Social Work in the Global Environment

Well-Being of Children and Families: Global-Local Responses and Protective Measures

NOVEMBER 1, 2019   -- 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

McFarland Student Union Building Room 218  

8th Annual Social Work in the Global Environment Conference

Well-Being of Children and Families: Global-Local Responses and Protective Measures

8th Annual Social Work in the Global Environment Conference

Well-Being of Children and Families: Global-Local Responses and Protective Measures

8th Annual Social Work in the Global Environment Conference

Well-Being of Children and Families: Global-Local Responses and Protective Measures

8th Annual Social Work in the Global Environment Conference
8th Annual Social Work in the Global Environment Conference
8th Annual Social Work in the Global Environment Conference

Conference Overview 

The Conference on Social Work in the Global Environment aims to contribute to the local-global perspective in social work, utilizing the strategy: thinking globally and acting locally.  This year's conference will highlight the local-global responses and the available protect measures to foster the well-being of children and families.

“The well-being of children and families needs attention today more than ever; locally and globally. We want people to place wellbeing of children and families in every discussion and action. Think of the children and the families when you hear about natural disaster such as hurricane, tsunami, flooding, or earth quake. Think about the children and families when hear about political and social disasters such as wars, armed conflict, ethnic cleansing, refugees, immigrants, asylum seekers, mass shooting, and school shootings. We should think about the family when we think  we consider some cultural context and practices such as domestic violence, child abuse, child marriages, child soldiers, female genital mutilation and more.

Our focus on the well-being of children and families is timely considering the current local –global context that seems to be shifting the societal burden onto the vulnerable members of our society, children, families, and above all, the poor.

Our theme is: thinking globally and acting locally. We want to highlight the local-global connections of the well-being of children and families.

Presentation topics include the implication of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child for the wellbeing of children and families of today, poverty alleviation in Haiti, Pennsylvania’s new safe school standard, education for refugee youth, legislation on female genital mutilation, and child among others”

The goal of the conference is to inform the attendees about ongoing social issues, giving them knowledge that will hopefully translate into action.

Invited Speaker
Susan Mapp
Susan Mapp, Professor, Ph.D., MSSW

Program Director and Chair of the Social Work Department at Elizabethtown College.

Global Threats to Child Welfare and Well-Being

  • Biography

    Susan Mapp, Professor, Ph.D., MSSW, has written three books in the area of human rights: Domestic Minor Sex TraffickingHuman rights and social justice in a global perspective: An introduction to international social work; and Global child welfare and well-being. She is the co-founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Human Rights and Social Work and serves on several other editorial boards. She is the author of numerous book chapters and peer-reviewed articles on a variety of topics, including the impact of war on children, violations of women's human rights, law enforcement awareness of human trafficking, as well as issues relating to the child welfare system. She has presented her work at numerous national and international conferences. She serves on the Council on Social Work Education Board of Directors and was the 2014 CSWE Partners in Advancing International Social Work individual award.

Representative Thomas Murt
Representative Thomas P. Murt, Ed.D., MA

Pennsylvania State Representative from the 152nd Legislative District

From Iraq to Harrisburg: FGM Legislation to Protect & Empower Women in Pennsylvania

Mental Health and Addictions: A Legislative Response - How PA House Bill 1696 Helps "Call to Action to Insure Our Parity for the Future"

  • Biography

    Representative Murt is a dedicated and tireless public servant who has served for many years as a School Director and Township Commissioner prior to being elected to the House in 2006. Currently, Rep. Murt is the Majority Chairman of the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee and chair of the subcommittee on Mental Health for Human Services. 

    As an active committee member, Murt has dedicated himself to fighting for early childhood education, improved health care, and educational opportunities for Pennsylvania’s veterans. Murt served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1990 to 2008. He was called to active duty in 2003 and served in Iraq with the U.S. Army’s elite 4th Infantry Division. While in Iraq, Murt was assigned to many Civil Affairs and humanitarian missions in and around Tikrit. He assisted in opening schools and health clinics, and also assisted in training the Iraqi security forces. For his service in Iraq, Murt received the Army Commendation    Medal and was nominated for the prestigious Humanitarian Service Medal. Murt retired as a Staff Sergeant from the U.S. Army Reserve. Murt always puts public service ahead of politics and works collaboratively with members of both parties. For all his efforts, Murt has been honored with: the Rose R. Rosa Advocacy Award from the ARC of Montgomery, Bucks and Berks counties for his efforts towards the betterment of life for people with developmental disabilities; the Montgomery County Child Care Consortium Early Childhood Education Champion Award; and the 2010 Upper Moreland Man of the Year. In addition, he received the Martin Luther King Award from the Upper Moreland Middle School for addressing school violence and bullying. He also received the Giraffe Award from the Upper Moreland Intermediate School for his humanitarian work in Iraq and in 2016 was named Legislator of the year by NASW-PA. Murt earned a B.S. in  Economics from Penn State University, an M.A. in Education from La Salle University, and an Ed.D. in Educational Administration from Temple University. Murt and his wife, Maria, a Nursing Instructor at Temple University's Department of Nursing, live in Upper Moreland with their three children, Katherine, Daniel, and Patrick.


