Institute on Children & Families

Purpose
    • To provide opportunities for students to train in social work for careers in the field of child welfare in order to meet the demands of this field for competent social workers.
    • To offer research and scholarship opportunities for faculty.
    • To meet the needs of the field for technical assistance.
    • To provide opportunities for continuing education for professionals.
Principal Investigator

John Vafeas, LSW, DSW
610 683-4239
vafeas@kutztown.edu

Collaborators

Dr. Janice Gasker
gasker@kutztown.edu

Mr. George Kovarie, Executive Director
Berks County Children and Youth Services

  • Community Activities and Presentations

    Participants in CWEB (Child Welfare Education for Baccalaureates). A program that covers tuition and offers a stipend to students who intern at a public child welfare agency with the intent to establish a career.

    Kovarie, George M., Department of Social Work, 2017-18. Board Member, Concern, Inc. Professional Services to Children and Youth, Fleetwood, PA.

    Kovarie, George M., Department of Social Work, AY 2016-18. Pennsylvania Attorney General's Medical/Legal Advisory Board on Child Abuse. Appointed member (2002), Harrisburg, PA. 

    Kovarie, George M., Department of Social Work, July 2016-December 2016. Appointed member of committee commissioned by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg/State College, PA, to participate in a study of workload elements of public child welfare caseworkers throughout Pennsylvania to arrive at recommendations for client to caseworker ratios pursuant to revisions to the 3130 regulations that govern county-operated child protective services.

    Lee, A., Department of Social Work, 2018-19, Board Member, Friends Inc., Kutztown, PA.

    Svistova, J.S., Department of Social Work, October 2016-October 2019, Board Member, Friends, Inc., Kutztown, PA.

    Weller, M.R., Department of Social Work, September 2016 - September 2017, Board President, QUEST, Inc., Lebanon, PA.

    Weller, M.R., Department of Social Work, October 2016-October 2017, PA Association of Undergraduate Social Work Education, PA.

    Jablonski, S. & Stoeffler, S.W. (2018, April). Gender-specific interventions and adolescent females. Social Inclusion and Social Justice Conference, Shippensburg, PA. 

    Stoeffler, S.W. (2018, February). In it together: Experiences of biological children in foster families. COBYS Family Services, Foster Parent Continuing Education, Lancaster, PA.

    Toth, C. (2017, November). Coping with the invisible disease. North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference, Indianapolis, IN.

    Toth, C. (2017, November). "I can look so normal": Perceptions among young adults living with CF. North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference, Indianapolis, IN.

    Madrigal, C. (2017, October). Lifetime and contextual sources of trauma that Muslim domestic violence survivors experience. Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, Dallas, TX.

    Wei, F.H. & Pillai, V.K. (2017, October). Improve women's reproductive rights in India. Council on Social Work Education 2017 Annual Program Meeting, Dallas, TX.

    Weller, M. R. (2017, October). Sexual victimization: Effects and treatment. National Association of Case Management Annual Conference, Omaha, NE.

    Toth, C., White, A. (2017, September). An examination of perception and normalcy from varying viewpoints. NASW-PA Statewide Conference, Pocono Mountain, PA.

    Stoeffler, S.W., Department of Social Work.  June 7-9, 2017.  Using Community Empowerment to Address Child Poverty.  The Learning Institute 4th Annual Global Well-Being and Social Change Conference, Lancaster, PA.

    Weller, M.R., Department of Social Work. November 5, 2016. A Critical Analysis of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. CSWE Conference, Atlanta, GA.

    Wei, FangHsun & Foulds Amanda, Department of Social Work, October 6, 2016. Faculty-Student presentation. Review of Adolescent Depression Treatments. National Association of Social Workers - PA State Conference, King of Prussia, PA.

    Wei, FangHsun, Stoeffler, Stephen & Bordo, Nicollette, Department of Social Work, October 7, 2016. Faculty-Student presentation. The influences that affect education in homeless youth.Pennsylvania Association of Undergraduates Social Work Education (PAUSWE), King of Prussia, PA.  

