Areas of research

Children, Women & Family Well-Being

SP2’s Centers and Faculty, working through an interdisciplinary approach with other Penn Schools, focus on critical reform to the child welfare system, improving the lives of children and women who are victims of abuse, and advocate for policy and practice reform at the local, state, and national levels.

Featured Centers

Ortner Center on Violence and Abuse

The Field Center Children’s Policy, Practice & Research

Desmond Upton Patton


Desmond Upton Patton, PhD, MSW

Professor; PhD, University of Chicago, 2012. Activism & social justice; qualitative methods; youth; gun violence; big data; digital culture; public health; race & ethnicity; social media.

Dr. Jennifer J. Prah


Jennifer J. Prah, PhD

Professor; PhD, Harvard, 1998. Health and social policy; health equity and policy; global health justice and government; health and social justice; health financing; economic evaluation; political economy of health; cost analyses.

Headshot of Johanna Greeson


Johanna K.P. Greeson, PhD, MSS, MLSP

Associate Professor; PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2009. The transition to adulthood among youth who age out of foster care; natural mentoring and other supportive adult relationships for youth who age out of foster care; child traumatic stress; applied community-based intervention research and translation of research to practice; resiliency, risk and protective factors; neurobiological mechanisms of resiliency-focused interventions; life course theory; domestic minor sex trafficking

Millan AbiNader, LMSW, PhD


Millan AbiNader, LMSW, PhD

Assistant Professor; PhD, Boston University. Gender-based violence; intimate partner violence; intimate partner homicide; rural communities; community-level risk; vicarious trauma.

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