Jonathan Kremser
Jonathan Kremser, Ph.D. 

Criminal Justice Department at Kutztown University.

Risk and Protection: An Analysis of Pennsylvania's New Safe School Standard

  • Biography

    Dr. Jonathan Kremser joined the Department of Criminal Justice in 2003. He served as a weapons instructor in the U.S. Navy, conducting numerous classes for members of the military and the Department of Defense Police. His responsibilities took him to the Middle East, Guantanamo Bay, and Asia. Dr. Kremser is among the first in the field to examine zero tolerance mandates and how they were operationalized by school administrators in Canada. He specializes in identifying community characteristics that influence crime, victimization of school children, and policies that reduce the opportunities for violence and property crime. His publications include topics of school-related offenses, violent crime, and security. He is frequently invited to present his research at conferences throughout the United States and internationally. In 2018, Dr. Kremser presented research at the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime in Vienna, Austria, that examined the initial impact of the governor of Pennsylvania’s initiative to address the heroin epidemic in the commonwealth. In 2015, he was invited to the Stockholm Criminology Symposium, where he presented his study on situational crime prevention strategies that identify increased levels of reported victimization among students during their school commute.   Dr. Kremser has completed professional training and certification in the area of threat assessment in schools, enhanced school lockdown strategies, Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) for Schools, and bullying prevention. He is certified in Active School Shooter Response and has trained with school resource officers from the Fargo, North Dakota and Allentown, Pennsylvania Police Departments. Dr. Kremser is a member of the American Society of Criminology and the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals. Outside of KU, Dr. Kremser serves the Commonwealth as a member of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) Juvenile Justice Diversion Subcommittee in Harrisburg. His work in the area of juvenile diversion helps provide     criminal justice professionals and school administrators across Pennsylvania with alternative ways to address the needs of young, non-violent offenders while protecting the community.

George Kovarie
George M. Kovarie, MSW

Instructor in the Social Work Department at Kutztown University.

An Overview of the Domestic Public Child Welfare System

  • Biography

    George M. Kovarie, MSW, has been an instructor with the Kutztown University Department of Social Work since 1996, both during and after his 25 years serving as Executive Director of Berks County's Public Child Welfare Agency.  Over his 47 years working in child serving systems at federal, state and local levels, Mr. Kovarie remains focused on advancing workforce improvements in Pennsylvania's Child Protective Service Delivery Systems. His professional background in direct service, supervision and administration of both public and private agencies, as well as his continuing service on state and local boards, serves to enhance student education. Mr. Kovarie is actively involved in research involving child welfare workforce issues of preparation for employment, staff stability and administrative\legislative recommendations for remediation.  He continues to work with the Pennsylvania Children & Youth Administrators Assn., Inc (PCYA) and state legislators to promote vital systemic change in Pennsylvania's child welfare industry.  Mr. Kovarie holds a Master of Social Work from Marywood School of Social Work, Scranton, PA; a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Kutztown State College, Kutztown, PA and a Certificate in Child Abuse Studies Training (CAST) from the National Child Protection and Training Center, Winona University, Winona, MN.


Amy Stein
Amy Stein, MSW, Ph.D. Candidate

Instructor in the Social Work Department at Kutztown University.

Improving Educational Outcomes for Refugee Youth: Findings from a Qualitative Study of Refugee Service Providers

  • Biography

    Amy E. Stein is a Ph.D. Candidate at Bryn Mawr College, has a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from Rutgers University, has a B.A. in psychology from The College of    New Jersey and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Professor Stein taught in the BSW program at West Chester University as adjunct faculty for six years. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Professor Stein counseled and taught children, adolescents and adults in alternative schools, on nature preserves, farms, a wilderness therapy program in northern Maine, hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, an inner-city community health center and school-based health centers in Worcester, MA, including immigrants and refugees, as well as Latino and Native American populations for more than 20 years. She is presently co-authoring academic publications for peer-reviewed journals on immigrant and refugee populations and environmental degradation on Native American reservations. Professor Stein presents qualitative research related to immigrant and refugee populations at annual conferences, such as the American Public Health Association (APHA), Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) and the Social Work Voices first annual retreat.

Additional speakers include: Devon Baris, BA; Kate Coffey, BSW, CJMA; Julia Laudadio; Robert Lott; and Amanda Schmitt.


DISCLAIMER: The various viewpoints presented may not necessarily represent the viewpoints of the university.

Please note some of the videos below may discuss potentially disturbing issues.

An open letter to the world’s children 8 reasons why I’m worried, and hopeful, about the next generation.

Greta Thunberg - demanding a safe future | UNICEF

The Global Compact for Migration I UNICEF

A soldier at 14 | UNICEF

America's forced marriage problem

The Face of Human Trafficking | Megan Rheinschild


Justice for child victims of sexual exploitation: Jessica Munoz