    Toth, C.E., Department of Social Work.  October 27 -29. 2016. "You Wouldn't Know I Have CF": Social Isolation & Connection Among Young Adults with Cystic Fibrosis. North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference. Orlando, FL  

    Toth, C.E., Department of Social Work. October 27 - 29, 2016. Reducing Isolation: Connecting Patients & Families. North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference, Orlando, FL.

    Wei, F. H & Pillai, V. K. 3/22/2016. Air Pollution and Reproductive Health in Developing Countries.Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Weller, M.R. March 17, 2016. Ethical Considerations for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors. State College, PA.

    Pandya, V. &  Weller, M. R. January 27, 2016. Displaced Children of Disasters. NASW-PA Webinar. Camp Hill, PA.

    Asayag, J &  Wei, F. H. October 15, 2015. Review of substance abuse treatment outcomes. State College, PA.

    Chaundy, L. October 15, 2015. Religious Cognitive Beliefs, Emotional Attachment, and Behavioral Commitment and Its Relationship with the Self-Regulation of Adolescents. NASW-PA & PAUSWE Conference. State College, PA.

    Stoeffler, S. October 15, 2015. Using the Advocacy Spectrum to Address the Needs of Families.University of Delaware, Newark, DE.

    Wilson, D.L. ., Department of Social Work, June 12, 2015. The role of women in reconstructing and creating post conflict communities and societies. Global perspectives: Exploitation of Women and Children:  Global Perspectives--Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Lancaster, PA.

    Wei, F. H. & Pillai, V. K. (Jan., 2015). Empower Indian Women's Reproductive Health. The 2015 Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), New Orleans, Louisiana, January 14-18, 2015.

    Heyward, T., &  Lyter, S., Department of Social Work, November 14, 2014. A Woman's Worth. Third Annual Conference on Social Work in the Global Environment. Kutztown, PA.

    Chaundy, L.M., Department of Social Work, November 14, 2014.  Family Conflicts and Its Effects on Educational Outcomes in the Acculturation Experience. Third Annual Conference on Social Work in the Global Environment. Kutztown, PA.

    Bender, W.F., Department of Social Work, November 13, 2014. Teen Pregnancy Collaborative-Albright College. Co-County Wellness Services/Berks AIDS Network, Reading, PA.

    Sharma, Y. & Pillai, V., Department of Social Work, October 24, 2014. Socio-Cultural Correlates of IPV before and after the diagnosis of HIV/AIDs. 2014 CSWE, Tampa, FL. 

    Wei, F. H. & Pillai, V. K., Department of Social Work, October 24, 2014. Use an empowerment model on women's reproductive health. Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) 60th Annual Program Meeting, Tampa FL.

    Pritchett, K. &  Vafeas, J., Department of Social Work, October 16, 2014. Child and Family Friendliness of the Social Environment:  an Exploratory Study in the State of Pennsylvania using Publicly Available County Level Data. NASW PA conference, Valley Forge, PA.

    Corbett, C. &  Sharma, Y., Department of Social Work, October 5, 2014. Mediating factos between bonding systems and violent behavior among female youths. 2014 CSWE, Tampa, FL.

    Kim, Y. M., Constance-Huggins, M. & Song, H., Department of Social Work, 2014. Developing Cultural Competence in the Provision of Acculturation Models. 2014 Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education, Tampa, FL.

    Song, H. & Kim, Y. M., Department of Social Work, 2014.  Do Parent-Child Discussions Mediate the Association Between College Savings and College Attendance? 2014 Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education, Tampa, FL.

    Hanna, E., April 25, 2013, Developing Effective Parenting Skills for Students of All Ages, community workshop for the Fleetwood Area School District, Fleetwood High School Auditorium, Fleetwood, PA.

    Perlman, S. & Willard, J. (January 31, 2013). Homeless Youth in Philadelphia: Preliminary Findings. Invited presentation for the Housing Committee of Connect to Protect. Philadelphia, PA.

    Perlman, S. & Willard, J. (January 31, 2013).

    Homeless Youth in Philadelphia: Preliminary Findings. Invited presentation for the Correlating Behavioral Health Conditions and Homelessness Among Youth. Philadelphia, PA.

