Title IV-E National Roundtable Conference 2011

This conference builds on the 14 year history of the IV- E Roundtable sponsored by the Center for Children & Families at Texas State University-San Marcos and the leadership of Dr. Nancy Feyl-Chavkin and Dr. Karen Brown.

Presentations will showcase title IV-E University and state efforts. The conference will focus on knowledge transfer for best practices for major IV-E topics includingThe theme of Professionalizing Child Welfare affirms our commitment to children and families and diversity in all of our educational, service and research endeavors. Child Welfare is at the heart of our work, whether it is through state agencies' training or universities' education to serve families with neglect and abuse, mental health needs, developmental delays, substance abuse or violence issues. Our goal is to educate and train social workers for best practices. As you will see throughout all 21 workshops, we have the social technology, research and knowledge to work with children and family social workers to improve the workforce. Many sessions are led or co-presented by state and university partners. Our keynote speakers will focus on the principles of how to use title IV-E to build on our strengths. We have many wonderful agencies and universities with exhibits for you to visit.

This Roundtable could not have happened without the dedication and insight of many people, beginning with our planning committee listed in this program. All of our wonderful presenters and their universities and agencies have graciously donated their expertise and time to share their work with us. Dean Susan Ahern, Dr. Pat Mosier, and Cherilyn Pearson in College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean's office, and many individuals have spent endless hours to bring this conference to you, including Mary Rodriguez, and Courtney Branch in the President's office; LaToya Carter, Mirna Medrano, Marcus Benoit and Naomi Stevens in the Center for Family Strengths office and Dean Ira Colby, Dr. Patrick Leung and Joe Papick of the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work.

Supplemental Files

Download 2011 Title IV-E Roundtable Program (pdf)


video video video

Keynote Speakers


Dr. Kathy Briar Lawson
Dean of School of Social Welfare, State University of New York at Albany

Dr. Kathy Briar Lawson Is an experienced academic administrator and national expert on family focused practice and child and family policy. Among her books (co-authored) are Family-Centered Policies & Practices: International Implications (2001) and (co-edited) Innovative Practices with Vulnerable Children and Families (2001). She has recently co-edited two volumes on Evaluation Research in Child Welfare, (2002) and Charting the Impacts of University-Child Welfare Collaboration, (2003). She is a member of the Council on Social Work Education Practice Commission; she also serves as associate editor for the New Global Development: Journal of International and Comparative Social Welfare, and is consulting editor for Social Work, as well as Family Preservation. She Co-Chairs the Gerontological Task Force for the National Association for Deans and Directors.


Deborah K. Green

Ms. Green is a Services Program Administrator for DFPS Child Protective Services (CPS) in Houston, Texas. She has over 30 years of experience in the field of Child Welfare. Throughout her career, Ms. Green has worked in every area of Child Welfare. Ms. Green lectures and presents on prevention, intervention with families, permanency; and transitional youth services for adolescents that have been "most difficult to serve" as they transition out of the Child Welfare System into adulthood. Additionally, Ms. Green has published several journal articles. Recently, she co-edited Challenging Racial Disproportionality in Child Welfare: Research, Policy, and Practice (2011).


Twila Ross
Manager, Permanency Team, Children's Crisis Center, Houston

Permanency Team Manager for the Children's Crisis Care Center. She has served in the field of children's social services for over 40 years. Her beginnings as a CPS worker generated in her a passion for the children and family that are served by that system. Following her work with CPS she served as a juvenile detention center supervisor, the director of children's home, the director of a program working with homeless pregnant women and the director of a program offering social services and transitional living to women exiting prison.

