Pitt Cosponsors Family Support Conference

Issue Date: 
May 27, 2008

Parents, policymakers, and human-service providers from throughout the region will convene June 4 to discuss the best ways for families to prepare their children for academic success.

The 15th-annual Family Support Conference, titled “What’s Love Got to Do With It? The Heart of School Readiness and Success,” will take place at the Westin Convention Center Hotel, Downtown. It is designed for social workers, parents, community leaders, and educators and emphasizes the important role family members play in supporting children throughout their school experience.

Workshops offered include Involving Moms in Involving Dads, Readers for Life, Getting in Synch With Children, and Family and Community Engagement: Go Beyond the Bake Sale.

Keynote presenters at the conference are Adolph Brown III, founder of The Wellness Group, Inc., and Estelle B. Richman, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

Brown is a teacher, author, consultant, and trainer who has shared his success with thousands of teachers worldwide. His involvement with education began in 1972, when he worked with Project Head Start. Brown is a psychotherapist and a former professor of psychology and department chair at Hampton University in Hampton, Va. He frequently traveled with retired General Colin Powell in an effort to emphasize the importance of mentoring in young lives. Known for adding humor to his presentations and motivating young people to personal success, Brown has shared platforms with all the living U. S. presidents as well as First Ladies Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Reagan.

In a career that spans more than 30 years of public service, Richman is a nationally recognized expert on behavioral health and children’s services. Prior to her current post with the Commonwealth, she was managing director, director of social services, and commissioner of public health for the City of Philadelphia. She has been honored for her advocacy efforts by the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the American Medical Association, among other organizations.

Allegheny County has more than 30 family support centers that are designed to meet the needs of local families. Pitt’s Office of Child Development (OCD) provides technical assistance and staff training for most of the centers.

The conference cosponsors include the OCD, part of Pitt’s School of Education; Pitt’s School of Social Work; Allegheny County Department of Human Services; and The Heinz Endowments. For more information and a complete conference schedule, call 412-244-5363 or visit www.education.pitt.edu/news/newsdetails.aspx?id=299.