Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program Overview

Title IV-E Program Coordinator: Alice Egan, MSSW, APSW

The Public Child Welfare Training Program is designed to educate and train graduate and undergraduate-level social work students to prepare them for employment as practitioners in public child welfare. The goals of the program are to strengthen Wisconsin’s public child welfare workforce and to produce social work leaders as public child welfare practitioners and/or as public child welfare supervisors or managers. The Training Program operates with federal funds made available through Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, which provides specified financial support for students committed to a career in public child welfare.

The Title IV-E Public Child Welfare Training Program is for Full- and Part-Time MSW Program students and full-time BSW students. All programs are offered at UW-Madison. Individual student preparation and academic background determine the time in all programs. Applicants to the traineeship must hold U.S. citizenship or have permanent residence status at the time of application. All programs have slightly different characteristics. Review the Traineeship Provisions below for information on the program in which you are interested.

Interested in applying?

Trainees admitted to the IV-E Training Program receive the following:

  • A monthly stipend (amount determined by yearly budget)
  • Tuition and fees (in-state, Minnesota reciprocity)
  • Book and supplies funds and mileage to and from field site

Trainees admitted to the IV-E Training Program agree to the following:

  • To complete the Training Curriculum (bottom of page) and adhere to Stipend Contract:
    1. 2018-2019 Full-time IV-E Contract Sample
    2. 2018-2019 Part-time IV-E Contract Sample
  • To participate in all Traineeship Activities
  • To accept full-time employment upon graduation in the area of Public Child Welfare (i.e., Children’s Protective Services) in the State of Wisconsin and remain employed for at least the amount of time equal to the funding received. Please note: although most trainees secure jobs where they want to live, trainees do need to be able and willing to take available positions only in the State of Wisconsin, which may necessitate relocation to another area.
  • To arrange to have access to a vehicle to travel to and from the field site given specialized field placements in the Child Welfare Training Program.
  • To be admitted in good academic standing (not on academic probation) and remain in good standing through completion of the program.
  • Additional details for the Training Programs are listed in the Overview & Curriculum documents:

IV-E Part-Time Program Overview & Curriculum (2023-24)
IV-E Full-Time Program Overview & Curriculum (2023-24)
IV-E BSW Program Overview & Curriculum (2023-24)

An important feature of the Public Child Welfare Training Program is a colloquium series featuring outstanding national scholars in child welfare and local child welfare experts. Each expert:

  1. Presents a public lecture on a topic related to child welfare;
  2. Is available for consultation with students, faculty, state and local partner practitioners, and agency administrators; and
  3. Offers staff development opportunities for our partner agency practitioners and administrators.

Agency staff who participate in the dialogue sessions and/or consultations in agencies receive continuing education credits that meet the requirements of ongoing professional social work certification and licensure.

View videos from previous years

Spring 2023: Child Welfare System Challenges and Best Practices for Serving Immigrant Families

Presenter: Dr. Megan Finno-Velasquez, Associate Professor and Director of the Center on Immigration and Child Welfare in the School of Social Work at New Mexico State University.

Part 1:

Part 2:


Fall 2022: Exposure to Family Violence: Research Findings and Opportunities for Intervention

Presenter: Dr. Lynette M. Renner, Professor, Director of the PhD Program, and Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota

Flyer: Fall 2022 Public Child Welfare Dialogue

Spring 2022: Resilience Reconsidered: The Role of Culture in Improving Caseworker and Client Outcomes 

Presenter: Dr. Tiffany Lindsey, Assistant Professor and Safe System Practitioner at the Center for Innovation in Population Health at the University of Kentucky

Flyer: Spring 2022 Public Child Welfare Dialogue 

Fall 2021: Impacts of Trauma on Caregiving /Parenting and Support Strategies to Build Resilience for both Children and Caregivers

Presenter: Dr. Marilyn Zimmerman, Senior Director of Policy and Programs at the National Native Children’s Trauma Center

Flyer: Fall 2021 Public Child Welfare Dialogue

Spring 2021: Substance Use, Trauma and Parenting: Challenges and Interventions 

Presenter: Ruth Paris, Associate Professor and Chair, Clinical Practice Department, School of Social Work, Boston University

