SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18 - 27


Judge Ferman educated the participants on the type of information
a Court needs to make an informed decision that operates in the
best interests of the children. Judge Ferman also discussed the role
children play within the entirety of the Justice System - including
Juvenile Court, for a delinquency or dependency issue; Family
Court, for a Protection from Abuse order or a custody dispute; and
even Orphans Court, for a termination of parental rights hearing.
"Judges do not want to make decisions in a vacuum," she explained
to the delegates. These different Courts "are all pieces of the same
justice system, and if they work in collaboration with each other,
as well as with the individuals working to protect the children,
then all of the players will be better equipped to act within the best
interests of the children, sharing useful information, and allowing
the court to make more-informed decisions, which ultimately
means better outcomes for children." Ms. Newman concluded
the presentation discussing the effects of communities lacking a
Child Advocacy Center, including increased trauma to the child
victims and decreased long-term healing for children and their
families. To effectively contrast that point, both women presented
on the success of collaborative models, conceptualized as a hub
surrounding the child, composed of multi-disciplined professionals
focusing on the child's wellbeing. For proof of the efficacy of this
model, they pointed to the success of Mission Kids, currently
serving over 500 children and non-offending family members
every year.
After presenting, Judge Ferman and Ms. Newman were able
to speak to the delegates more intimately and were struck by how
universal the problems surrounding child protective systems,
including the Court systems, really are. Judge Ferman learned
that the challenges she faced as a prosecutor over a decade ago are
the same challenges some child protective professionals around
the globe are facing today. Ms. Newman shared in her shock and
disturbance, and in line with her commitment to protect children,
provided information to delegates from Scotland, South Africa,
and Portugal, who are in the process of developing new ways to
systematically improve their child protective systems. Ms. Newman
also connected with delegates from Israel who presented cuttingedge research on sibling sexual abuse now being implemented at
Mission Kids. With compassion for service and resolution in her
voice, Judge Ferman made clear: "That's why this presentation was
so important, because it worked to create systemic changes. Those
organizations were there to solve particular problems and those
problems exist across the globe. One of the biggest problems is
the lack of information being shared by organizations looking to
protect children, and how that information can be presented to the
Court in a meaningful way and getting the right information to
create a better informed court."

Since the prevention and treatment of child abuse is most
effectively accomplished as a team, it is reassuring to know that
these local women are doing their part to ensure that the best
interests of society's most cherished gift - our children - will take
priority. While in the Netherlands, Judge Ferman had the unique
opportunity to visit the International Criminal Tribunal for the
former Yugoslavia and observe proceedings to war crimes. Ms.
Newman was also able to tour the facilities of a Child Advocacy
Center equivalent in Amsterdam - a model that serves both adults
and children.
Seldom do we hear about child protection successes. In fact,
the only time any child protective efforts receives the headline
of an article is when something goes horribly wrong - like an
endangered child dies, or a foster child get abused or neglected.
While coverage of these stories is important, lack of coverage about
child protection successes can undermine public confidence in
the child protective systems in place that protects our children.
It also fails to give credit or appreciation to people - such as
the Honorable Risa Ferman and Ms. Abbie Newman, R.N.,
J.D. - who have dedicated their lives to the community, and
worked diligently to ensure that the best protective services are
in place to meet the best interests of children. When you see
them in the Courthouse, or at the Bar Association, please make
sure to recognize them for their courage and commitment to our
community, and to the world as a whole.


Representation,	consultation	and	expert	testimony	in
disciplinary	matters	and	matters	involving	ethical	issues,
bar	admissions	and	the	Rules	of	Professional	Conduct

James C. Schwartzman, Esq.

*	 Chairman,	Judicial	Conduct	Board	of	Pennsylvania
*	 Former	Chairman,	Disciplinary	Board	of	the	Supreme	
Court	of	Pennsylvania
*	 Former	Chairman,	Continuing	Legal	Education	Board	
of	the	Supreme	Court	of	Pennsylvania
*	 Former	Chairman,	Supreme	Court	of	Pennsylvania	
Interest	on	Lawyers	Trust	Account	Board
*	 Former	Federal	Prosecutor
*	 Selected	by	his	peers	as	one	of	the	top	100	Super	Lawyers	
in	PA	and	the	top	100	Super	Lawyers	in	Philadelphia
*	 Named	by	his	peers	as	Best Lawyers in America	2015	
Philadelphia	Ethics	and	Professional	Responsibility	Law	
"Lawyer	of	the	Year,"	and	in	Plaintiffs	and	Defendants	
Legal	Malpractice	Law
1818 Market Street, 29th Floor * Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 751-2863
WINTER 2017-18 27

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18

SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18 - 1
SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18 - 2
SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18 - 3
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