STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Seeking to make amends for the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, the university said it has given more than $1.1 million in football bowl revenues to its new center for child abuse research and treatment.
The Center for the Protection of Children, started in the wake of child sex abuse allegations against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, will offer treatment for abused children and a primary care clinic for foster kids. It also will sponsor research into the prevention, detection and treatment of abuse; offer training; provide advocacy; and collect data.
"We expect that the center will become a national leader in clinical care, research, education and direction of policy related to child abuse and neglect," Penn State President Rodney Erickson said in a statement Wednesday.
The funding is more than twice the amount that Penn State had promised in December. The university said higher-than-expected bowl revenues allowed it to give more. Penn State's share of Big Ten bowl proceeds totaled $2.6 million, of which $1.5 million has already been donated to the Pennsylvania Coalition against Rape, a group that operates rape crisis centers across the state.
The Center for the Protection of Children will be based at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital and bring together clinicians, scientists, legal scholars and educators. Its director, Dr. Andrea Taroli, said the project has an "ambitious agenda," and that the additional funding will help it get off the ground more quickly.
"I am very excited that Penn State has enabled the Center to have a solid foundation upon which to build," Taroli said.
The center could collaborate with other Penn State entities, including the law school and its Children's Advocacy Clinic, as well as the Children, Youth and Families Consortium. More than 400 faculty members from disciplines including human development, education and agriculture are involved in that effort.