P50 Center for Healthy Children


The Center for Healthy Children will emerge as THE premier center in the US and across the world where a cadre of transdisciplinary scientists work in conjunction with advocates, practitioners, and policy makers to resource, conduct, and disseminate impactful new science that can change health and developmentaltrajectories for victims, mobilize public investment in child maltreatment prevention and treatment, accelerate science to practice, spark dynamic system-wide solutions, and support and inspire future generations to do the same.


Conduct cutting-edge research

Discern the mechanisms of health disparities for abused and neglected children

  • Health screening, monitoring, referrals, and education for 1200 children in PA
  • Track mental, behavioral, and physical health outcomes across development
  • Spark novel interventions that promote resilience to mitigate deleterious outcomes
  • Demonstrate the costs of maltreatment and the benefit of prevention and treatment

Improve screening for abusive head trauma in pediatric intensive care settings

  • Implementation trial of a validated clinical decision rule in 8 hospitals around the country
  • Save lives of children who would otherwise return to abusive homes


Collaborate with state and local child welfare agencies to address pressing issues

Pennsylvania Time Use Study

  • Estimate time expenditures for various case types using case management data
  • Inform optimal caseloads and address caseworker burnout

Pennsylvania Sexual Assault Forensic Examination and Telehealth (SAFE-T) Center

  • Improve the quality and defensibility of sexual assault forensic exams using telehealth technology
  • Provide access to forensic evaluation of sexual abuse and assault in rural counties

Universal Sexual Abuse Prevention Trial

  • Educate 5% of adults, 100% of second-graders, and 100% of at-risk parents
  • Evaluate the impact of prevention on sexual abuse investigations and substantiations in PA

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Project

  • Determine scope of and risk factors for sexual exploitation across rural and urban counties

General Protective Services (GPS) Outcomes Study

  • Determine the cost-effectiveness of GPS interventions using administrative data (CWIS)
  • Prevent subsequent system contact and promote health and well-being outcomes

Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) Impact Study

  • Use Swan administrative data to aid state quality improvement
  • Inform practices and policies to improve adoption services within PA


Translate science into:

Novel, optimized, and targeted interventions to improve health outcomes for maltreated children

Messages that resonate with legislators thereby

  • Imploring larger public investment in prevention and treatment
  • Increasing resources for child welfare


Inspire and train the next generation of researchers, caseworkers, and advocates

Child Maltreatment and Advocacy Studies (CMAS) minor

  • Core curriculum plus research, policy, and practice internships

Fostering Lions program to support foster care youth in matriculating in higher education


Become a National Resource to:

Grow new science

Develop models for impactful solutions that spark evidence-based practice and policy

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