Workshop Presentations

Building the Child Welfare Career Ladder: IV-E Education and Beyond

Presented by Liz Winter, Ph.D., LSW University of Pittsburgh

This presentation describes the career ladder in Pennsylvania public child welfare agencies, facilitated by the Title IV-E educational partnership programs, Child Welfare Education for Baccalaureates (CWEB) and Child Welfare Education for Leadership (CWEL). Findings from the 2009-2010 stakeholder evaluation will be presented; this evaluation uses surveys and focus group methodology and includes multiple perspectives of undergraduate and graduate students, agencies, alumni and partnering school faculty.
CWEB graduates feel well-prepared to enter child welfare. Graduate students appreciate their education; they also hope for opportunities to utilize new skills and tangible incentives to stay in public child welfare, while managing increasingly stressful lives. When asked about promoting professional development in their agencies, most students could not answer this from a macro perspective, instead focusing on personal experiences like secondary trauma and role over-load. This suggests that immediate issues require attention before individuals can consider agency professional development. Findings from students and alumni will be compared and contrasted with agency directors' responses about retention efforts and implications will be discussed. Despite the various challenges, preliminary evidence for career progression and retention is promising. Approximately one fifth (19%) of agency administrators are CWEL graduates, while 16% of current CWEL students are CWEB alumni.


Experiential Learning in Native American Communitiesd

Presented by Traci LaLiberte Executive Director, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare University or State Agency: University of Minnesota, School of Social Work; Kristine N. Piescher Director of Research & Evaluation, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare University of Minnesota, School of Social Work

The Native American community in Minnesota, like many other Native communities around the country, faces societal inequalities and disparities. The policies and practices of government and dominant society have tremendously impacted child and family welfare in the Native community. In an effort to critically educate child welfare scholars about this content and improve social work service within the Native community (particularly for non-Native practitioners), an experiential learning seminar for child welfare scholars was developed via collaboration between the University of Minnesota's School of Social Work and leaders in the Native American community. The expected outcomes of this learning experience were to 1) increase student's awareness of the historical, political, and contemporary contexts of Native communities, and 2) through application of this knowledge to professional practice, improve social work practice with Native families in the Child Welfare system. A mixed-methods evaluation design was utilized to assess the degree to which these outcomes were met.
In this session we will describe the process of creating this experiential learning opportunity, activities that comprised the experiential day, and results of the evaluation, including participant satisfaction and knowledge acquisition. We will also discuss the potential this model holds for growth and adaptation in other jurisdictions.


Intensive IV-E Field Experience: a Unit Model

Presented by Traci LaLiberte Executive Director, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare University of Minnesota, School of Social Work; Liz Snyder Title: Director of Professional Education, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare University of Minnesota, School of Social Work

Field education is the cornerstone of social work education and an essential learning experience for students committed to working in public or tribal child welfare. Therefore, providing meaningful and supported field experiences for child welfare scholars is paramount. Together, the University of Minnesota's Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare and Ramsey County, a large metro county, developed a partnership to provide such a field experience. In this session we will describe this intensive field unit for MSW IV-E child welfare students as well as the processes of developing and piloting this model. We will also discuss the potential this model holds for growth and adaptation in other jurisdictions.
The model involves six MSW IV-E students, supervised by task supervisors (county staff) and a University employed on-site Title IV-E Field Instructor. The role of the IV-E field instructor is to work closely with students and task supervisors through supervision, consultation and by facilitating weekly onsite seminars. Seminars provide opportunity for twice the number of meetings as regular field seminars and provide in-depth county-specific content to be introduced and discussed leading students to more fully integrating CW theory and practice in their learning experiences.


A Unique Partnership at Multiple Levels

Presented by Marti Wilkerson, MRC, LPC Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Science, Principal Investigator and Coordinator, Arkansas Tech University Academic Partnership in Public Child

This reflective study focuses on partnership generated from a university junior level behavioral sciences course which prepares students to work in entry level case management/human services positions and/or to enroll in related graduate programs. The university is a partner in the state's Academic Partnership in Public Child Welfare and sub-contracts Title IV-E program deliverables through its multi-disciplinary Behavioral Sciences Department, which includes major programs in psychology, sociology, and rehabilitation science, the latter housing a child welfare emphasis among five other emphasis areas. Students who successfully complete the methods course have an opportunity to complete Title IV-E stipend and non-stipend field placements at the county offices of the Division of Children and Family Services. The course establishes partnership aimed at bringing about optimal results for children at an elementary school and it provides under-graduate knowledge, values, and skills development for potential professionals in child welfare and/or other human services. The purposes of this presentation are to review course development over time and data collected from the course, including recent multi-disciplinary presentations related to the course. The levels of partnership are reviewed, the unique university/elementary school Eagle Friend project is reviewed, and data relevant to the Eagle Friend project are reviewed.


