• "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." –Robert Brault

    2 years ago

Seven child welfare workers fired for false reports

May 3, 2016 Philly.com
By: Julia Terruso

Seven child-welfare workers in Philadelphia were fired in February and March in connection with at least two false reports about home visits, according to state officials.

Rachel Kostelac, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services, said three were workers from Community Umbrella Agencies contracted by the city to handle cases, and four were with subcontracted foster-care agencies.

The report of the firings followed remarks Friday by a state DHS official, who said child-welfare workers in Philadelphia had falsified reports in response to high caseloads.

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Advocacy in a Dynamic Child Welfare System

Advocacy in a Dynamic Child Welfare System
The Legal Intelligencer April 24th, 2016
Written by Tracey Thomasey

Since 2012, the Philadelphia child welfare system has been transitioning to a new model of service delivery using Community Umbrella Agencies (CUA) to work with families through an Improving Outcomes for Children (IOC) initiative. IOC has moved responsibility for foster care and in-home family services to 10 CUAs that are based in local communities so that families and providers can build familiarity with each other.

The initiative was launched with the first two CUAs opening in 2012 in North Philadelphia neighborhoods where child welfare caseloads have been the highest and most challenging. As of fall 2014, all 10 CUAs were fully operational, so that all new cases and most of the existing cases are now being serviced by CUA workers.

As with any significant system reform, the shift to community-based agencies has had challenges, including a high turnover rate among CUA workers, difficulty sharing information between entities, as well as monetary and social service resources that are inadequate to meet the needs of a growing child welfare system. We must ask ourselves: In a dynamic child welfare system, how do advocates assist children, families and the system in reaching their individual and collective potentials?

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Philadelphia’s Child Welfare Reform Suffers Growing Pains

By Pat Loeb
April 5, 2016 PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s child welfare system is suffering from overloaded case workers, who often lack the tools and training they need to protect children, according to advocates and officials inside and outside the system.

Many of the problems, ironically, arise from an effort to improve the system by transferring case management to community-based non-profits, known as Community Umbrella Agencies (CUAs).

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Mayor Kenney Signs First Bill into Law

We are honored to be the beneficiary of Mayor Kenney’s first law! Our contract with the City allows us to provide high quality services to more than 1,000 child clients this year. We will leverage the City’s support to raise another $2 million in charitable dollars and more than $5 million in pro bono services from our amazing volunteer lawyers! Together, we can change the story.


For Immediate Release: February 26, 2016
Contact: Lauren Hitt, 443-370-3205, lauren.hitt@phila.gov

Mayor Kenney Signs First Bill into Law
PHILADELPHIA – Today, Mayor Kenney signed his first bill into law. The Bill, No. 160009, will authorize a contract with the Support Center for Child Advocates to provide legal representation for kids in Department of Human Services (DHS) cases.

“It is important for children who have been abused and neglected to have someone fighting and advocating on their behalf,” said Acting DHS Commissioner Jessica Shapiro. “The Support Center for Child Advocates provides high quality representation to our most vulnerable population.”

Councilman Bill Greenlee introduced the measure on behalf of the Administration. “The Support Center for Child Advocates has a long history of doing great things for the youth of our City. I am pleased their association with the City is continuing,” he said. Council Committee on Children and Youth Chair Helen Gym, who also played a key role in guiding the measure through Council, said, “Child Advocates is a vital resource in helping children who have faced abuse or neglect to return to well-being and obtain justice. We are fortunate to be able to rely on their expertise and professionalism.”

The Support Center for Child Advocates is the nation’s oldest and largest program dedicated exclusively to providing free legal and social services for abused and neglected children. They team volunteer attorneys with staff social workers and lawyers to advocate for children in crisis in Philadelphia.


37th Annual Philadelphia Bar Association 5k Run/Walk

Join us for the 37th Annual Philadelphia Bar Association 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, May 15, 2016 at Memorial Hall in Fairmont Park and race to help abused children find more stable lives.

This event attracts more than 1,300 runners and walkers of all ages each year, and is one of the oldest and most respected events of its kind in the City of Philadelphia! The Run/Walk format provides the opportunity for athletes of all levels to participate in this charity event organized by the Philadelphia Bar Association to spotlight its concern for the children of Philadelphia and to benefit the Support Center for Child Advocates.

Register today by clicking HERE.

Click HERE for 2015 race results.

Pictures from the 36th Annual Philadelphia Bar Association 5K Run/Walk!


2016 Annual Benefit Reception & Auction

On Wednesday, April 13, 2016 Support Center for Child Advocates celebrated 39 years as the nation’s leading pro bono legal and social service advocacy organization at our Annual Benefit Reception & Auction.

This year, we proudly recognize philanthropists and community leaders Penny and Robert Fox with the 2016 Judge Lois G. Forer Child Advocacy Award for their commitment to Philadelphia’s youth and years of engagement with Child Advocates. Through the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program at Penn, Gesu School and other institutions of learning, Penny and Bob have provided access to education for hundreds of eager minds and taught thousands of students the importance of community service and civic engagement. In addition, their focus on betterment of area institutes of health research has ensured that future generations may be healed and thrive.

The evening will also celebrate the extraordinary efforts of our friends who devote countless hours to improving the lives of traumatized children. The 2016 Distinguished Advocates for Children are: Joseph A. Arnold, Gordon & Rees LLP; Marguerite C. Gualtieri, Support Center for Child Advocates; Beth Hanssens; Katherine M. Katchen, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; Angel R. KuchtaAmtrak; Christopher M. Mikson MD, Mayer Brown LLP; Jill PorterSarah Richards Humble, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP; and Mark W. Tanner, Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock Dodig, LLP, who will receive the Eddie Ohlbaum Distinguished Advocate for Children Award.

Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Time: 5:00 – 8:00 pm (4:30 pm, Distinguished Advocates Presentation)
Location: Crystal Tea Room, Wanamaker Building, 100 East Penn Square, Philadelphia, PA 19107

CLICK HERE to view sponsorship opportunities & purchase tickets.

Check out the highlights video from the 2015 event!



Review of “Compassion Fatigue: Caveat Caregiver?”

A great write-up on on a teleconference featuring a panel of experts convened by the ABA Section of Litigation’s Children’s Rights Litigation Committee examining the phenomenon recently termed “compassion fatigue.” Our own Alexandra Dolan, MSS, LSW, was one the speakers! Click HERE to read the article.

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