Meredith Matone will undertake a five-year research study of 2500 Philadelphia mothers, between the ages of 15 and 24 with chronic health conditions and current or past child welfare involvement to better understand the risk factors for poor birth outcomes and maltreatment perpetuation in this population. She will also research the effectiveness of Pennsylvania’s home visitation programs for this population and determine the capacity of these programs to connect these young mothers to other community based services that they need. Meredith will work in partnership with the Philadelphia Departments of Human Services and Public Health to inform and enhance health and social service policy and practice in order to improve well-being outcomes for child welfare involved teen mothers and their newborns, and stop the intergenerational cycle of maltreatment.
Meredith Matone has a passion for addressing the needs of older youth in foster care. She brings to her fellowship an impressive combination of skills as a researcher, public health practitioner, and policy analyst in the public health and child welfare fields. Ms. Matone is educated as a public health researcher and practitioner undertaking both master and doctoral level public health training at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, while working in a research capacity with PolicyLab of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Read more.
2014 Emerging Leader Fellows
Ashley Sawyer will work with the Education Law Center to identify policy and practice reforms needed to advance and protect the special education rights of incarcerated youth. Ashley completed her JD from Howard University School of Law in May 2014. Read more.
Claire Grandison will help Community Legal Services identify the barriers that prevent teens with disabilities from accessing appropriate services and benefits and make policy and practice change recommendations. Claire completed her JD from the American University Washington College of Law in May 2014. Read more.
Kira Silk will work with Wordsworth to increase retention of, and support for, foster parents by identifying their needs and advancing programmatic responses. Kira completed her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice in May 2014. Read more.
As many of you know, this will be my final message as Executive Director of Stoneleigh. I want to thank you for all that you have done to engage with us and our fellows. It has been a privilege to lead Stoneleigh and to work with you in our collective efforts to improve life outcomes for vulnerable children. However, the work is far from done and I know that Ronnie Bloom, Stoneleigh’s new Director, will continue to advance our mission and set new milestones.
Children who have been born into troubled families or the wrong zip codes deserve the very best that society has to offer. They are the innocent and require our focused attention and love. Today, too many are invisible and left in the care of government systems, which can’t possibly nurture or parent them adequately. As I’ve said over and over again these past four years, these are all our children and I look forward to watching from the sidelines as Ronnie and the entire Stoneleigh family pursues initiatives that advance their well-being.
In closing, I want to thank Rona, Brittany and Diana for making Stoneleigh matter and every day meaningful.
I am so fortunate to be able to come into an organization that has such a strong sense of purpose, and to have the opportunity to build upon the impressive legacy that Cathy has given us. Stoneleigh is unique, not only because of its commitment to systems change, but also because of its emphasis on the power of the individual to transform policy and practice. We will continue to identify change agents and give them the space and opportunity to build knowledge and catalyze innovative thinking.
As we embark upon the next phase of Stoneleigh’s work, I look forward to connecting with our colleagues in youth-serving systems who work day in and day out to improve the lives of the most vulnerable children in our community. In some areas, the Greater Philadelphia region has shown time and again that it can serve as a model for the rest of the country, but in others it lags far behind. In the months ahead I will reach out to many of you to tap into your wealth of knowledge and expertise, to help us think about how we, as a Foundation, can have the biggest impact.
I look forward to working with you to tackle these complex and compelling problems.
On May 13, Stoneleigh held its fourth annual symposium entitled What About the Girls? Over 200 people attended the symposium, which provided a powerful learning opportunity to a diverse representation of our community. If you were not able to make it, you can access the speakers, media coverage and other resources through this link.