The Economy and Child Abuse: A Causal Link

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Debra Schilling Wolfe
Executive Director, Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research
University of Pennsylvania

• A leader in child welfare for more than 25 years with an extensive clinic background that includes child and family therapy, particularly with cases involving domestic violence and child abuse
• Developed new treatment models for child-welfare intervention.
• Works with the nation’s leading experts in child welfare to impart positive change in the child-welfare system.

“Research shows that there’s a correlation. Parental stress due to sudden unemployment, financial hardship and uncertainty about the future leads to a greater risk of child abuse. Ironically, at a time when children are at a greater risk for abuse and families need more help than ever before, municipalities are forced to cut back essential services. In many areas, programs have been eliminated altogether.”