Title IVE Admissions Committee

Chair/Co-chairs: Alice Egan 

Fall 2021 Committee Members: Committee or Group: Ellen Smith, Audrey Conn, Jessica Pac, Cindy Waldeck, Michael Hoffmeister, Nancy Ortegon-Johnson (Dane Co), 2 additional county representatives (pending)  

2021-22 (December) Report Out 

2 Goal Areas 

#1 Increase the diversity of our students, staff, faculty, and other governing bodies  

Objective(s):  Diversify the Title IV-E Program’s student body through recruitment and admissions while simultaneously addressing inclusivity within the program by purposeful building of connections and programming on anti-racism and equity in child welfare. 

Action Steps/Timeframes: 

  • Move admissions deadline up to be in line with other school funding sources, increasing the potential applicant pool (January 2022) 
  • Move admissions review process up to prior the students needing to give the School admissions decisions, so that students know whether they are funded by IV-E prior to accepting admission to the School (February 2022) 
  • Increase classroom outreach and recruitment within the School and in other departments (November/December 2021) 
  • Focus fall book club on a Native American author (including hosting her attendance), and on a book relevant to the Indian Child Welfare Act (Fall/December 2021) 
  • Continue with networking/partnering opportunities with alumni, with the aim of pairing current students with professionals in the field (ongoing) 

 

#2 Equip our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and social work community partners to be social justice leaders who can address diversity, equity, and inclusion in their lives and careers. 

Objective(s): Ensure students, alumni, and community partners have concrete tools to affect change that supports diversity, equity and inclusion at their local agency. 

Action Steps/Timeframes: 

  • Increase purposeful partnering with Wisconsin tribal child welfare agencies for recruitment and retention needs (began summer 2021, ongoing) 
  • Hold Fall and Spring Public Child Welfare Dialogues via Zoom to ensure accessibility across the state. (November 2021 and April 2022) 
  • Invite Fall Public Child Welfare Dialogue speaker from National Native Children’s Trauma Center to equip Wisconsin workers with practical tools for trauma-informed care with Native American Families (November 2021) 
  • Poll students, alumni and community partners for needed skill-building topics for the spring dialogue (January 2021) 
  • Hold a “part 2” to the Spring 2021 LGTBQ+ Youth in Out of Home Care training provided last spring (Spring 2022) 

 

Strategic Plan Progress Report Out April 2021

Committee Name: Title IVE Admissions Committee

Committee Members:  Alice Egan, Audrey Conn, Ellen Smith, Jessica Pac, Cindy Waldeck, Nancy Ortegon-Johnson, & Michael Hoffmeister

Strategic Plan Goal(s) written out and identified as either Goal 1, 2 or 3

Goal 1: Increase the diversity of our students, staff, faculty, and other governing bodies.

Goal 3: Equip our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and social work community partners to be social justice leaders who can address diversity, equity, and inclusion in their lives and careers.

Progress since February 2021

Goal 1 was: “Diversify the Title IV-E Program’s student body through recruitment and admissions while simultaneously addressing inclusivity within the program by purposeful building of connections and programming on anti-racism and equity in child welfare.”

  1. Held a zoom recruitment panel, where current Title IV-E students as well as IV-E alums spoke to prospective students about their experiences in the program and in the field of public child welfare.
  2. Title IV-E Program Coordinator participated in a financial resources panel presentation for the “visit day” held by the School of Social Work, to inform students about Title IV-E admissions and to answer questions.
  3. Recruitment efforts have increased our overall number of applicants by 12%, as well as the racial diversity in our applicant pool. This year, 28.5% of our applicants identified as BIPOC, as compared to 20% of our applicant pool last year.

Goal 3 was: “Ensure students, alumni, and community partners have concrete tools to affect change that supports diversity, equity and inclusion at their local agency.”

  1. In February, we held a Title IV-E Book Club meeting following the Racial Injustice Conference, where we discussed this year’s IV-E Book Club book by Patrice Cullors, in relation to her presentation at the conference. Child Welfare faculty were also invited to read this book and participate.
  2. In early March, the IV-E Program invited two PhD candidates to attend an SMT Meeting with IV-E students to discuss their research in crucial areas of diversity and intersectionality in child welfare.
  3. Co-sponsored a training in March entitled, Practice Skills for Working with LGBTQ+ Youth in Foster Care. This training had 237 registrants, and was very well-received, including participants asking our school to bring them back for a “part 2” of this training.
  4. On April 16th, we held our Spring Public Child Welfare Dialogue with national expert Ruth Paris to discuss her compassionate, strengths-focused work and research with parent clients who struggle with opioid addiction. 290 people registered for this training, including students, faculty, and community members.

