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Child Welfare Training Project

The Child Welfare Training Project is managed by the Beatrice Ruth Burgess Center for West Virginia Families and Community. Contact Dr. Karen Harper-Dorton for more information.

Objectives and Goals

  • Increase professional service in West Virginia in child welfare.
  • Build capacities in West Virginia public child welfare.
  • Enhance existing campus-community collaboration in West Virginia.
  • Build professional partnerships for child welfare in West Virginia.
  • Strengthen statewide collaboration in child welfare education.
  • Disseminate work at national and regional meetings.
  • Work toward comprehensive child welfare training in West Virginia.
  • Recruit, educate, and graduate MSW and BSW professional social workers.
  • Enhance visibility of Title-IV-E and child welfare educational opportunities.

About the Project

Title IV-E child welfare agencies and universities have developed programs around the country with focus on social work education which prepares undergraduate and graduate students for work in public child welfare, and provides high quality, in-service training to practitioners in the public welfare agencies.

Since 1992, West Virginia University had supported Title IV recruitment, education, internship, and job placement and follow-up, as well as agency-based employee training and curricular development in child welfare. Based on a collaborative planning with member schools if the WV Social Work Education Consortium, (SWEC) and the WV Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), proposal objectives reflect the planning efforts of SWEC at its May 2001 meeting. The work of DHHR and its Regional Administrators in policy development for training support of employees enrolled in part-time MSW degree program at West Virginia University (WVU) is included as well.

This collaboratory, the Social Work Education Consortium (SWEC), began in 1992. SWEC members include: West Virginia University, West Virginia State College, Concord College, Shepherd College, and Marshall University.

Implementation of Title IV-E to date is based upon collaboration among the BSW and MSW programs in West Virginia and the state Department of Health and Human Resources. The history of West Virginia’s efforts to professionalize its child welfare work force includes training workers and stipend students in social work degree programs, conferences, workshops, and in-service sessions. Supported mostly by Title IV-E funding, the five public institutions that are accredited to deliver BSW or MSW degree education and the public DHHR agency have worked together. SWEC has linked public social services and higher education statewide for purposes of curricular development, continuing education and social work degree education at baccalaureate and graduate degree levels.