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UAlbany, University Partners Receive $21.2 Million to Lead National Child Welfare Workforce Institute

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 30, 2014) -- The University at Albany's School of Social Welfare (SSW) and five university partners have received a $21.2 million award from the Children’s Bureau to lead the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI). Along with colleagues at the University of Maryland, University of Denver, Michigan State University, Portland State University, and University of Southern Maine, UAlbany School of Social Welfare faculty will work to increase child welfare practice effectiveness through diverse partnerships that focus on workforce systems development, organizational interventions, and change leadership, using data-driven capacity building, education, and professional development. 

African American family
The National Child Welfare Workforce Institute provides education and technical assistance for child welfare agencies.

NCWWI is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children & Families, and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The Institute’s goal is to pursue excellence and sustainable systems change in service of optimal outcomes for children, youth and families. It is led by Mary McCarthy (SSW, co-principal investigator), Katharine Briar-Lawson (SSW, co-principal investigator), Nancy Dickinson (director, University of Maryland), and Randi Walters (Children's Bureau Federal Project Officer).

"The National Child Welfare Workforce Institute provides critical leadership and partnership development to advance change in systems and organizations, technical assistance as well as workforce training and education for those involved in serving children and families in the child welfare system throughout the United States," said Briar-Lawson. "Through this award, the Institute will spearhead effective workforce and organizational development, innovative educational programs in schools of social work, and university-agency partnerships with state, county and tribal child welfare systems. Through improved workforce and agency supports we hope to promote better outcomes for children and families."

"The members of this partnership represent broad expertise in organizational development, leadership training, workforce preparation, implementation practice, and evaluation. We are fortunate to have such a skilled group of colleagues in NCWWI," said McCarthy. The five-year award runs through 2018.

NCWWI offers:

  • University partnerships between Schools of Social Work and child welfare agencies that include educational preparation for new employees;
  • Leadership academies for supervisors, managers, social work education deans and child welfare agency directors; and
  • Intensive state-level organizational interventions to promote comprehensive workforce development.

These components are supported through a cross-site evaluation, targeted technical assistance, information support services, knowledge management and dissemination activities, as well as an evidence-informed workforce systems development model/framework with associated competencies.

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