This grant effort, begun in 1993, has resulted in a linkage between the West Virginia Department of Human Services (formerly, DHHR) and the Shepherd Social Work Program to train students for employment in child welfare and provide a coordinated staff development and training program to non-social work educated staff at DoHS in the 17 county eastern region of West Virginia. Over the last 26 years, this grant has provided over 5 million dollars of outside funding to the Social Work Program and has prepared dozens of BSW graduates for child welfare practice.
The Title IV-E grant also supports a statewide initiative of accredited social work programs to enhance the delivery of foster parent services to the children of West Virginia. Through the grant, the Social Work Program employs a full-time trainer and coordinator whose role is two-fold: To assist in the training of social service workers at WV DoHS and to coordinate pre-service training for prospective foster/ adoptive parents in Region III of WV.
Utilizing a specialized curriculum (PRIDE) developed by the Child Welfare League of America, this work is done collaboratively with other accredited social work programs throughout the state to improve the delivery of foster parent services to the children of West Virginia. The training provides a 21-hour course of seven modules for prospective parents at various sites throughout the region. Currently, training is routinely taking place in Shepherdstown, Burlington, Elkins, Belington, Kingwood, and Clarksburg. Angela Bender, BSW, administers and coordinates the initiative for pre-service foster parent training under the direction of Professor Amy Garzón-Hampton.
The Social Work Program has been granted additional funding by the West Virginia Dept. of Human Services to provide in-service training for current foster parents. In-service training allows foster parents to further develop their skills and competencies as well as to maintain certification. The goal is to provide additional skills to current foster parents at numerous locations in the 17 county region of eastern West Virginia. Due to the traumatic nature of child abuse and neglect and the impact of out-of-home placement, the focus of in-service training in the past few years has been almost exclusively on trauma, its manifestations in children, and trauma-informed techniques that can be employed by caregivers.
Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Scholarship Program for Students
Working in conjunction with the Department of Human Services, Shepherd University’s Social Work Program offers a limited number of Public Title IV-E Scholarships for BSW students. This grant provides payment of tuition and fees (up to the in-state tuition and fees amount), and a $1,500.00 stipend support for each semester.
BSW Eligibility Requirements:
- Must have and maintain at least a 2.5 Grade Point Average
- Must have declared social work as your field of study and been accepted to the BSW Program
- Must have submitted an application for the Title IV-E Scholarship Program
BSW Recipients are Required to:
- Complete a contract acknowledging employment with DoHS after graduation and
- Pursue a full-time course of study leading to a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at Shepherd University. In addition to the usual required social work courses, the student will complete SOWK 320 Child Welfare and Advocacy I.
- Social Work 407, 408, 411, and 412 (Field Experience in Social Work) must be completed within a Department of Human Services Office.
- To provide the WV DoHS Title IV-E Stipend Liaison with a copy of their transcript within thirty (30) days of the end of each semester attended and to inform the WV DoHS Title IV-E Stipend Liaison of their academic progress. A minimum 2.5 grade point average must be maintained in order to continue eligibility for the program.
- Upon graduation, accept employment with the West Virginia Department of Human Services, Bureau for Children and Families in those counties that have a need for staff.
- Maintain employment with the WV Department of Human Services after graduation. One month of employment is required for each month of scholarship support – a minimum of one year of employment with DoHS is required for all Title IV-E scholarship recipients. Failure to maintain employment with DoHS will result in loan repayment. The terms of this agreement will be explained in your Title IV-E Scholarship Contract.
To apply for the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Scholarship, please complete the application.