Loyola University Chicago

Civitas ChildLaw Center

School of Law

Broadening the Landscape: Child Protection Through a Public Health Lens

Carol Harding Lecture Series

15th Annual Children's Summer Institute May 20, 2013 1:30 - 5:00

Loyola University Chicago Water Tower Campus,‌
Lewis Towers, 111 E. Pearson, Regent’s Hall

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, child maltreatment is a public health issue:

  • Toxic stress can impair brain development.
  • Poverty, maltreatment, and discrimination in childhood can have a harmful effect on later health, learning, and behavior.
  • Research shows an association between child maltreatment and a broad range of health problems including substance abuse, intimate partner violence, teenage pregnancy, anxiety, depression, suicide, diabetes, and more.

What would it look like if we tackled the issue of child protection in a different way? What might a strong public health prevention system look-like that promoted safe, stable and nurturing relationships for children and prevented child maltreatment?



Setting the Framework and Tackling the Problem through Public Policy, Legislative Advocacy, Program Design, Service Delivery, and Public Awareness

Barbara Shaw, Chair, Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership

A Global Perspective and Closer to Home

David Anderson,
Executive Director, Lydia Homes, and Founder, Safe Families for Children

A Community-based Approach

Diane Scruggs, Executive Director, Healthy Families Chicago

The Legal Arm of Public Health: 
How Medical-Legal Partnerships Promote Child Protection 

Amy Zimmerman,
Director, Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children, Health & Disability Advocates

Where do We Go From Here?

Barbara Shaw

Our Speakers

Dr. David Anderson is a psychologist and founder of Safe Families for Children and Executive Director of Lydia Home Association. Safe Families is a movement that recruits volunteer families to care for children of a parent in crisis. It has spread to 65 US Cities, Canada, and now the UK. He has been identified as a leading social entrepreneur (Ashoka Fellow) and a national social movement leader (Prime Mover Fellow). Dr. Anderson and Safe Families won the Peter Drucker National First Place Award for Innovation (2010).


Diane Scruggs is the Executive Director of Healthy Families Chicago. She has over 35 years experience in the field of child and family services. Diane is a member of several committees of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services concerned with mental health services, the redesign of child protective services and the development of best practices for intact families. She currently serves as co-chair of the Family Centered Services Steering Committee, SCAN (Statewide Advisory Committee on Abuse and Neglect) and Chairperson of the Illinois Death Review Team B in Cook County. Diane is a certified team leader for the Council on Accreditation (COA) for programs serving children and Families


Barbara Shaw has over forty years of experience working at community, state and national levels mobilizing the public, private, and community sectors to address a range of social program and policy issues including poverty, affordable housing, community development, violence prevention, and children’s mental health. Her work has led to the establishment of many new organizations, resources, policies and programs that seek to improve the safety, health, and well-being of children, families and communities.   Most recently, Ms. Shaw co-founded and served as the Director of the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority (IVPA) from 1997 to September, 2012, during which time IVPA distributed over $160 million to local and statewide violence prevention efforts in Illinois. She also worked as senior advisor to CDC on the development of a national youth violence prevention strategy and led a major children's mental health initiative that resulted in passage and implementation of groundbreaking legislation, the Illinois Children's Mental Health Act. Ms. Shaw currently serves as Chair of the Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership and board member of the Interfaith Housing Development Corporation.

The Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership is committed to improving the scope, quality and access of mental health programs, services and supports for Illinois children. The Partnership believes that a comprehensive, coordinated approach to healthy social and emotional development, prevention, early intervention and treatment will help Illinois children and their families live healthier, happier lives with a better chance for a brighter future.


Amy Zimmerman, directs the Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children at Health & Disability Advocates. Amy has spent her legal career focusing on issues that impact children. Her expertise includes children’s health advocacy, program and policy analysis and community-based partnerships.  The Partnership’s services are delivered through the program’s three main components: direct legal services; policy development; and technical assistance and training. Attorneys, working at hospitals and pediatric medical clinics, help families address a range of legal issues including: Public Benefits (SSI, TANF and Food Stamps); Medicaid and private insurance issues; Housing (eviction and conditions cases); the Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC); Domestic Violence; Early Intervention (EI), and Early Childhood, School-Age and Youth Transition Special Education services. Examples from the Partnerhip's legal services guide policy efforts.


To register, please contact Emily Forestieri at eforestieri@luc.edu or by phone at 312.915.6481.



ERIKSON INSTITUTE: A Graduate School in Child Development