2015 de Lissovoy Lecture to address changing child protective services laws

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The official responsible for processing allegations of child maltreatment in Centre County will discuss changes to child protective services laws at the fourth annual de Lissovoy Lecture at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, in the Bennett Pierce Living Center, 110 Henderson Building, Penn State University Park.

The presentation, free and open to the public, is titled "Serving Children and Youth Under Pennsylvania's Revised Child Protective Services Law: What Has Changed?" A reception with refreshments will follow the presentation.

Julia Anne Sprinkle, director of Centre County Children and Youth Services (CYS), will address the new legal requirements and how they affect CYS’s work and operations. She will also take the audience through the scenario of what happens, step by step, when somebody calls CYS or the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ ChildLine to report suspected abuse.

“I think most people are aware of changes in mandated reporting,” Sprinkle said. “But they might not be aware of changes to some of the definitions of laws and terminology and how they play out day-to-day here at CYS.”

Sprinkle is a 1992 graduate of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State. As director of CYS, she is responsible for the processing of all allegations of child maltreatment in Centre County.

“Centre County is big,” Sprinkle said. “Your community, your schools, your court system and your elected officials play a part in shaping what your agency looks like.”

Chad Shenk, assistant professor of human development and family studies, said he is hoping to learn more about how Sprinkle’s agency, and CYS throughout Pennsylvania, is receiving, designating and investigating child maltreatment allegations in the wake of several recent changes to state laws.

“These laws have broadened the definitions of what constitutes ‘child maltreatment’ and ‘mandated reporters’ with the goal of increasing the recognition and reporting of child maltreatment throughout the state,” Shenk said.

“This lecture is important to the college because it demonstrates the unique contribution it can make in the area of child protection and well-being here in Pennsylvania,” Shenk said. “This will inspire current students to take up this initiative, especially now that the Inter-College Minor on Child Maltreatment and Advocacy Studies, of which the College of Health and Human Development played a critical role in developing, has been approved.”

The Centre County Office of Children and Youth Services furnishes social services to children and youth and their families throughout Centre County. The office works with families where there are problems concerning the safety and wellbeing of their children and/or youth to identify problem areas and to deal effectively in resolving the difficulties. If it is a case of suspected abuse or neglect of children, the office determines if the allegation is true, and takes the necessary steps to protect the child.

The lecture, made possible by the Vladimir de Lissovoy Program Support Endowment for the Protection of Children in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, is presented by an alumnus of the Department about his/her experiences working in the child welfare system and promoting the protection of children from abuse and neglect. In 2009, the de Lissovoy family created this endowment to honor Val de Lissovoy (1918-2009), who served as a faculty member in the department for more than 20 years and worked tirelessly throughout his life to help abused and neglected children and their families.

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Last Updated October 06, 2015