Center on Children and the Law

The mission of the Center on Children and the Law is to provide a collaborative, multidisciplinary center for research, teaching, outreach, and service on children’s issues that intersect with the law. The Center is dedicated to improving children’s overall well-being.

Directed by Professor Lucy Johnston-Walsh, The Center works to accomplish its mission through:

  • Research: Center faculty and student participants engage in interdisciplinary research projects on topics such as legal issues related to youth transition from the dependency system to adulthood for children, and the legal impact of youth decision-making capacity.
  • Teaching: By modeling interdisciplinary collaboration, we train a new generation of practitioners who understand the value of cross-discipline practice. Faculty members work to develop cross-discipline courses, and clinical programs administered by affiliated faculty members will provide direct training experience for future practitioners in various fields, such as law and psychology.
  • Outreach & Service: Center faculty and staff collaborate with other units at Penn State to provide information to the public on the detection, prevention and reporting of child abuse. To learn about detecting, preventing, and reporting child abuse visit our collaborative website. Faculty members provide educational opportunities for students and practitioners—from physicians, to psychologists, to school administrators—for research dissemination; advocacy for informed policies and legislation on state and federal level; resource sharing (maintain clearinghouse of resources and research); and host colloquia to advance scholarly discussion and promote dialogue among faculty and students.