Chair/Co-chairs: Alice Egan

Objective(s):Diversify the Title IV-E Program’s student body through recruitment and admissions while simultaneously addressing inclusivity within the program by purposeful building of connections and programming on anti-racism and equity in child welfare.

Through a variety of purposeful recruitment steps, including undergraduate classroom presentations and panel presentations, as well as moving up our admissions to be in line with other funding sources in the school, we have increased the racial diversity of both candidates as well as admitted students in the program. While we understand that numbers alone do not improve the inclusivity of a program or school, it is one step. Additionally, we are working towards the goal of having our trainees be more reflective of the clientele served by the public child welfare system. Please see numbers below:

2022:

31.25% of applications from BIPOC Students (10/32)

33.3% of new accepted students are BIPOC students (6/18)

37% of overall 2022-2023 IV-E Trainees are BIPOC students (10/27)

50% of Full-Time MSW students(5/10)

50% of BSW Students (1/2)

26.6% of PTP Students (4/15)

2021:

27.7% of applications from BIPOC Students (10/36)

23.8% of new accepted students are BIPOC students (5/21)

17.2% of overall 2022-2023 IV-E Trainees are BIPOC students ( 5/29)

16.6% of Full-Time MSW students (2/12)

50% of BSW Students (1/2)

23.5% of PTP Students (4/17)

We have made some changes to the financial support that the program provides for the 2022-2023 academic year, including offering a monthly stipend to BSW students and providing full tuition (rather than in-state equivalent) to out-of-state students. Our hope is that this will both support our current and incoming students as well as continue to attract students for whom tuition and cost of living may be prohibitive to attending our school and receiving training in child welfare.

In the Winter of 2022, the Title IV-E Program engaged our program alumni in an extensive survey, which will inform our future work in terms of the training that we provide in the program, as well as the support that we will provide to our agency partners. We had about 80 participants in the survey and will be partnering with a PhD candidate (and member of the IV-E Admissions Committee) to analyze the results to determine key areas of focus.

On May 12th, the Title IV-E Program is holding an event for our current and graduating students, as well as Title IV-E alumni who have graduated in the last three years. This event is being held with the purpose of connecting our students and graduates with social workers in the field, for mentoring and networking, which will have many benefits including to foster inclusion while in the program as well as upon entering the workplace.

Progress:

Objective(s): Ensure students, alumni, and community partners have concrete tools to affect change that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion at their local agency.

Progress:

Both the Fall and Spring Public Child Welfare Dialogues were held via Zoom to allow for accessibility to our agency partners. The Fall Dialogue, entitled, “Impacts of Trauma on Caregiving /Parenting and Support Strategies to Build Resilience for both Children and Caregivers,” was attended by 238 participants and was specific to trauma in Native American communities. The Spring Dialogue, entitled, “Resilience Reconsidered: The Role of Culture in Improving Caseworker and Client Outcomes,” was attended by 200 participants. Both topics selected were based upon stakeholder and alumni feedback regarding current needs in the field. In addition to being able to offer these Dialogues to any social worker who wishes to attend, free of charge, we also have anecdotal information that both of this year’s Dialogues have led to further community connections, with our agency partners reaching out to the Dialogue speakers for further collaboration.

We held a Title IV-E book club this Fall and Winter, providing free books to all of our trainees as well as to child welfare faculty and school administration. The book included themes around the Indian Child Welfare Act and was written by a local Native American author and scholar, who visited our book club.There was a rich conversation around tribal history in our region of the country and tribal interaction with child welfare.We were particularly pleased that this year’s book club both covered this important topic as well as supported the work of a scholar in this area.

The chair of the Title IV-E Admissions Committee also is a member of the Social Workers Confronting Racial Injustice Conference Committee. This year, through input and connection provided by several child welfare faculty at the school, there were multiple workshops at the Conference that were directly relevant to public child welfare, accessible to any social worker online, and provided tools for supporting anti-oppressive practice in their agencies.

We feel that our efforts and success we described above in recruiting more BIPOC folks to apply for and be accepted into the Title IV-E Program is notable. If feels particularly significant that it occurred given the School of Social Work’s lower than usual admissions numbers. Additionally, we feel that the increased support of BSW students and out-of-state students will continue to diversify our program as well as make it more accessible and equitable.

