University of Pittsburgh
June 16, 2005

Pitt's School of Social Work to Open Child Welfare Training Center in Mechanicsburg, Pa.


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-Child welfare professionals and foster parents from across the state will have the opportunity to receive training at a new state-of-the-art facility, which officially opens June 22 at 403 E. Winding Hill Rd. in Mechanicsburg, Pa.

The Grand Opening of the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Training Center will include an Open House beginning at 5 p.m. with remarks at 6 p.m. by Larry Davis, dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work (SSW), and representatives from state agencies. A training event for child welfare professionals, "Bridging Today for the Pathways of Tomorrow," will be held June 23.

The SSW administers the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Training Program through its eight regional training centers, of which Mechanicsburg is the largest. Edward Sites, a professor in Pitt's SSW and principal investigator for the project, noted that "this is the largest state child welfare training program and has been called the most comprehensive, integrated, and sophisticated program of its kind in the nation by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services." That department and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare are the program's major funders.

Designed by Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates of Mechanicsburg, the 40,000- square-foot, two-story building will accommodate 80 faculty and staff as well as wireless training and conference facilities for up to 500 people.

Under law, child welfare professionals are required to have 20 hours of annual training. The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Training Program offers 350 workshops in child sexual abuse, substance abuse , mental health, adoption, and other specialty areas. Pitt also trains approximately 9,000 foster parents a year. In addition, Pitt will provide technical assistance from the facility to 67 county child welfare agencies across the state.

Recognized as a national leader in education for child welfare practice, SSW offers policy, practice, and research courses on child abuse and neglect, faculty specialists, research opportunities, and collaborative partnerships with agencies. For more information on the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Training Program or SSW, visit or