In America today, there are nearly 400,000 children in the foster care system. Although they can face many challenges, positive experiences during PreK-12 education may offset abusive or neglectful treatment. Foster youth who continue into college are better prepared for adulthood and more likely to achieve economic independence and improved quality of life.
"Building Resilience and Hope," an annual awareness event presented by Penn State's Child Maltreatment Solutions Network and the Human Development and Family Studies Vladimir de Lissovoy Program Support Endowment for the Protection of Children, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, in the Founder's Room of the Bryce Jordan Center at University Park.
To kick off the event, Jennie Noll, professor of human development and family studies and director of the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network, will introduce Penn State’s new Fostering Lions Program, followed by remarks from Penn State alumnus and Pennsylvania State Representative Tarah Toohil.
Sharon McDaniel, Penn State alumnus and founder, president and CEO of A Second Chance, Inc., is the featured keynote speaker and will discuss her non-profit’s work with foster care and how kinship care can positively impact foster children. Stacy Johnson, director of Child and Family Services Permanency & Community Engagement at A Second Chance, will then lead a student panel of foster youth sharing their journeys from foster care through college.
Other speakers include Lucy Johnston-Walsh, director of the Center on Children and the Law and the director of the Children’s Advocacy Center at Penn State Dickinson Law; and Independent Living Coordinators Stephanie Salvatori and Mary Ann Zimmerman. The day will conclude with a full panel discussion about support for children through the foster care system into and during college for success in adulthood.
For those interested in attending, please register here.
This event is funded through Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute and the Human Development and Family Studies’ Vladimir de Lissovoy Program Support Endowment for the Protection of Children.