ACADEMIC PARTNERSHIP IN PUBLIC CHILD WELFARE

VISION
The creation of conditions in Arkansas that will allow children & families to be safe enough and well enough to meet the demands of the 21st century.

MISSION
To provide access for all Arkansas children & families to the services of social workers & related human service professionals who are equipped with the education & training necessary to provide a wide range of services to help each child and family achieve the safety & well-being required for responsible and productive citizenship....

PURPOSE
To enhance & support family-centered systems reform in both public child welfare & academic university settings....

HISTORY
Like many states, in 1991 a call to action was issued stressing the need for system wide reform in the child welfare system of the State of Arkansas.  This call came in the form of a class action lawsuit, Angela R. vs. Bill Clinton, which was subsequently settled.  The settlement agreement called for substantive changes in the services provided to children by the Arkansas Public Child Welfare System.  In response, a partnership was formed between the Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services and the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.  Since that time, this partnership has grown to include nine Arkansas colleges & universities and all DCFS areas dedicated to child welfare reform in the state of Arkansas.  Arkansas TECH University became a partner university in February, 1996.

COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY PARTNERS

CHILD WELFARE EMPHASIS IN REHABILITATION SCIENCE
Arkansas TECH University meets vision, mission, & purposes of the academic partnership in public child welfare through a subcontract with the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

The Rehabilitation Science program houses the Child Welfare emphasis & Rehabilitation Science majors who choose child welfare as a primary or secondary emphasis or Psychology & Sociology students who minor in Rehabilitation Science (child welfare) are required to complete one field placement with the Division of Children & Family Services during the junior or senior year.  Senior level stipends are available to students who have taken prescribed courses, pass Central Registry Check, Criminal Background Check, Vehicle Safety, & drug tests and agree to work for DCFS for one year post graduation.

Students interested in the child welfare emphasis and stipend opportunities should contact Marti Wilkerson, Associate Professor-Rehabilitation Science & IV-E Coordinator of the Child Welfare Partnership at 479-968-0466.

ACTIVITIES & OPPORTUNITIES
DCFS Field Placements- Junior & Senior level-Psychology, Rehabilitation Science & Sociology majors may enroll in experiential learning courses.

FSW Trainee Field Education- New DCFS employees receive ongoing educational services through their first year of service.

Advanced Practice Education- DCFS employees with more than one year experience have opportunities for child welfare related education & training.

Educational Support Center- Journals, books, videos, and other resources are available to faculty, students, DCFS employees, and other community agencies.

Resource Library Holdings:

Opportunities in Continuing Education-Professional development is available for faculty, stipend students, and DCFS employees.

Support to Area Manager- The DCFS Area Manager oversees nine counties; the manager may request assistance with retention, recruitment, foster parent training and other activities.

Stipends- Rehabilitation Science, Psychology, and Sociology students who are interested in public child welfare work and who have taken the child welfare emphasis classes, may apply for a stipend during the senior year.  Stipends have ranged from $2000-3000 per semester and require a completion of 2-200 hour field placements at DCFS and a signed contract indicating agreement to work for DCFS for one year post graduation. 

STAFF

For more information, contact Marti Wilkerson at 479-968-0466 or mwilkerson@atu.edu 

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