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Center for Policy Studies

Public Affairs Discussion Group

Is Childhood Obesity a New Form of Child Abuse?

David Crampton, Ph.D. - Associate Professor, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University
Friday February 17, 2012
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

Cuyahoga County may be on the leading edge of a public health trend. In October, an 8-year-old boy was taken from his mother and placed in foster care after county case workers concluded his mother wasn’t doing enough to control his weight. The boy weighed 200 pounds.

This raises an amazing number of issues. Is the public health campaign against obesity being taken too far? Is obesity really comparable to other ills that would justify taking a child from his mother? In what sense could parents be considered “responsible” for a child’s obesity, anyway? Why would anyone expect foster parents to do better? Where is the boundary? Would 190 pounds have been alright? 180? David Crampton recently served on a committee that reconsidered Cuyahoga County policies about when social workers should remove children from their homes for their own well-being. His work focuses on policies to protect vulnerable children, and especially the complementary roles of families, communities, and social service providers. This discussion will be a great opportunity to engage the realities behind the headlines.

Very best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest...

David S. Crampton is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). His research interests focus on the evaluation of family centered and community-based child welfare practices, with the ultimate goal of protecting vulnerable children through the engagement of families, communities and social service providers. From 2006-2009, Dr. Crampton was a member of a national research team evaluating the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Family to Family Initiative. In 2010, he served as chair of the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services Practice Review and Improvement Panel.

Dr. Crampton has written extensively about Family Group Decision Making (FGDM), which includes a plan for the care and protection of children at risk developed in a meeting of family members, social workers and other interested community members. He has presented his FGDM work at numerous research conferences as well as annual conferences for FGDM practitioners and his FGDM research is cited internationally.

Dr. Crampton teaches courses in child and family policy, community development, policy analysis, program evaluation, public management and theories of social welfare. In 2007, he was awarded the Outstanding Teacher Award by the MSASS Alumni Association, which takes nominations once a year from the student body.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convene each Friday when classes are in session in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm. The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

February 24: Telling the Players Without a Scorecard: China's Leadership Transition. Paul Schroeder, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science

March 2: Does the Fire Department Have a Hose? The IMF and World Bank in the Financial Crisis. Kathryn C. Lavelle, Ellen and Dixon Long Associate Professor of Political Science

March 9: Germany and the European Union. Ken Ledford, Associate Professor of History

March 16: Spring Break - No Discussion

March 23: TBA

March 30: Just Do It or Just Say No? The Politics of Sex Education. Mark Carl Rom, Associate Professor of Government and Public Policy, Georgetown University

April 6: TBA

April 13: Russia’s Presidential Election. Andrew Barnes, Associate Professor of Political Science, Kent State University

April 20: TBA

April 27: TBA
February 14, 2012

If you would like to reply, submit items for inclusion, or not receive this weekly e-mail please send a notice to:

Upcoming Events

The Evolution and Future of Global Climate Change Institutions

Alexander Thompson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University, Tuesday March 6, 2012, 4:30-6pm, Room 309, Clark Hall, Case Western Reserve University. Free and Open to the Public. Sponsored by the Center for Policy Studies at Case Western Reserve University with the generous support of Ms. Eloise Briskin.

A variety of political and legal institutions have been established over time to manage the issue of climate change at the global level, mostly centered on the UN. These institutions have varied in terms of the nature and depth of obligations they impose on states. The shallow and nonbinding Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992) was followed by the more legalized Kyoto Protocol, which in turn is being replaced by a more decentralized and flexible approach. Professor Thompson will describe these changes and offer an explanation for the design and evolution of climate institutions from the perspective of political and environmental effectiveness. He will also offer policy recommendations based on current problems in the regime and the political realities exposed by ongoing negotiations.

Alexander Thompson's research focuses on international relations, especially in the area of international institutions and cooperation. His book, Channels of Power: The UN Security Council and U.S. Statecraft in Iraq (Cornell University Press, 2009), asks why powerful states often conduct coercive foreign policies through international organizations. Professor Thompson provides an information-based explanation and assesses arguments looking at U.S. policy toward Iraq from 1990 to the current intervention and its aftermath. Channels of Power won the International Studies Association’s Chadwick F. Alger Prize for the best book on international organization and multilateralism and the Best Book Award from ISA-Midwest.

This program is made possible by the generosity of Ms. Eloise Briskin and sponsored by the Center for Policy Studies at Case Western Reserve University

February 2012





































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