The curriculum addresses topics like the medical diagnosis of child abuse, child welfare advocacy and system reform, effective treatment for traumatized children, a history of children’s health and social welfare policy, how preserving families can cost children’s lives, the legal framework of child abuse, models in child advocacy, disproportionality, the effect of maltreatment on child development and aging out of the foster care system.
“This intensive training allows students to view child welfare through a number of different lenses, while emphasizing the U.S. approach, which is informed by our own laws, values and culture,” Debra Schilling Wolfe, the executive director of the Field Center, said. “In contrast, in the Republic of Korea, ‘child welfare’ is defined more broadly than here and includes any services that support children, such as child care. In Korea, they pay incentives for people to report child abuse; in the U.S., we criminally charge professionals who don’t.”
“This is an opportunity to teach others about child welfare around the world from multiple perspectives and for us to expand our knowledge to better understand how other cultures address these kinds of critical issues,” Wolfe said.
In addition to learning about the child welfare system, the students are also participating in a cultural exchange of sorts, visiting many of Philadelphia’s historic sites, sampling cheesesteaks at Reading Terminal Market and cruising through the city’s many neighborhoods. They are also exploring major cities along the east coast, spending a weekend in New York City and the July 4 holiday in Washington, D.C.