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University of Pennsylvania, Montgomery County Partner on Integrated, Interoperable System Design for Child Welfare
Date:5/21/2009

promote better decision making, encourage efficiency and offer support to caseworkers. It could save children's lives."

The Field Center will provide oversight and subject-matter expertise and has subcontracted the organizational and technical assessments to Stewards of Change. Other pilot participants include personnel from Montgomery County Human Services and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare.

"With immediate access to the most up-to-date, accurate information, children and families are more likely to receive all of the services they need, when they need them," said Laurie O'Connor, director of the Montgomery County Office of Children and Youth.

Penn's Field Center, a collaboration among the Penn schools of Social Policy & Practice, Law and Medicine and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, spent three years researching the project.

The Hite Foundation, in memory of Sybil E. Hite, provided the funding for the initial research on the project to identify the need for this kind of technological improvement, as well as for hosting a national summit on information technology usage in child welfare. Many ideas emerged from the 2007 Child Welfare Summit on Information Technology, including this pilot program.

Named in honor of Joseph and Marie Field, its founding benefactors, the Field Center is the only university-based center for child welfare in the nation which integrates the fields of social work, law and medicine to promote the well-being of abused and neglected children and those at risk of maltreatment.


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