The Society for Social Work and Research

2013 Annual Conference

January 16-20, 2013 I Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina I San Diego, CA

Status of the Use of Title IV-E Funding in BSW & MSW Programs: Impact On the Child Welfare Workforce

Friday, January 18, 2013: 9:00 AM
Marina 1 (Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina)
* noted as presenting author
Joan Zlotnik, PhD, Director, National Association of Social Workers, Washington, DC
Jessica Pryce, MSW, Doctoral Student, Howard University, Washington, DC
Purpose: The inability to maintain a stable child welfare workforce is problematic for the wellbeing of children and families served by the child welfare system. Child welfare agencies are making efforts to promote the recruitment of quality workers who are competent and professional. Title IV-E training funds have been the crux of these efforts by facilitating the social work education of potential workers as well as those who are currently employed in agencies who return to school to acquire advanced degrees. This study describes the current status of the use of Title IV-E training funds in BSW and MSW programs, continuing to support the supposition that Title IV-E training implementation is not linear and varies from state to state (Pierce, 2003). These recent data, identify current trends and practices that could potentially strengthen future efforts. In 1996, a national survey was administered to all social work programs in the United States seeking information on their Title IV-E program (Zlotnik & Cornelius, 2000). This national study differs because researchers sought to solicit information only from social work education programs that have an active program or had a program within the last 3 years.

Method: The survey was distributed via the Title IV-E listserv (IV-EPARTNERS@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU) and through the listservs of the social work deans and directors of BSW and MSW programs. An announcement about participation in the survey was made at the 2011 child welfare symposium at the CSWE conference. In total, there were 65 respondents with 56 usable surveys.  31 states were represented by 56 surveys which included data covering 94 social work education programs because several respondents reported on multi-school Title IV-E consortia. The survey data were analyzed to detect trends and patterns in the themes of responses.   

Results: The analysis generated descriptive information regarding Title IV-E utility and implementation, including information on the number of social work students currently involved, number of graduates, matching funds, and follow-up of graduates. Several schools reported that their Title IV-E programs were terminated and other programs were thriving. The most salient reasons for termination include newly appointed child welfare administrators, ambiguous policies and procedures, mis-communication and cuts in funding. Results also identify factors that support or impede the successful implementation of active programs and Title IV-E impact on the social work program and child welfare workforce. 

Conclusions and Implications: These results are useful to social work programs, child welfare administrators, policy makers and advocates as accessing Title IV-E training funds in universities continue to evolve. It offers the unique perspective of those programs that have lost Title IV-E and their perception of the cause of termination. In addition, this study provides information on factors that support and/or impede the success of active Title IV-E programs, especially in this tight economy. The results present positive impacts of this funding program on social work education as well as the child welfare workforce and provide information to use across states and nationally.