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Press Release – National conference on child maltreatment to advance innovation through data solutions

This year Penn State’s Seventh Annual conference focuses on childhood well-being through its Child Maltreatment Solutions Network and is asking others to be leaders, too. The Penn State Solutions Network’s annual network conference focused on “Strengthening Child Safety and Wellbeing through Integrated Data Solutions,” and featured over 16 nationally and internationally recognized experts in the field of child maltreatment. Held on Sept. 27 and 28 at the University Park campus, the conference hosted researchers, policy makers, child welfare professionals and members of the public. The use of technology and data-driven innovations now and over the next few years provides the leading edge in service delivery and care for children. This helps and empowers the organizations and groups in the public and private sector that work with children and families. Understanding and knowing the power of integrated data solutions brought dozens of experts and a broad range of community leaders from around the country to University Park. The conference featured sessions from leaders in the field of child maltreatment and welfare, including Penn State Professor and Solutions Network Director Jennie Noll; University of Southern California Professor Emily Putnam-Hornstein; University of Washington Professor Melissa Jonson-Reid; and University of Chicago Professor Fred Wulczyn among others. The conference looks forward and is geared toward collaborative conversation and problem-solving, making this a unique opportunity to engage with experts on these critical...

Smoking during Pregnancy

Exposure to Tobacco During Pregnancy Affects Behavior in Newborns (The Nemours Foundation) According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 12% of women who gave birth during 1999 smoked during pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy passes nicotine and other dangerous substances to the fetus and increases the risk of stillbirth, birth defects, low birthweight, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and cancer. Maternal smoking has also been shown to affect the developing nervous system of the fetus. Researchers from Brown Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island, examined the effects of maternal smoking on a newborn’s body functions and behavior. Shortly after delivery in the hospital, the mothers of 56 full-term infants answered questions about their use of cigarettes during pregnancy and provided saliva samples to confirm their smoking or nonsmoking status. The mothers who smoked reported the number of cigarettes they smoked in a typical day of each trimester of pregnancy. Within 48 hours after birth, all of the infants underwent examinations of neurological and behavioral function, including tests for reflexes, central nervous system function, and visual function. In general, the infants who were exposed to tobacco were more excitable, had greater muscle tension, and showed other symptoms similar to infants going through drug withdrawal. Babies who had been exposed to tobacco needed to be picked up and touched more, and also showed more signs of physical stress in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal system, and visual system. The more cigarettes per day a mother smoked, the greater the effects on the newborn’s body functions and behavior. What This Mean to You: Smoking during...

To snoop or not to snoop in a child’s bedroom?

Sunday Patriot-News Front Page Story December 19, 1999 (Harrisburg, PA)– Parents must weigh issues of trust, curiosity, concern before searching, experts say. “Trust has everything to do with your child’s success and safety.” says Dr. Chris Petersen, a psychiatrist and assistant professor of psychiatry at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine at the Hershey Medical Center.  “If you initiate damage of the trust by intruding into their life without reason, then that is a mistake.  If they’ve earned the trust and respect because of a level of responsibility, that should be respected, he says.   WARNING SIGNS Dr. Chris Petersen, a psychiatrist at Hershey Medical Center, cites these symptoms of teen depression: •Social withdrawal: A desire to remain isolated or restricted to a narrow peer group for weeks or months. •Isolation from peer group: Diminishing time and interaction with a previously close group of friends. •Symptoms of depression: ‘Irritability, anger and sadness, as well as boredom in situations they would not normally consider boring. •Deteriorating grades and work habits. •Frequent fighting, becoming abusive. • Maintaining poor personal hygiene. • Abusing alcohol or drugs. •Changing sleep habits and appetite. PARENTING ADVICE •The National, Parenting Center at www.tnpc.com. RECOMMENDED READING From George Schmidt, psychologist with the East Pennsboro Area School District. Both are by Anthony Wolf: •”Get Out of My Life … but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the Mall- Parent’s Guide to the Teenager.” • “It’s Not fair, Jeremy Spencer’s Parents Let Him Stay Up All...

Orphanages are an ‘option’

Posted 12/18/2009 1:09 AMBy Wendy Koch, USA TODAY“Children who live in orphanages fare as well or better than those in family homes, reports a Duke University study that tracked more than 3,000 children in five Asian and African countries. The study is touted as one of the most comprehensive ever done on orphans. Orphaned and abandoned children ages 6-12 were evaluated over a three-year period in 83 institutions and 311 families in Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Kenya and Tanzania. Those in institutions had significantly better health scores, lower prevalence of recent sickness and fewer emotional problems.“ The findings were reported in USA...
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