Flyer: Spring 2021 Title IV-E Public Child Welfare Dialogue

Fall 2020: System Reforms Have Failed: Now is the Time for Abolition – The upEND Movement

Presenter: Kristen Weber, Director of Equity, Inclusion and Justice at the Center for the Study of Social Policy and Alan Dettlaff, Dean of Social Work at the University of Houston
Flyer: Public Child Welfare Fall Dialogue 2020

Fall 2019: Strengths Based Approaches for Understanding Positive Outcomes for African American Youth in Foster Care

Presenter: Dr. Abigail Williams-Butler, PhD, MSW, MS, Assistant Professor, Rutgers School of Social Work
Flyer: Public Welfare Fall Dialogue 2019

Spring 2019: In Whose Best Interests? How the Policies and Practices of the Child Welfare System Affect Child Wellbeing

Presenter: Sarah Font, MSW, PhD, Pennsylvania State University
Flyer: spring2019

Fall 2018: Safeguarding Black Children: Good Practice in Child Protection

Presenter: Claudia Bernard, PhD, Goldsmiths, University of London
Flyer: fall2018

Spring 2018: Policies and Practices in Child Welfare: A 21st Century Vision

Presenter: Gerald Mallon, DSW, Hunter College
Flyer: spring2018

Fall 2017: I Decided to Work With the System: Enhancing Social Support Networks of Youth in Care

Presenter: Jared I. Best, MSW, Portland State University
Flyer: fall2017

Spring 2017: Youth Thrive: A Pathway to Well-being for Youth in Foster Care

Presenter: Susan Notkin, MSSW, Center for the Study of Social Policy
Flyer: spring2017

Fall 2016: Moving the Needle: Evaluating and Promoting Well-being in the Child Welfare System

Presenters: Joshua Mersky, PhD, Institute for Child & Family Well-Being; Gabriel McGaughey, MSW, ICFWB; Dimitri Topitzes, PhD, ICFWB
Flyer: fall2016

Spring 2016: The grass is always greener (or is it?): Reflections on international comparative child welfare

Presenter: Jill Duerr Berrick, PhD, University of California-Berkeley
Flyer: spring2016

Fall 2015: Predictive Risk Modeling: A Tool for Child Protection?

Presenter: Emily Putnam-Hornstein, PhD, University of Southern California
Flyer: fall2015

Spring 2015: Research on the Transition to Adulthood for Foster Youth: Implications for Policy and Practice

Presenter: Mark Courtney, PhD, University of Chicago
Flyer: spring2015

Fall 2014: >Understanding the Link Between Income and Child Maltreatment

Presenter: Lawrence Berger, PhD, UW-Madison School of Social Work
Flyer: fall2014

Spring 2014: Fathers and Child Welfare: From Gaps to Opportunities

Presenter: Jennifer Bellamy, PhD, University of Chicago
Flyer: spring2014

Fall 2013: Outcomes After Child Welfare Services: How Much Are We Helping?

Presenter: Richard P. Barth, PhD, University of Maryland
Flyer: fall2013-barth

Spring 2013: Resistance or Discord: Motivating Unhappy Clients

Presenter: Melinda Hohman, PhD, MSW, San Diego State University

Fall 2012: Disentangling Disproportionality: Race, Poverty, and the Overrepresentation of Children of Color in the Child Welfare System

Presenter: Alan Dettlaff, PhD, MSW, University of Illinois at Chicago
Flyer: fall2012

Spring 2012: Growing Up In the Care of Strangers: The Experiences, Insights, and Recommendations of Former Foster Kids

Presenters: Claudette Braxton, LMSW C/M, LCSW; Danita Echols, MSW; Debraha Watson, PhD
Flyer: spring2012
Full Panel

Debraha Watson

Danita Echols

Claudette Braxton

Fall 2011: Let’s Get This Straight: What Child Welfare Professionals Need to Know About Developing Competent Practice Skills with LGBTQ Children, Youth, and Families

Presenter: Gerald Mallon, DSW, Hunter College

Spring 2011: Child Abuse and the Developing Brain

Presenter: Seth Pollack, PhD, UW-Madison Dept of Psychology

Spring 2010: Challenges at the Front Lines: Will Child Welfare Practice Ever Be Innovative, Evidence-Based, or Family Centered?

