University of Pittsburgh
April 20, 2004

University of Pittsburgh to Host 11th Annual Family Support Conference


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—Where can an overwhelmed teenaged mother turn for assistance? What does a parent do if his or her child has witnessed violence? And how does a community leader motivate more families to get involved? All of those questions will be addressed at the 11th annual Family Support Conference, from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. April 28 in Pitt's David Lawrence Hall, 3942 Forbes Ave., Oakland. This year's theme is Family Support: Stepping Up and Stepping Out for Strong Families and Communities.

The event is designed for parents, community leaders, social service and childcare workers, and others to help strengthen and expand the vision of support, which encourages families to build on their own strengths using community resources. As families learn how to help themselves, guided by the staff at Allegheny County's 34 Family Support Centers, they contribute to the community and improve the quality of life for themselves and their neighbors.

Keynote conference presenters include Wayne Stevenson, deputy director for Children, Youth, and Families for the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare;

Esther Bush, president and executive director of the Urban League of Pittsburgh; and Jim Kern, a nationally recognized motivational speaker and storyteller. A series of 26 workshops will be offered throughout the day on topics ranging from transportation issues to child custody and from home ownership to after-school programs. Parents who have used Family Support Centers will share their success stories in a Speak Out Session.

Registration is $70. To do so, or for more information, call 412-244-5420 or visit

In addition to the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development, which trains the staff and helps to oversee the Family Support Centers, conference cosponsors include: Pitt's School of Social Work and School of Education; Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, and UPMC; Family Support America; Mid-Atlantic Youth and Family Network; Allegheny County's Executive Office, Department of Human Services, Health Department, and Family Support Policy Board; Pennsylvania Center for Schools and Communities; and Pennsylvania State Representatives Paul Costa, Marc Gergely, and Joseph Preston Jr.