Office of Public Relations
Pomona, NJ 08240
Richard Stockton College Receives $500,000 Federal Grant for Social Work Program
Five-year Grant to Support Training for 15 Students
Annually as Child Welfare Caseworkers
For Immediate Release
Friday, November 12, 2004
Contact: Tim Kelly
Stockton Public Relations
Galloway Twp. – The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey is one of just five institutions nationally to receive a $500,000 federal grant to help support its Social Work Program’s efforts to address the child welfare crisis.
The competitive grant, awarded by the U.S. Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, will provide $500,000 over a five year period.
Commissioner Jim Davy of the New Jersey Department of Human Services will visit Stockton at 2:00 p.m. November 18 in room 205 of the Stockton Sports Center (adjacent to Parking Lot 4) when the official announcement of the grant is made by Stockton President Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr.
The grant provides $100,000 annually over a five year period to support Stockton’s Social Work Program, acting in partnership with the NJ Department of Human Services and the Division of Youth and Family Services. It targets the Southern New Jersey region, particularly Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland Counties.
For each of the five years, approximately 15 Social Work Program students will receive paid traineeships to aid their skills development as caseworkers in the public child welfare system. Trainees will enroll in two courses in child welfare and will work as interns for 14 hours a week in the child welfare system. Stockton Social Work faculty members will provide training and consultation to Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) staff members who will supervise the student trainees. In addition, faculty members will perform research on how best to educate social work students for careers in public child welfare.
“The problems New Jersey families face in today’s society are complex,” said Diane Falk, Associate Professor of Social Work at Stockton. “The state, local communities and network of agencies making up our child welfare system need professionals who are prepared to help children and families cope. This project will result in enhanced recruitment and retention of qualified child welfare workers for the public child welfare system.“
In addition, faculty members will be providing training and consultation to DYFS staff members who will be supervising the student trainees. Faculty will perform research on how to best educate social work students for careers in public child welfare. A team of three Social Work faculty members who collaborated with local DYFS staff to develop the grant include John Searight and Barry Keefe, along with Falk.
Falk said the child welfare workers of the next generation need support and encouragement as they work to gain the knowledge, values and skills needed to manage the myriad of responsibilities they will face once they graduate and enter the workforce. “This project will give our students the encouragement to enter the field and the financial support to enable them to focus on their learning. We’re excited to have Stockton contributing to the transformation of New Jersey’s child welfare system,” she said.
In addition to Stockton, the other institutions receiving Child Welfare Training grants are the University of Utah, Texas State University-San Marcos, Metropolitan State University (St. Paul, MN,) and Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, Arizona.)