Message from the Deans
During the past three years, we have implemented several exciting initiatives that have energized our students, faculty, staff, and alumnae/i and enhanced our profile in the region and beyond. Perhaps the most notable is our Center for Child and Family Wellbeing, which focuses on issues facing children and their families across the life cycle. The Center, under the leadership of Janet Shapiro, integrates our faculty’s interdisciplinary teaching interests and research agendas, provides a framework for curriculum development, and enables outreach to the community of professionals who work with children and families. The Center includes a curricular specialization, a lecture series, and an annual national conference that explore the intersection of policy, practice, research, and the law as they effect families. A continuing education certificate program, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, complements the Center’s offerings.
The following companion articles describe our commitment to prepare social workers to address critical issues facing children and families and illustrate the Center’s crucial role in providing wide-ranging opportunities to examine these issues. Collectively, these stories reflect the vitality of the School and celebrate the Center’s mission to promote interdisciplinary understanding of today’s families, to focus on issues of diversity, and to address the gap between existing knowledge and services and the evolving and emerging needs of families.
—Marcia Martin and Raymond Albert
Applicants choose Child and Family Wellbeing specialization
Since 2003, applicants to the M.S.S. program have been able to apply to the Child and Family Wellbeing (CFWB) specialization. Some of the 15 who entered in 2005, like Kerreen Brooker and Lisa Turner, were working in the area of family and children’s services before enrolling in the M.S.S. program. Brooker works in a residential facility for children and Turner serves in a comprehensive family-based program for children diagnosed with autism. They will use the program to shape their clinical education as well as to understand the systems affecting families and children.
Others, such as Andrea Mraz Esposito, bring educational experiences in other disciplines to bear on the policy and practice issues addressed in the program. After earning a certificate in early childhood education, Esposito was a supervisor in a daycare center. Raquel Riad, a recent graduate with a psychology degree, has worked as a mental health technician with adolescents and participates in the Center’s new rural gerontology initiative through her field placement with the Penn Foundation.
The interdisciplinary curricular offering of the CFWB specialization has increasing appeal as part of the recruitment process. This year, 37 percent of our accepted applicants indicated that the CFWB specialization was a significant factor in their decision to apply to Bryn Mawr. The integrative seminars, the specially-selected field placements, the related Scott Lecture Series and the opportunity to exchange ideas with faculty, professional, and student colleagues combine to make this program an attractive part of the educational options offered by the School.
Memorial gifts bolster Center for Child and Family Wellbeing
In honoring the memory of family members, social work graduates have significantly advanced the work of the Center for Child and Family Wellbeing. Two recent alumnae/i gifts, honoring the memory of family members, demonstrate how donors’ wishes and the School’s needs intersect to enable the Center to expand its outreach and educational programs.
The G. Mildred and A. Foster Scott Charitable Foundation supports the Center’s annual lecture series, which is free and open to the public and provides a forum to address current issues facing children and families. The diverse topics have included the transition from incarceration back into the community, prenatal testing and reproductive decision making, sexuality education in social work, and gerontological social work in rural areas. The fund was established by the parents of Alexander Scott, M.S.S. ’69, as part of their estate planning, and is administered by Scott and his, wife Anne.
Since its conception, the faculty envisioned the Center would grapple with family issues “across the life span,” not focus only on issues of families with young children. A generous gift from Elizabeth Schoenfeld, M.S.S. ’66, has allowed the Center to launch a three-year pilot initiative in gerontology with a special focus on rural populations.
The project aims to bring more students into gerontology with special field placement stipends, develop new curriculum, and provide service delivery and enhanced supervision through field education. A regional conference, Issues and Challenges in Providing Social Services to the Rural Elderly, has been scheduled for February 24, 2006.
Schoenfeld’s gift was made in memory of her late husband, Benjamin N. Schoenfeld, professor emeritus of political science at Temple University.
Recent graduates serve children and families
Many alumnae/i serve in roles that address the broad spectrum of family needs. Graduates of the class of 2005 Child and Family Wellbeing specialization Allison Taite-Tarver and Amy Salmon serve as social workers at Garfield Park Academy in Willingboro, New Jersey. Alyson Levin Schroeder and Hadassah Bar Yakov are on the staff of the Joseph J. Peters Institute of Philadelphia as members of the child and family unit. Charles May works with adults and families at the Horsham Clinic, utilizing case conceptualization, a process to which he was introduced in the Child and Family Wellbeing specialization.
Other 2005 graduates of the specialization are engaged in equally interesting roles. Betina Pearl works as the program coordinator for Teen Parenting Services at Congreso de Latinos Unidos. Kate Hodges is a child advocate social worker for the Defender Association of Philadelphia and Lynn Jones-Sandler serves as the job readiness coordinator at LifeTies, Inc, in Trenton, New Jersey.
Experienced alumnae/i enhance skills through continuing education program
Social work professionals enrich their work through ongoing education at Bryn Mawr. Some practitioners choose certificate programs to concentrate their continuing education in a specific practice area and may also select additional free-standing seminars. Among four certificate programs, the Certificate in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy is designed for practitioners who choose to expand their knowledge of current theories and techniques in the treatment of children and adolescents. To learn more about how to apply for this certificate program, as well as the full spectrum of continuing education, refer to our website.