An educated, experienced workforce is the backbone of a solid child protection system. Florida currently has the opportunity, under the Title IV-E Waiver, to create a Title IV-E Stipend Program that would benefit the entire child welfare workforce.
A stronger workforce will result in better outcomes for children and families.
Download our issue brief.
Under the Title IV-E Stipend Program:
- Students seeking a BSW or MSW would receive their education through specialized curriculum in child welfare, including field internships.
- Students would receive a stipend to cover the cost of their education for up to two years of full-time study or three years of part-time study.
- Students would be required to work for a child welfare organization for two to three years, to align with the number of years they received the stipend.
Plus, this program would allow Florida to educate child welfare professionals by receiving the bulk of training dollars from the federal government. Under the Title IV-E Stipend Program, Florida can benefit from a 75 percent federal government match and a 25 percent state match provided almost exclusively by Florida universities' schools of social work, thus providing this program without using general revenue.
This program will:
- Substantially increase the number of social workers trained in child welfare
- Assist the state in reaching its statutory goal of 50 percent of the workforce having a degree in social work by July 2019
- Educate social workers so they can immediately take on a case load, as they will have completed a specialized child welfare curriculum and will be exempt from the basic pre-service training program
- Provide a career ladder for BSW graduates in child welfare and support students in MSW programs, thus making them eligible for supervisory positions in child welfare, especially important as research has shown repeatedly that the quality of supervision in child welfare is a major factor in reducing the turnover rate of the child welfare workforce, which directly impacts outcomes
Children's Home Society of Florida requests legislative support to establish a Title IV-E Child Welfare Stipend Program in Florida through the Department of Children and Families.