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.