ISRAEL AND U.S. HOLD JOINT CONFERENCE ON THE PREVENTION OF CHILD ABUSE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA-TULSA
Oklahoma has among the highest rates of child abuse in the U.S. Israel is perceived as among the best in the world in its capacity to treat and prevent child abuse.
September 10-11, 2012
Tulsa, OK – September 5, 2012 – World-leading child welfare experts from Israel and the U.S. will come together for a two-day conference on September 10 and 11 to discuss the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. Jointly hosted by the Israel-based Haruv Institute, the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network, the conference will focus on identifying areas of potential collaboration between Israel and the U.S.
The Haruv Institute, which develops and operates learning programs and training for the prevention and treatment of abused and neglected children, is considered one of the leading sources of knowledge in the field in Israel and around the world. Since its establishment in 2007, the Institute has been expanding its activities through international partnerships with renowned institutions, including University of Toronto and the University of California, San Francisco.
“The Haruv Institute aims to provide better solutions for victims and their families in order to reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect to the greatest possible extent,” said Prof. Asher Ben-Arieh, Director of the Haruv Institute. “We hope that the conference will mark the beginning of a process of cooperation.”
According to recent data, Oklahoma ranks among the highest in the U.S. for instances of child abuse and neglect, and a report released by the National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths put Oklahoma in the top five states for the rate of child abuse and neglect deaths. The two-day conference will include a seminar with experts from Israel and the U.S. to advance:
- Training and enrichment for clinicians in the field of child abuse at the local and national level;
- Relevance and implementation of training programs and improved professional training approaches;
- Contribution of research to the development of knowledge in the field; and
- Appropriate strategies for integrating research into innovative programs for the prevention and treatment of child abuse.
Conference participants will include a number of well-known researchers in the U.S., including: Dr. David Olds, Director of Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health at the University of Colorado, Denver; Dr. Larry Aber, Distinguished Professor of Applied Psychology and Public Policy at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University; Dr. Richard Gelles, Dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Cindy Christian, Director of Safe Place: The Center for Child Protection and Health at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and Dr. Richard Barth, Dean and Professor of the School of Social Work at the University of Maryland; and more.
The collaboration between the Haruv Institute and the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa began as a result of Israel’s standing, and the Haruv Institute’s reputation, as a world leader in researching and documenting child abuse and neglect, as well as leading training programs for professionals dealing with such cases. Prof. Hillel Schmid, former director of the Haruv Institute who oversaw Israel’s public committee to investigate the incidence of children and youth at risk and in distress (the “Schmid Committee”), initiated the conference.
“OU-Tulsa is honored to partner and work with Haruv Institute and the Schusterman Philanthropic Network for this very important conference,” said Gerry Clancy, M.D., President of OU-Tulsa. “We are hopeful it will lay the ground work to create collaborations that will truly help to reduce the statistics surrounding child abuse and maltreatment in Tulsa and throughout the United States and Israel.”
The first session will be led by Haruv’s Director, Prof. Asher Ben-Arieh, a faculty member at the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has served for more than 20 years as project director and editor of the annual State of the Child in Israel: A Statistical Abstract. He was also vice president of the National Council for the Child, the first organization of its kind in Israel, which works to protect and promote the rights and wellbeing of all children in Israel.
The Haruv Institute was founded by the Schusterman Foundation-Israel in 2007 to develop knowledge and advanced training programs for the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect within families. Its goal is to improve solutions available to the professional community responsible for child welfare.
The Schusterman Foundation-Israel is part of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network, a global network of philanthropic initiatives dedicated to igniting the passion and unleashing the power of young people to create change. CLSPN also includes the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation in the United States and is a co-sponsor of the conference.
Among other areas of interest, CLSPN hopes to foster the safety and security of children by developing new knowledge and methodologies to confront child abuse, especially in Israel and its hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. In Israel, it supports organizations such as Haruv, Beit Lynn, the National Council for the Child and Noga Center, and in Oklahoma, it supports the OU-Child Abuse Pediatrics, as well as the Child Protection Coalition, Family and Children’s Services, Parent Child Center and Youth Services of Tulsa.
“We have a responsibility to protect the right of every child to a safe and secure upbringing,” said Lynn Schusterman, Chair of CLSPN. “In connecting our child advocacy work in Israel and Tulsa, we hope to shine a spotlight on the needs of at-risk children and advance proven interventions that other communities can replicate in stemming the tide of abuse and neglect.”
U.S.: Jake Sharfman, Puder Public Relations; Office: 212.558.9400; Cell: 248.318.1072; Israel: 077.444.7158 (ext.1); Jake@puderpr.com