Scientific synergy and innovation from Military Family and Child Welfare Contexts


An often under-recognized aspect of the United State Military is its leadership efforts to enhance child and family well-being. Indeed, the military supports a large portfolio of programs and practices to enhance overall family health and resilience.  For instance, the military’s child development centers have been widely regarded as some of the highest quality centers in the world. In addition, the military has a large system of family advocacy efforts, including family support, new parent education, resiliency and readiness, and sexual assault prevention. Within this framework, the military has been leading efforts to establish evidence-based risk assessments for family violence and establishing clear guidelines for adjudicating the severity of family violence that will match family needs while including the appropriate intervention

While the Military has been an innovator and incubator for change in how to decrease and address family violence, research in the fields of child maltreatment and child welfare have made tremendous, yet somewhat distinct, strides in terms of child abuse detection and prevention, trauma treatments, family advocacy, and the long-term psychosocial and physiologic consequences for victims. Bringing together often-siloed efforts and focusing on similar challenges through discrete lenses, holds promise for the rapid growth of scientific knowledge through integrated dynamic solutions.

Building on research and practice from the areas of child welfare and Military families, this conference will bring together researchers, policy analysts, and practice professionals from these fields in order to identify successful methods, programs, practices, and systems of care that can be generalized to promote family well-being broadly. The overarching purpose of the conference is to identify knowledge gaps, promote commonalities, and identify opportunities for collaboration and synergy that will fortify both sciences.

To foster collaboration and synergy, each session will include an integrative "translation" and "future-directions" component with particular focus on: (1) how this research can be understood in the context of serving and treating stress-exposed individuals; and (2) applicable strategies for prevention, mitigating injurious outcomes, and reversibility. With eclectic audience representation, this conference is a unique opportunity to encourage a dialogue between researchers, trainees and front-line practitioners—an essential process in illuminating the “next steps” in scientific inquiry and the evolution of scientific knowledge into real-world application and practice.



Wednesday, September 27

7:30-8:30 a.m.


8:30 a.m.

Call to Order

8:35-8:55 a.m.

Introductory Remarks

9:00 a.m.-Noon

Session I: Systematic Determination of Child Abuse and Neglect

Noon-1:00 p.m.


1:00-4:00 p.m.

Session II: Intervention: Combined Parent-Child Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Families that Physically Abuse

4:00-4:05 p.m.

Day 1 Wrap-up 


Thursday, September 28

8:30 a.m.

Introductory Remarks

8:35 - 11:30 a.m.

Session III: Prevention: Innovative Program to Reduce Family Stress

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


12:30-3:15 p.m.

Session IV: Solutions and Next Steps

3:15-4:15 p.m.

Panel Discussion

4:15-4:20 p.m.

Closing Remarks



The conference will take place at the historic Nittany Lion Inn on Penn State’s University Park campus. A block of rooms has been reserved from Tuesday, September 26 through Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at the rate of $139/night for a standard room. 

Please use the group code: CHIJ17B. (The code expires Sunday, August 27, 2017) 

Reservations can be made at the Nittany Lion Inn’s website:

If you have problems reserving a room online using the group code, reservations can be made over the phone, toll-free at 800-233-7505


General Registration

$175 Early bird (til August 23)

$225 Regular (beginning August 24)


Penn State Faculty/Staff Registration>

$75 Penn State Faculty/Staff


Student Registration

$50 Student


Conference Fee

The fee covers all instruction, program materials, refreshment breaks, and two lunches. Registrants are responsible for all other meals and lodging.



All registrations and payments must be received by 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, September 13, 2017. After this date, please contact Cheri at or 814-865-2193 for availability; you can register for an additional $30.



You will receive a confirmation of your registration. You will be alerted promptly of any cancellations or changes. If some unforeseen event forces Penn State to cancel or postpone the program, you will receive a full refund of your registration fee; however, the University cannot be held responsible for any related costs, including cancellation fees assessed by airlines or travel agencies.



If your request to withdraw is received by Wednesday, September 14, we can issue a partial refund. Send your written request by email to Cheri McConnell at A $50 administrative fee will be charged for each withdrawal.



Anyone who is registered but cannot attend may identify a substitute. A full refund will be issued after the substitution registration has been completed. A registration form and full payment by the substitute are required. Substitutes are eligible to register at the same fee.



Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing special accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Cheri at 814-865-2193 at least two weeks prior to the conference.


The State College/University Park Airport (airport code: SCE) is located near the conference site. Call 814-865-5511 or visit the State College/University Park Airport website for information on flights. We recommend that you make the State College/University Park Airport your final airport destination. Please inquire with your hotel if they offer courtesy airport transportation. Taxis are often located outside of the airport baggage claim area, curbside. Participants are responsible for arranging ground transportation between the airport, hotels, and conference site. Please view this University Park Airport Taxis and Shuttles page


By Car

The University Park campus is located within driving distance of many major cities, including Harrisburg (1.5 hrs., 90 mi.), Pittsburgh (3 hrs., 137 mi.), Philadelphia (3.5 hrs., 194 mi.), Baltimore (3.5 hrs., 155 mi.), Washington, D.C. (4 hrs., 190 mi.), New York City (5 hrs., 250 mi.), and Toronto (6.5 hrs., 304 mi.). See our Visitors and Neighbors website for detailed visitor information, including maps.


By Bus

The following companies provide bus service between major cities to State College, Pennsylvania: Greyhound and Megabus

Contact Us

Conference Information

Cheri McConnell, Child Maltreatment Solutions Network


Phone: 814-865-2193


Registration Information




The Penn State Psychological Clinic is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Psychological Clinic maintains responsibility for the program and its content. Please contact Dr. Sandy Testa Michelson (, if you would like additional information.

Social Workers

Penn State is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors to provide continuing education courses and programs for these professions under sections 47.36 (a)(3), 48.36 (a)(3), and 49.36 (a)(3) of the Pennsylvania code.

National Board for Certified Counselors

The National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. and Affiliates (NBCC), an independent nonprofit credentialing body for counselors, was incorporated in 1982 to establish and administer a national certification system, to identify graduate-level counselors who have voluntarily met certification standards, and to maintain a registry of those counselors. NBCC is the largest counselor credentialing body in the United States.