Developing Online Learning Modules for Child Welfare

Presented by Tracy Crudo Director of Outreach, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare University of Minnesota, School of Social Work; Traci LaLiberte Executive Director, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare University of Minnesota, School of Social Work

The varied and changing needs of children and families served by the child welfare system requires today's professionals to become informed about a multitude of practice strategies, policies, and populations. The University of Minnesota's Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare is leveraging the expertise of its faculty to create unique training opportunities for child welfare professionals and students. Using support from Title IV-E funding, approximately 12 faculty/staff members turn their latest child welfare relevant research findings into short (1-2 hour), interactive online training modules tailored to the current and future child welfare workforce on an annual basis. The modules cover a range of topics, such as childhood exposure to domestic violence, ethics in child welfare supervision, developing educational goals with teen parents in foster care, and confidentiality considerations in child welfare practice.
The intent of the modules is to present the latest practice-relevant child welfare research from top researchers at the University of Minnesota in a format that is timely, efficient and easy to use for today's busy child welfare professionals. In this session we will discuss the concept, partnerships, funding, and technology tools that go into this ongoing project.


Integrating CFSR Principles into the MSW Child Welfare Curriculum

Presented by Matthew Mattila, ACSW, CISW University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

This curriculum presentation will demonstrate how federal Child & Family Services Review concepts and principles were incorporated into an MSW course required for Title IV-E students. The "Emerging Issues in Child Welfare" course was designed to examine practices and strategies that achieve positive outcomes for vulnerable children and families within the context of the federal child welfare goals of child safety, permanency and well-being. By emphasizing CFSR principles, as well as the federal and state roles in evaluating and improving child welfare services, the course offers MSW IV-E students knowledge and skills to prepare them for advanced practice roles in public child welfare agencies. The presentation will include an overview of the course design, as well as examples of learning activities. The instructor will also discuss how his experience as a CFSR consultant reviewer informed the course design.


And Why Is That? Using the Organizational Effectiveness DAPIM Model to Change Lives

Presented by Daniel Capouch, MSW, JD, Accountability Division Administrator, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Child Protective Services Program; Marva Mitchell, Organizational Effectiveness Specialist Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Center for Learning and Organizational Excellence

This workshop will present how the American Public Human Services Association's (APHSA) Organizational Effectiveness (OE) DAPIM model can be a critical resource for an organization to systematically and systemically achieve its desired outcomes through a process that reflects its values of engaging feedback from those affected by it. It is a model that can be adapted to front-line practice to develop a strategic plan with children, adults and families. The workshop will also describe the work products that have resulted through its use in Texas.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Child Protective Services Program (CPS) with support from Casey Family Programs began using this approach following its 2008 Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) to effectively develop critical decision-making skills using data and emphasizing outcomes. It was used to initially focus on staff retention issues which were affecting achievement of critical outcomes. The OE DAPIM methodology involves five steps: Define, Assess, Plan, Implement, and Monitor and is being used across Texas to drill down to the root causes of issues and the barriers to achieving successful outcomes for issues such as child safety, staff retention, Disproportionality, CFSR outcomes, staff training priorities and communications.