Chair/Co-chairs: Alice Egan

Fall 2023 Committee Members:  Ellen Smith, Audrey Conn, Michael Hoffmeister, Jessica Pac, Hannah Klusendorf, Laura Wagner (Jefferson Co), Nancy Ortegon-Johnson (Dane Co), Katie Day (Columbia Co)

2 Goal Areas

#1 Increase the diversity of our students, staff, faculty, and other governing bodies.

Objective(s): Diversify the Title IV-E Program’s student body through recruitment and admissions while simultaneously addressing inclusivity within the program by purposeful building of connections and programming on anti-racism and equity in child welfare.

 

The Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program, including the Title IV-E Admissions Committee, is dedicated to continuing to recruit and support people of color for this traineeship.  In 2022, we increased our recruitment as well as our admission of BIPOC students into our program.  This academic year (2022-2023), 37% of Trainee participants were BIPOC students.  Of the 14 Title IV-E Students that graduated in Spring of 2023, half (7) of them were students of color.

We have continued efforts at all steps of the recruitment and admissions process to attract BIPOC students, including in the locations where we recruit, the questions asked in our application, the criteria with which we select students, and the content of our interviews.  We also feel optimistic that some logistical changes we put into place last year (moving our admissions process to be in line with other school awards, giving notification of acceptance before students have to accept admission to the school, adding financial stipend support for undergraduate students, adding full tuition for out-of-state students) will continue to make this program more accessible for a diverse pool of candidates.  In the past year, there has been some turnover in the “Recruitment and Awards Specialist” position, but with a new and highly qualified person in that position, we will be planning creatively for Fall of 2023 for continued and increasing targeted recruitment.

While we are in the midst of the Title IV-E admissions process currently and do not have numbers yet for next academic year, preliminary data showed that about 30% of applicants were students of color.  We have also prioritized applicants who speak Spanish, which is a need in the local child welfare workforce.  This goal of contributing to and supporting an increasingly diverse workforce is one that will be ongoing for the Title IV-E Program.

 

#2 Equip our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and social work community partners to be social justice leaders who can address diversity, equity, and inclusion in their lives and careers.

 

The annual Fall and Spring Public Child Welfare Dialogue are a way that the Title IV-E Program equips our students, staff, faculty, alumni and other partners to be leaders in DE&I efforts.  Topics and speakers are selected strategically to further these aims, and the dialogues are free and open to anyone (and are required for Title IV-E Students). The program uses significant resources to bring in nationally recognized experts in topics related to child welfare and DE&I.  This past fall we held an interactive hybrid (virtual and in-person) event with Dr. Lynette Renner, entitled “Exposure to Family Violence:  Research Findings and Opportunities for Intervention.”  We had 124 online participants and 56 in person for this event.  This Spring, our Public Child Welfare Dialogue has 110 people registered for an in-person event.  This event was an expanded dialogue that was held for three hours.  Dr. Megan Finno-Velasquez presented on “Child Welfare System Challenges and Best Practices for Serving Immigrant Families.”  We expanded our time and budget for this event because it is one that is so crucial in child welfare, and the speaker had both research and practice implications to share with our community. The feedback following this event was very positive, with practitioners and policy makers sharing that they had new information and resources to implement in practice.  For both of these events, there was an element of community partnership as well, as we host informal meals and conversations before and after the event between the speaker and county and state partners.  The purpose of this is to support community professionals in connecting with each other, but also in connecting with important research and practice information that will best serve vulnerable clientele.

 

The Title IV-E Program is always looking for ways to not only recruit a diverse pool of students, and specifically students of color, but also to support them while they are students and later in their careers.  In the Winter of 2022, the Title IV-E Program engaged our program alumni in an extensive survey, which will inform our future work in terms of the training that we provide in the program, as well as the support that we will provide to them and to our agency partners. We had about 80 participants in the survey, and the Title IV-E Admissions Chair and a Title IV-E Admissions Committee member who is also a PhD candidate will present these findings and implications this spring at the 2023 National Title IV-E Roundtable as well as at the spring 2023 IV-E Advisory Committee Meeting. The purpose of these presentations, in addition to sharing information, is also to solicit feedback and input about how to best use the results of this survey to inform future programming.

In the winter of 2023, we also started a Title IV-E Alumni Support and Consultation Group, which meets monthly on Zoom.  This support to our alumni will not only benefit them as individuals, but also will benefit a diverse workforce more broadly. Support and retention in public child welfare benefits our alumni, but most importantly, benefits the clientele served by the workforce.

The chair of the Title IV-E Admissions Committee, as well as the Recruitment and Awards Specialist, continue to serve on the School’s Social Workers Confronting Racial Injustice Conference committee.  This committee produces a large-scale conference every winter, which is a benefit to the School and the larger community.