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Pediatric Emergency Medicine Podcast. The August 28, 2023 episode titled “Take Care of Maya” is available on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.
Protecting Children, Preserving Dreams
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