Center for the Protection of Children
In December 2011, Penn State announced the creation of the Center for the Protection of Children for the study, research, prevention and treatment 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.
In August 2012, Benjamin H. Levi, a professor of pediatrics and humanities at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine, was named the Center’s director.
To move the Center forward over time, an interdisciplinary Presidential Task Force on Child Maltreatment comprised of faculty from around the University has been formed to inventory Penn State’s current resources and areas of strength that can provide a foundation for innovative research, practice and outreach related to child maltreatment. The task force also recommends new activities and initiatives and identifies new areas of expertise that may shine fresh light on the issue of child abuse.
Some areas of particular focus for Hershey faculty within the Center for Protection of Children include:
- The creation of a foster child primary care clinic;
- A system of data collection;
- The launch of educational programs for professionals, teachers and the general public;
- The creation of multidisciplinary courses for medical students;
- More treatment services;
- Opportunities for research into diagnosis and treatment of child abuse;
- Advocacy and policy recommendations;
- Psychological treatment, with trauma-focused therapy; and
- A medical-legal partnership with the Penn State Law to evaluate the medical and legal needs of abused children.