Launched in December 2011, the Center for the Protection of Children brings together an interdisciplinary group of Penn State clinicians and researchers who are well respected for their achievements in the field of child abuse. Based at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital on the campus of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine, the Center is a remarkable collaborative effort whose goals are to prevent maltreatment, improve reporting of suspected abuse, provide comprehensive care for children who have experienced abuse, and advance knowledge about how best to protect vulnerable children and support them and their families.
As a community of scholars and clinicians, we understand that addressing the problem of child abuse is multi-faceted. We must treat children’s injuries, provide care and oversight as they recover, and work to ensure that they are protected from further harm. Equally vital are research and education. Effective interventions require an evidence-based understanding of the causes of maltreatment as well as the predictors of good and poor outcomes. So, too, best practices require that everyone who works with children appreciate not only risk factors for child abuse, but also what we can do to be effective advocates for vulnerable children throughout our society.
The Center is supported by a portion of the University’s 2011 Big Ten bowl proceeds and by Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Center leadership is working to engage various public and private philanthropic partners for additional support toward the Center’s mission.