Strengthening Child Safety and Wellbeing through Integrated Data Solutions

Photo of the linked Conference Poster showing a graphic of an adult reading to a child

Child maltreatment is a significant public health problem resulting in substantial adverse consequences for children and families, and for society at large. Individual costs are reflected in the psychological and physical suffering of victims. Societal costs associated with child maltreatment stemming from in increased health care, criminal justice, educational, and economic burdens are estimated at $500 billion annually for the United States. Yet, federal, state, and local governments face substantial barriers in the identification and assessment of maltreatment and in providing intervention and treatment services. The scope and complexity of child maltreatment, coupled with the limited resources available to the child welfare system, underscore the need for programmatic and policy-level solutions that are demonstrably effective and financially efficient in promoting child safety, permanency, and wellbeing.

Over the past decade, the landscape for using data to inform child welfare system efforts has seen tremendous growth. Technological innovations have allowed for the accumulation and centralization of large datasets critical to identifying risks of child maltreatment and its negative consequences and to better target community and system response to these challenges. How can these data be leveraged to promote more effectives efforts to detect, prevent, and respond to child maltreatment? The purpose of this conference is to showcase emerging and innovative approaches in the acquisition and use of administrative data to inform the societal and governmental response to child maltreatment. This conference will highlight the use of multi-system data (or Integrative Data Systems) to conduct predictive analytics, risk monitoring, or policy and program-focused research and evaluation to inform child welfare system solutions.

Three sessions will cover the use of integrative datasets to predict the occurrence of child maltreatment, predict negative outcomes in maltreated youth, and target effective and efficient delivery of services. The conference will culminate with a panel discussion of collaborative data sharing, analytic approaches to predict maltreatment and outcomes, and how these approaches can inform policy and program delivery.

Thank you to our Sponsors:

The Department of Public Health Sciences

The Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center

The Social Science Research Institute

The Child Study Center

The University Libraries

The Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education

Biobehavioral Health

The College of Nursing

Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness

Institute for CyberScience

College of Information Sciences and Technology

Photo of the linked Conference Poster showing a graphic of an adult reading to a child

Thursday, September 27

07:30 – 08:30 a.m.Registration

08:30 – 08:35 a.m.Call to Order

08:35 – 08:45 a.m.Introductory Remarks
Network Director Jennie Noll, Ph.D., Penn State

Session I:  Leveraging administrative data to understand the scope and
impact of maltreatment
Integrative speaker: Emily Putnam-Hornstein, Ph.D., Univ. of
Southern California
Moderator: Sarah Font, Ph.D., Penn State

08:45 – 09:15 a.m.Lawrence Berger, MSW, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

09:15 – 09:45 a.m.Chris Wildeman, Ph.D., Cornell University

09:45 – 10:15 a.m.Bridget Freisthler, Ohio State University

10:15 – 10:45 a.m.Joseph Ryan, Univeristy of Michigan

10:45 – 11:30 a.m.Emily Putnam-Hornstein, Ph.D., Univ. of Southern California

11:30 a.m. – NoonOpen Discussion

Noon – 01:00 p.m.Lunch

Session II: Developing integrated data solutions to identify effective interventions for child welfare
Integrative speaker: Melissa Jonson-Reid, Ph.D., Univ. of Washington-St Louis
Moderator: Yolanda Jackson Ph.D., Penn State

01:00 – 01:30 p.m.Cynthia Osborne, Ph.D., UT-Austin

01:30 – 02:00 p.m.Patrick Fowler, Ph.D., Univ. of Washington-St. Louis

02:00 – 02:30 p.m.TBD

02:30 – 03:00 p.m.Christian Connell, Ph.D., Penn State

03:00 – 03:45 p.m.Melissa Jonson-Reid, Ph.D., Univ. of Washington-St Louis

03:45 – 04:15 p.m.Open Discussion


Friday, September 28

08:30 – 08:35 a.m.Call to Order

08:35 – 08:45 a.m.Introductory Remarks
Max Crowley, Ph.D., Penn State

Session III:Informing public policy and system reform with integrated data
Integrative speaker: Fred Wulczyn, Ph.D., Chapin Hall, University of Chicago
Moderator: Max Crowley, Ph.D., Penn State

08:45 – 09:15 a.m.Rhema Vaithianathan, Ph.D., Auckland University of Technology

09:15 – 09:45 a.m.Christine Fortunato, Ph.D. and Jenessa Malin, OPRE, DHHS

09:45 – 10:15 a.m.Sarah Font, Ph.D., Penn State

10:15 – 10:45 a.m.Ramesh Raghavan, Ph.D., Rutgers

10:45 – 11:30 a.m.Fred Wulczyn, Ph.D., Chapin Hall, University of Chicago

11:30 a.m. – NoonOpen Discussion

Noon – 01:00 p.m.Lunch

Session IV:Priorities and Action Steps for National Coordination
Moderator: Jennie Noll, Ph.D., Penn State
Moderator: Yolanda Jackson, Ph.D., Penn State

01:00 – 03:00 p.m.Integrative Speakers, will convene in front of the conference audience to field questions,
facilitate conversation, and discuss national network development.

03:00 – 03:30 p.m.Closing Remarks (Jennie Noll, Ph.D.)

Bios will be available soon.

Photo of the linked Conference Poster showing a graphic of an adult reading to a child

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 Wednesday, September 26 through Thursday, September 27, 2018 at the rate of $139/night for a standard room.

Please use the group code: CHIL18A. (The code expires Friday, August 24, 2018.) 

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.

Photo of the linked Conference Poster showing a graphic of an adult reading to a child

General Registration

Early bird $175 (til August 23)

Regular $225 (beginning August 24)


Penn State Faculty/Staff $75


Penn State Student or Non-PSU student $50


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 14, 2018. 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 Friday, 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.

Photo of the linked Conference Poster showing a graphic of an adult reading to a child

By Air

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.

Photo of the linked Conference Poster showing a graphic of an adult reading to a child

Conference Information

Cheri McConnell, Child Maltreatment Solutions Network
Phone: 814-865-2193


Register Here


Photo of the linked Conference Poster showing a graphic of an adult reading to a child


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.


Speaker slides will be available after conference.