Advocacy for Well-Being of Children and Families to Highlight Friday’s Eighth Annual Social Work in the Global Environment Conference at Kutztown University

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KUTZTOWN, Pa. – Kutztown University will host the eighth annual Social Work in the Global Environment Conference 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Nov. 1, in 218 McFarland Student Union. The conference aims to contribute to the local-global perspective in social work, utilizing the strategy of thinking globally and acting locally. This year's conference is titled, “Well-being of Children and Families: Global-Local Responses and Protective Measures.”

Event Flyer

The conference is free to attend and open to any KU students, staff, faculty, community members or anyone interested or currently involved in advocacy or the well-being of children and families. Registration is required.

Students majoring in social work, women’s and gender studies, psychology, sociology, criminal justice, anthropology, education, communication studies and professional studies are encouraged to attend. For social workers, marriage and family therapists and professional counselors, up to six continuing education credits may be applied to state certifications.

“The focus on the well-being of children and families is appropriately relevant as current local-global context seems to be shifting the social burden onto vulnerable members of our society, children, families and above all, the poor,” said Dr. Barth Yeboah, professor of social work at Kutztown University.

In the spirit of inclusionary discourse surrounding policies and experiences, many of the conference topics will cover a range of perspectives from local to global. Some of the topics related to research, programs and global-local actions on well-being of children and families and protective measures which will be covered over the course of the conference include: child care under welfare states, maternity leave policies, parental kidnapping, child marriages, child vulnerabilities and misuses of vulnerability, informal and formal substitute care, divorce and child support, family separation, child labor and soldiers, child custody, international adoptions, child safety in schools, child mental health and much more.

Invited speaker, Dr. Susan Mapp, headlines with her presentation, “Global Threats to Child Welfare and Well-being.” The lecture will discuss the purpose and relevance of the conference and outline three specific categories of threat to child welfare and well-being, including human trafficking, child maltreatment and the climate crisis. Mapp will also cover what can be done to counter these threats from a rights-based approach.

Mapp is a professor, program director and chair of KU’s Department of Social Work at Elizabethtown College. She is the author of books, 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. Mapp has presented her work at national and international conferences. She serves on the council of the Social Work Education board of directors and was the 2014 CSWE Partners in Advancing International Social Work individual award.

Featured speakers include:

  • Susan Mapp, professor, program director and chair of the Department of Social Work at Elizabethtown College.
  • Jonathan Kremser, professor of Criminal Justice at Kutztown University.
  • Amy Stein, instructor of Social Work at Kutztown University.
  • Demelash Kassaye, associate professor for Social Work and Social Development at Addis Ababa University.
  • Thomas P. Murt, state representative of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
  • Julia Laudadio, student at Kutztown University.
  • Amanda Schmitt, student at Kutztown University.
  • Professor George Kovarie, instructor at Kutztown University

For more information, please contact Andrea Snyder at or 610-683-4235.