The ongoing training contract between the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) and the Shepherd University Department of Social Work has been refunded in the amount of $152,838 for the 2013-14 fiscal year. Co-principal investigators are Dr. Geri Crawley-Woods and Dr. Douglas C. Horner.
Supported through Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, this grant has two major functions to support childrenserved through West Virginia public child welfare services. Under the direction of Regional Child Welfare Trainer Amy Hampton, M.S.W., this initiative provides a series of workshops for potential foster/adoptive parents throughout the 15-county region of eastern West Virginia at several sites and is part of a statewide effort to increase the number of permanent family placements for the 3,000 children who are in care. Over the last several years Hampton and her staff of trainers have prepared several hundred people as potential foster/adoptive providers.
An additional area is ongoing training for the staff and supervisors of DHHR in eastern West Virginia. These sessions focus on professional practices in legal and ethical issues in child welfare, confidentiality, the impact of substance abuse on children served by child welfare services, culturally sensitive practice, issues of separation experienced by children in foster care, trauma, engaging absent fathers, and kinship care.
The social work program at Shepherd began in 1972 and is accredited until 2020 by the national professional standards body, the Council on Social Work Education, to offer the bachelor of social work degree. This community-training component has been in operation since 1992 and has secured more than $2.3 million in outside funding to support this important mission of the university and the program.