Recruiting and Retaining Child Welfare Workers: Lessons from Research

Presented by Dr. Nancy Feyl Chavkin, Dr. Amy D. Benton, Dr. Angela Ausbrooks, and Brittany Gold, Texas State University

Much research has been conducted to answer the most important questions about recruitment and retention in child welfare. This panel takes a critical look at two recent research studies, one in Texas and one in California, and combines it with a meta-review of the research literature in the field.
Dr. Angela Ausbrooks explores the reasons that child welfare employees, specifically supervisors, remain employed in child welfare agencies from a strengths perspective. A qualitative study was conducted with 50 child welfare supervisors in Texas to determine whether their ability to remain with the agency was related to resilient characteristics.
Dr. Amy D. Benton presents a conceptual model which identifies variables relevant for retention. Her study employs mixed methods and draws its data from a larger ongoing study, utilizing a voluntary sample of child welfare workers who have participated in a Title IV-E MSW program in the state of California.
Dr. Nancy Chavkin and Brittany Gold share a meta-review of the literature about retention and recruitment in child welfare. They present an overview of the types of studies conducted, variables, population and sample size, methods, and findings. This new looks at the evidence base will help agencies and universities re-examine best practices.


A New Curriculum Course: The Child Welfare Case Management Model for Keeping Children Safe in Families Affected by a Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

Presented by Milton R Ayala, LMSW Substance Abuse Program Specialist Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

The audience will be familiarized with the Child Welfare Case Management Model permeating the Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) Handbook, section 1900 (Substance Use Disorder). The model is based on the precept that children are safe when: threats decrease and parental protective capacities increase. The role of the Child Welfare caseworker is to put in place "protective measures" that support child safety and a parent's recovery process.
The said model can serve as a cornerstone in the development of a Child Welfare curriculum course that looks at safety in families affected by a substance use disorder (SUD). Through the presentation the audience will be exposed to some of the major blocks of instruction that could be considered in the construction of a course on Child Welfare and SUD families. Aside from a discussion on curriculum development, the audience will be given information about:

  • Drug Trends in Texas
  • Addiction as a "Brain Disease"
  • The CAPTA (Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act) Time Line

The presentation's major contribution to the field is giving the IV-E audience a better appreciation of the process CPS undergoes in policy writing. As a CPS policy writer, I attempt to connect theory (classroom instruction) with practice as it relates to child safety in SUD families.


Evaluation: A Continuum of Outcome Research and Evaluation in IV-E Partnership Programs-Minnesota Study

Presented by Dr. Nancy Feyl Chavkin, Dr. Amy D. Benton, Dr. Angela Ausbrooks, and Brittany Gold, Texas State University

In 2009 the University of Minnesota initiated a retention study of statewide Title IV-E stipend recipients to determine characteristics of students that received Title IVE stipends in Minnesota to determine characteristics of students at varying lengths of service in public child welfare post graduation, and to learn if there are characteristics predictive of extended lengths of service in public child welfare. To achieve this understanding, researchers conducted a preliminary, descriptive retention study. The sampling frame included Title IV-E student award recipients from September 1998-January 2008 from the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities and Duluth campuses), and five Minnesota State Universities including Bemidji, Mankato, Moorhead, St. Cloud, and Winona.
Results from this study will be presented. In addition, this study was faced with a series of challenges and lessons learned which will be shared in an effort to assist other programs with thoughts of similar studies in their planning and execution processes.
This presentation, submitted as part of the larger submission by Patrick Leung is intended to be a re-presentation of a Webinar on October 7th hosted by National Child Welfare Workforce Institute.


The New CalSWEC Evaluation Framework 2010

Presented by Sherrill Clark

This presentation consists of describing the framework and the process used to assess the effects of the title IV-E educational and training programs on increasing the quantity and quality of child welfare social workers in California, including how well they are prepared (knowledge, skills and values), and retained in the field. Our research questions are,

  • How well-prepared are our graduates?
  • Do they stay in the field? and,
  • What factors improve or discourage retention?

The evaluation is driven by State and federal regulations regarding education and training which require evaluation that, at minimum, includes scanning program elements, counting the program's participants and graduates' outcomes, the program's successes and challenges, listing needed resources, and disseminating results broadly. Our framework is aligned with CalSWEC's mission and goals which direct us to evaluate the extent to which CalSWEC's efforts have increased the numbers of professionally educated public sector social workers and diversified the professional workforce by creating access to higher education and in-service training. The process by which we conduct the evaluation is consistent with the values of participatory evaluation. This presentation showcases evidence which promotes efforts to increase and improve the workforce necessary for the professionalization of child welfare services.