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Articulate and committed, Woodhouse expresses particular enthusiasm for the newly formed Center for Children's Policy Practice and Research (CCPPR), a joint project with the University of Pennsylvania's Schools of Law, Medicine and Social Work. An original co-founder and current co-director, Woodhouse works with her colleagues Richard Gelles, a family violence expert; Dr. Annie Steinberg, a child psychiatrist; and Carol Williams, a child welfare policy expert. The team works to mobilize the University's resources in service of children's issues, particularly at-risk children. "We refer to CCPPR as a double dose of CPR for a system in need of resuscitation," says Woodhouse, pointing to an ABA finding that the average hearing time for child welfare cases is ten minutes.

The Center for Children's Policy Practice and Research

Woodhouse's CCPPR colleagues testify to her exceptional personal and professional qualities. Calling her an international leader in the area of children's and family's rights, Steinberg says a mention of Woodhouse's name gains "immediate entry and willingness to collaborate in any way. Her understanding of the legal parameters of a case makes our work more informed and relevant." Gelles agrees, "Everywhere I go, people in the legal field say that we are lucky to have Barbara. She's well known and well respected. We bask in her reflected glory." Gelles adds that Woodhouse's interest and expertise in the law is critical to the Center's success: "You can't have a center that deals with children's issues without a legal backbone, and that's what Barbara brings."

Regularly contacted for assistance and input about issues related to children, the Center's activities include filing amicus briefs, and providing appellate consultations, legislative drafting and testimony. In addition, CCPPR provides Penn Law students with opportunities to gain experience working on high-profile projects. In January, two third-year students were part of a team that submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court for Troxel v. Granville, the so-called "grandparent's rights" case. Woodhouse says, "The real payoff for students is learning through active collaboration: engaging in challenging work with other professionals to produce positive, tangible results."

Although operational for over a year, CCPPR will finally celebrate its official inaugural with a kick-off reception on September 27th at the Law School. Anchored in West Philadelphia at 42nd and Pine in an old mansion owned by the University, the CCPPR office is conveniently adjoined with the Center for the Study of Youth Policy.