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News Release


UAlbany’s School of Social Welfare Hosts First National Symposium
On Building Communities for 21st Century Child Welfare

Contact: Heidi Weber(518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 17, 2003) -- The University at Albany’s School of Social Welfare will host, “Building Communities for 21st Century Child Welfare,” the first national symposium of its kind that will bring together families, community leaders, decision makers and practitioners from agencies traditionally entrusted with securing safe and nurturing environments for children, youth and their families. The symposium, sponsored by the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), will be held at the University’s Campus Center on the uptown campus from Sept. 22 to 24.

UAlbany School of Social Welfare Dean Katharine Briar-Lawson said, “Building communities that truly champion healthy child and family development necessitates common purpose and goals. The University at Albany is honored to host this symposium, which will provide a unique opportunity for us to address the significant issues of child welfare and community building. The exchange of information at this exciting event will bring us one step closer to that common purpose -- attaining optimal outcomes for vulnerable children, youth and their families."

Experts from a range of disciplines will present information on current policy trends and contemporary research as well as information on successful community and neighborhood collaborations from across the country and internationally. Workshops include: Defining and Meeting Families’ Needs Through Community Collaboration; Creating Safe and Empowering Communities; Fostering Permanency in the Community; Creating Successful Public/Private Partnerships; Community Building and Child Welfare: The Albany Story and Three County Approaches to Community Partnerships (Schenectady, Dutchess and Orange counties).

The symposium will conclude with a plenary luncheon session on the Role of Place Based Philanthropy and Services, led by representatives of local and national foundations.

The symposium is co-sponsored by UAlbany’s School of Social Welfare and the Boston Children’s Institute of the Home for Little Wanderers. For more information and to register for the conference, visit or

UAlbany’s School of Social Welfare is highly regarded for its research excellence, outreach and community-building initiatives and is ranked in the nation's top 20 social work graduate institutions and in the top two for faculty research.

Established in 1844 and designated a center of the State University of New York in 1962, the University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in eight degree-granting schools and colleges. The University is engaged in a $500 million fundraising campaign, the most ambitious in its history, with the goal of placing it among the nation's top 30 public research universities by the end of the decade. For more information about this nationally ranked University, visit

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