    Sheller, S., Hudson, K., & Perlman, S. (January 17, 2013). Family Care Curriculum. Invited presentation for the Children's Work Group. Philadelphia, PA.

    Perlman, S. & Willard, J. (January 17, 2013). Homeless Youth in Philadelphia: Preliminary Findings. Invited presentation for the Children's Work Group. Philadelphia, PA.

    Sharma, Y. & Black, B., Department of Social Work (November, 2012). Women's Diagnosis of HIV/AIDS status and its relationship to Intimate Partner Violence. Annual Program Meeting of Council of Social Work Education (CSWE), Washington, D. C., WA.

    Perlman, S. & Fantuzzo, J. (July 26, 2012). Foster care experiences in early childhood: A population-based inquiry. National Research Conference on Child and Family Programs and Policy. Bridgewater, MA.

    Hudson, K., Sheller, S., & Perlman, S. (July 25, 2012). Family Care: A train-the-trainer model that is creating a revolutionary paradigm shift. National Research Conference on Child and Family Programs and Policy. Bridgewater, MA.

    Hanna, E., April 19, 2012, Mediating Issues of Life and Death, in-service training for custody mediators of Berks County Family Court Administration, Reading, PA.

    Perlman, S., Fantuzzo, J., & Dobbins, E. (April 18, 2012). Unsubstantiated maltreatment and educational well-being: A population-based study. Poster presented at the National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Washington, D.C.

    Perlman, S. (2012, January 19). Educational well-being of young children experiencing homelessness. Paper presented at Beyond Housing Conference, NY, NY.

    Vafeas, J. & Perlman, S., October 27-30, 2011, Macro-level Factors Associated with County Child Maltreatment Rates. Paper presented at the Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education, Atlanta, GA.

    Vafeas, J. & Perlman, S. (October 28, 2011). Child friendliness: A county-level investigation. Paper presented at the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE) conference. Atlanta, GA.

    Hanna, E. P. & Jangdhari, D., October 14, 2011, Understanding and Meeting the Needs of the Military and Their Families: Challenges and Opportunities For Social Work, NASW-PA Annual Conference, Lancaster, PA.

    Perlman, S., August 4, 2011, Supporting positive parenting for families experiencing homelessness. Paper presented at the APA Conference, Washington, D.C.

    Perlman, S., Fantuzzo, J., & Dobbins, E. (July 14, 2011). Timing and influence of child maltreatment on early educational well-being. Poster presentation at the APSAC Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Research and Publications

    Lee, A, (October 2018) Work Engagement Among Child-Care Providers: An Application of the Job Demands-Resources Model. Spring US, online: first DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-018-9473-y

    Hollenbach, M., & Sharma, Y. (2017). Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Critical Analysis, Social Development Issues, 39(3), 50-54

    Haymovitz, E., Jouseal-Allport, P., Lee, S., & Svistova, J. (2017). Exploring the perceived benefits and limitations of a school-based social-emotional learning program: A concept map evaluation. Children and Schools, 40(1), 45-54.

    Toth, C. E., Department of Social Work, November 2, 2017, "I Can Look So Normal": Perceptions Among Young Adults Living With Cystic Fibrosis. Pediatric Pulmonary, November 2017, Volume 52, Issue S47.

    Toth, C.E., Department of Social Work, October 27-29, 2016. You Wouldn't Know I Have CF: Social Isolation & Connection Among Young Adults with Cystic Fibrosis.  Pediatric Pulmonary, Supplement: The 30th Annual North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida. Pediatric Pulmonary Volume 51, Issue S45. 

    Jurkowski, Svistova, Ngyen and Dennison (2016). Public Reporting of Hospital-Specific Breastfeeding Measures: A Qualitative Study of Hospital Staff and Administrators. Journal of Human Lactation

    Noyori-Corbett, C. & Sharma Y (2016). Female Juvenile Violent Behavior: Bonding Systems and Other Mediating Constructs. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal.

    Pillai, V. K., Wang, Y. C., &  Wei, F. H. (2016). Urban-Rural Differences in Healthy Breast Feeding Practices in India: Implications for Child Malnutrition. Applied Clinical Research, Clinical Trails and Regulatory Affairs.