Presenter: Brenda Smith, PhD, University of Alabama

Fall 2009: Fatherhood: Six Men, One City

Presenter: David Pate, Jr, PhD, UW-Milwaukee School of Social Work

Fall 2009: The Eldorado Case: Lessons Learned – Program, Policy, Practice, Ethical and Cultural Issues and Implications for Child Welfare

Presenter: Wayne D. Duehn, MSW, PhD, LCSW, University of Texas at Arlington

Spring 2009

Presenter: Judge Shelley Gaylord, Dane County Circuit Court

Spring 2008: The Influence of Case Types and Race on Case Outcomes

Presenter: Susan Wells, PhD, University of Minnesota

Fall 2007: The Racial Geography of Child Welfare

Presenter: Dorothy Roberts, JD, Northwestern University Law School and Department of Sociology

Spring 2007: Evidence Informed Practice in Child Welfare: Risk Assessment and Beyond

Presenter: Aron Schlonsky, MSW, MPH, PhD, University of Toronto Social Work
Flyer: spring2007

Fall 2005: Interdisciplinary Child Welfare Work

Presenter: Kathleen Faller, PhD, ACSW, University of Michigan

Spring 2005: Fathers & Child Welfare: Strengthening Parental Involvement & Enhancing Family Support

Presenter: Waldo Johnson, Jr, PhD, University of Chicago

Fall 2004: Fathers & Child Welfare

Presenter: David Pate, Jr, PhD, UW-Milwaukee School of Social Work

Spring 2004: Encouraging Child Welfare Innovation Through IV-E Waivers

Presenter: Mark Test, Rock County

Fall 2003: Understanding & Supporting Parent-Child Relationships During Foster Care Visits: Attachment Theory & Research

Presenter: Wendy Haight, PhD, University of Illinois

Spring 2003: Transracial Adoption: Then & Now

Presenter: Leslie Hollingsworth, PhD, ACSW, CSW, University of Michigan School of Social Work

Fall 2002: Child Welfare & Race: Toward Understanding Racial Disproportionality

Presenter: Richard P. Barth, PhD, UNC-Chapel Hill

Spring 2002: The Future of Child Welfare: A Cross National Perspective

Presenter: Anthony Maluccio, Boston College School of Social Work

Fall 2001: Connections: Child Welfare & Community Partnerships AND Agency-Based Research & Evaluation of Social Work Practice

Presenters: David Berns, El Paso County (Michigan) DHS; Kathy Briar-Lawson, SUNY at Albany School of Social Welfare

Each semester, Title IV-E students are provided a copy of a book with content or a storyline that pertains to child welfare work, or which will improve the students’ understanding of the clients they work with on a daily basis. The true value comes in the discussion held late in the semester, as the students and Program faculty discuss thoughts, concerns, and insights.

Below is a list of past book club books (alpha by title):

Another Place at the Table by Kathy Harrison
Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Vankatesh
Growing Up in the Care of Strangers: The Experiences, Insights and Recommendations of Eleven Former Foster Kids by Waln K. Brown and John R. Seita
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
Hope’s Boy by Andrew Bridge
Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
No House to Call My Home by Ryan Berg
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Safeguarding Black Children: Good Practice in Child Protection by Claudia Bernard and Perlita Harris
So you want to talk about race by Ijeoma Oluo
Tiny Titan by Ann Yurcek
The Boy Who Loved Tornadoes by Randi Davenport
The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog by Bruce D Perry and Maia Szalavitz
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman
When they Call you a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors, and asha bandele

The State of Wisconsin Department of Children and Families recently put together a Realistic Job Preview (RJP) video regarding public child welfare work in Wisconsin. If you’re curious about what the work is like, please watch this video: