Dr. Cassie Statuto Bevan has had an extensive career in child advocacy and has played a critical role in drafting legislation to protect the rights and ensure the safety of children. Dr. Bevan earned a Master of Arts, Master of Education and a doctorate in Child Development from Columbia University. Dr. Bevan completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Bush Program for Child Development in Social Policy at the University of Michigan, where she focused on translating evidence-based research into effective policy. After completing her post-doctoral fellowship, Dr. Bevan worked in Washington, DC on a Congressional Science Fellowship with the Society for Research in Child Development. She was appointed Staff Director on the Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families of the U.S. House of Representatives. Dr. Bevan worked with the National Council for Adoption and became the principal investigator of the Child Protection Project. She examined problems with foster care and child welfare policies through a grant from the Smith Richardson Foundation. In 1995, Dr. Bevan was appointed as professional staff and majority staff director for the Committee on Ways and Means, and in 2001, began working as the senior policy advisor to the Majority Leader. Dr. Bevan has been critical in the drafting and enactment of leading child advocacy legislation, including the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) of 1997 and the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999. She serves as a consultant for the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care’s Kids are Waiting Project in Washington, DC. Dr. Bevan is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland Graduate School of Social Work and the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice. Dr. Bevan was recently appointed to the Federal Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities by the Speaker of the House.
Gillian Blair, PhD, LLM, is a Clinical Psychologist with a law degree and maintains a private practice as a child, adolescent and family therapist. Dr. Blair was formerly Clinical Director of Juvenile Forensic Services in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, in which capacity she supervised the clinical services at the Youth Study Center. Her professional expertise includes forensic evaluations of children and youth. Dr. Blair has an extensive background in providing both comprehensive evaluations and expert testimony in dependency cases. She currently serves as the behavioral health expert on the management team of Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center in Montgomery County, PA and is the Lead Clinician for the Field Center’s Interdisciplinary Evaluation Clinic.
Dorothy Roberts, an acclaimed scholar of race, gender and the law, joined the University of Pennsylvania as its 14th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Sociology and the Law School where she also holds the inaugural Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mosell Alexander chair.
Her pathbreaking work in law and public policy focuses on urgent contemporary issues in health, social justice, and bioethics, especially as they impact the lives of women, children and African-Americans. Her major books include Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century (New Press, 2011); Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Basic Books, 2002), and Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (Pantheon, 1997). She is the author of more than 80 scholarly articles and book chapters, as well as a co-editor of six books on such topics as constitutional law and women and the law.
Sara Jaffee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as the Director of the Undergraduate Honors Program. Sara is a a developmental psychopathologist who conducts research on at-risk families and children. She is interested in how stressful environments exacerbate underlying genetic vulnerabilities to affect children’s development, with a special interest in children’s antisocial behavior. Her work combines longitudinal, epidemiological methods with genetically-informative research designs to better understand how risk and protective factors operate in children’s development.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
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Medical Director, Safe Place
Program Director, Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship Program
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