    Pillai, V. K.,  Wei, F. H., & Sharma, B. (2016). Men and Reproductive Decision-making in Zambia. Applied Clinical Research, Clinical Trails and Regulatory Affairs, 3(1).

    Lyman, M.J., Strayer, S.M., Koser, V.Z., Stoeffler, S.W., & Kephart, E. (2016). Integrating research and practice in baccalaureate field education through collaborative student/faculty research. Field Educator.

    Svistova, J.S., Bowen, L. and Bhat, M. (2016). Teaching to the Holistic Self: A Case Study of Critical Social Work Classroom. In Pyles & Adam (Eds.) Holistic engagement: Transformative education for helping professionals in the 21st century, New York: Oxford University Press.

    Pandya, V. &  Weller, M., Department of Social Work, July 2015. Street Children. SAGE Publications, Encyclopedia of World Poverty, second edition.

    Kim, Y.M. (2015). The rise of English-only law: In support of restoring bilingual education. Dongguk Law Review, 6(1), 3-15. 

    Pillai, V., & Sharma, Y. (2013). Child fosterage among Zambian families, Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies: An International Interdisciplinary Journal for Research, Policy and Care, 8 (4), 362-365.  DOI:10.1080/17450128.2013.774454.

    Fantuzzo, J., Perlman, S., Minney, A., Sproul, F., Perry, M. & Lee, F. (2012). Making visible teacher reports of their teaching experiences: The Early Childhood Teacher Experiences Scale. Psychology in the Schools, 49, 194-205.

    Gelles, R. & Perlman, S. (2012. May 10). Cost Analysis of Child Abuse and Neglect. Report prepared for Prevent Child Abuse America.   

    Perlman, S. & Doyle, A. (2012). Trauma in early childhood. In L.L. Levers (ed.). Counseling Survivors of Trauma: Theories, Interventions, Collaborations, and an Integrative Systemic Approach. (Ed.: Lisa Lopez Levers).  

    Doyle, A. & Perlman, S. (2012). Trauma in adolescence. In L.L. Levers (ed.). Counseling Survivors of Trauma: Theories, Interventions, Collaborations, and an Integrative Systemic Approach

    Pandya, V., (2012), Children with Reactive Attachment Disorder: Building Hope for the Future, Connection for Child Welfare Specialty Practice Section of National Association of Social Workers. PA NASW presentation on Family-in-Environment Genogram.

    Perlman, S. & Doyle, A., August 1, 2011, Trauma in early childhood. Chapter accepted for inclusion in: Trauma Counseling: Theories and Interventions. (Ed.: Lisa Lopez Levers). To be published in February 2012. Fantuzzo, J.,

    Perlman, S., Minney, A., Sproul, F., Perry, M. & Lee, F., August 14, 2011, Making Visible Teacher Reports of Their Teaching Experiences: The Early Childhood Teacher Experiences Scale. In press: Psychology in the Schools.

    Factors Affecting Child Abuse and Neglect in Pennsylvania: A County Level Analysis.

    Adkins, L., Vafeas, J & Coffey, D. (2003, March). Child Welfare Education for Baccalaureates (CWEB) Opportunities and Outcomes. A workshop presented at PA Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers Annual Meeting, Valley Forge, PA, March 20-22, 2003.

    Gasker, J. (2002). Incorporating sexual trauma into the functional life narrative. Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen.

    Vafeas, J. and Courtney, R. (2001). County level drug and alcohol consumption and incidence of child abuse and neglect in Pennsylvania.

    Vafeas, J. G. & Kovarie, G. (October 2001). Collaborative Curricula: A six Year University-field Partnership in Child Welfare. A presentation the Pennsylvania Association of Undergraduate Social Work Education Annual Meeting, State College, PA.

    Vafeas, J. G. & Gasker, J. (March 2001). From Welfare to Work: A Systems Analysis. A lecture presentation, Five Days of Justice Events sponsored by the Office of Student Activities and Co-Curricular Development, Kutztown University.

    Vafeas, J. G. & Gasker, J. (March 2001). The Ethics of Affluence. A lecture Presentation, Five Days of Justice Events sponsored by the Office of Student Activities and Co-Curricular Development, Kutztown University.

