Debra Schilling Wolfe, MEd, is the founding Executive Director of the Field Center. She has held leadership roles in the child welfare arena for the past 30 years and has directed numerous innovative child welfare programs nationally, including the Crisis Nursery at the New York Foundling Hospital and Boston City Hospital’s Sexual Abuse Team. A former Director of Child Welfare Services for Catholic Social Services in Michigan, her extensive clinical background includes child and family therapy and clinical supervision specifically with child abuse and domestic violence cases. Ms. Wolfe served as Clinical Director for Our Town Family Center in Tucson where she developed new treatment models of child welfare prevention and intervention. She partnered with Arizona’s child welfare system to develop the nationally recognized Family Builders model of community response to child abuse and neglect reports, one of the first differential response models. Ms. Wolfe served as President of the Arizona Association of Family Centered Practice and on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Family Based Services, chairing their annual Empowering Families national conference. Ms. Wolfe’s background includes speaking engagements, training, and writing on critical topics in child welfare. She received numerous commendations for her contributions to the field of child welfare, has. Ms. Wolfe is serving her second term on the Montgomery County (PA) Office of Children and Youth Citizens Advisory Committee and was a member of the founding Board of Directors of Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center.
Cindy Santos is the Field Center’s Program Manager, overseeing Project PENN, the Field Center’s Philadelphia Family Court-based outreach program, the Interdisciplinary Evaluation Clinic, coordinates research projects, and supervising students.Ms. Santos serves as the social work representative on the Field Center’s multidisciplinary team and staffs the center’s Young Professional Council.
Cindy has earned BSW and MSW degrees, receiving her MSW from Columbia University after completing her practicum at UNICEF in the Division of Policy and Practice.
Cindy coordinated a US Department of Education mentoring grant at Congreso de Latinos Unidos. She previously has worked at the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance (PCA) where she was Philadelphia’s only bilingual and bicultural forensic interviewer for victims of child abuse, facilitating multidisciplinary teams and providing clinical recommendations and forensic impressions. Ms. Santos was formerly the Training Director for the Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth, and Family Services, managing a comprehensive staff training program for private sector child welfare professionals and representing this non-profit agency membership group in a variety of capacities. She has served on several workgroups, including the Philadelphia Department of Human Services Improving Outcomes for Children Capacity-Building Workgroup.
Sarah Porter coordinates the day-to-day functions of the Field Center and its conferences, trainings, and events. Sarah previously worked at the Perelman School of Medicine, helping to manage alumni relations and an extensive portfolio of events as well as assisting in many constituent and volunteer relations and outreach programs. Prior to her career in higher education, Sarah spent more than 11 years in commercial printing, eventually serving as the production manager for one of Chicago’s largest printing firms.
Richa earned her Bachelor of Science in biology with a minor in sociology from Penn State University and her Masters in Public Health at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. Her research background includes work at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Outcomes Research and Drexel’s Black Heterosexual Men’s Sexual Health Study. Richa’s experience includes policy work with the American Psychological Association and research at Susan G. Komen for the Cure where she utilized mapping technology.
At the Field Center, Richa is conducting research for the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to support the development of new child advocacy centers across Pennsylvania. She is collaborating with Penn’s Cartographic Modeling lab to incorporate GIS mapping technology to this project.
Richa brings a critical public health perspective to the Field Center’s interdisciplinary team. Richa’s work at the Field Center strongly supports her goal of promoting evidence-based health care policy, with a particular interest in maternal-child health.