    Courtney, R. and Vafeas, J. (2000). Population density and child abuse and neglect incidence rates in Pennsylvania Counties.

    Gasker, J. (1999). I never told anyone this before: Managing the initial disclosure of sexual abuse re-collections. Binghamton, NY : Haworth Maltreatment and Trauma Press.

  • Related Courses

    SWK328 Child Welfare and Social Work Practice
    SWK501 Treatment Modalities for Social Work with Families
    SWK502 Social Work Crisis Intervention with Families
    SWK503 Social Work with Family Groups
    SWK504 Short-term Treatment Models in Social Work with Families
    SWK508 Maltreatment in the Family
    EDW503 Children in Poverty: Social and Behavioral Effects

  • Agencies Hosting Interns
    12th & Marion Elementary School - Reading School District
    13th & Union Elementary School - Reading School District
    A Woman's Place
    Abilities in Motion Children's Center
    Amanda Stoudt Elementary School - Reading School District
    American Red Cross
    APM Philadelphia (Asociacion Puertorriquenos En Marcha, Inc.)
    Arc of Lehigh & Northampton Counties
    Berks Coalition to End Homelessness   
    Berks Community Action Program -  Reading  
    Berks County Ad Litem Program
    Berks County Center for Independent Living/Abilities In Motion
    Berks County Children & Youth Services
    Berks Women In Crisis
    Bethany Children's Home
    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern Pennsylvania
    Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster
    Bradbury-Sullivan GLBT Community Center
    Bucks County Children & Youth Services
    Cancer Support Community  
    Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit #21
    Care Net of the Lehigh Valley
    Catholic Charities Allentown Diocese
    Catholic Social Services - Archdiocese of Philadelphia
    Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton, Inc.
    Center For Independent Living of the Lehigh Valley
    Chester County Child Care Information Services
    Children's Home of Reading
    Church World Services Global - Immigration Program
    Communities in Schools of the Lehigh Valley/IBEAM Academy for the Lehigh Valley
    Community Services Group - (Harrisburg)
    Concern4Kids
    Coordinated Health - Case Management 
    Diakon Child, Family, and Community Ministries
    East Coventry Elementary - Owen J. Roberts S.D.
    Family Promise of Carbon County
    Friend Inc. Community Services
    Glen Mills Schools
    Glenside Elementary School - Reading School District
    Habitat For Humanity of the Lehigh Valley  
    Hope Rescue Mission - Reading    
    James Lawson Freedom School
    Jewish Family Services
    Justice Works Youth Care
    KidsPeace
    Kutztown Community Partnership
    Kutztown Strong
    Lancaster School District -TeamCARE Lancaster
    Lauer's Park Elementary School - Reading School District
    Lehigh County Children & Youth Services
    Lehigh County Juvenile Probation
    Luzerne County Children & Youth Services
    Mary's Shelter Cay Galgon Center
    My Honeys Child Care Center
    Northwest Human Services - Nazareth - NHS EAC 
    NORWESCAP Family Success Center
    Oaks Integrated Care - FLEX Program
    Open Door International
    PA Diversity Network
    PA Forensics/SafeGuards Foster Care/Reading Specialists
    PA Mentor Program Bethlehem
    Phila Youth Advocacy Program, Inc.
    Reading High School - Reading School District
    Reading Housing Authority  
    Reading Intermediate H.S. - Reading School District
    Red Cross Lehigh Reading Office
    Rep. Mark Rozzi District 126
    RHD/Crossroads Community Services
    Salvation Army - Pottstown
    Salvation Army - Reading
    Salvation Army Allentown Children's Program
    Schuylkill Intermediate Unit #29
    Shady Hollow Assisted Riding
    Southern Middle School - Reading School District
    St. Joseph's Center-Dunmore
    Supportive Concepts For Families
    The Impact Project
    Threshold
    Travis Manion Foundation
    United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley
    Valley Youth House
    VIA of the Lehigh Valley, Inc.
    West Philadelphia Achievement Charter Elementary School

Additional Information

The focus of this institute is to provide our graduates with opportunities for funding and employment.