Improving Children's Welfare

$24 million award for School of Social Welfare Institute to help child welfare agencies recruit and retain skilled workers

Child welfare caseworker providing support for mother and child visitation.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 27, 2018) — The U.S. Children’s Bureau has announced that the University at Albany’s School of Social Welfare is the recipient of new funding to continue leading the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI). The $24 million award will be paid over a five year period and begins on Sept. 29.

The School of Social Welfare has provided leadership for NCWWI since its inception in 2008. The award is a renewal of the funding UAlbany received in 2008 and again in 2014 to lead the Institute. The NCWWI partnership is led by the School under the leadership of co-principal investigators Nancy Claiborne and Mary McCarthy.

“This nationally significant award is a testament to the expertise of all the faculty and staff who have built NCWWI over the last 10 years,” said School of Social Welfare Dean Lynn Warner. “With the leadership provided by Nancy Claiborne and Mary McCarthy, the co-PI’s of the current initiative, NCWWI will advance and accelerate child welfare practice effectiveness and positively impact the lives of children and families who come in contact with child welfare services.”

UAlbany is the administrative center for this award, and sub-contracts with its partners for specific parts of the work. Its partners are: the Butler Institute for Families at the University of Denver; the School of Social Work at Michigan State University; the Cutler Institute at the Muskie School of Public Service; University of Southern Maine; and the School of Social Work at the University of Maryland.

The Institute serves as a center for excellence in workforce development for state, county and not-for-profit child welfare agencies, as well as for Native American tribes that provide child welfare services to their tribal members.

For a child welfare agency to achieve its mission, it must attract, develop and retain a skilled and ready workforce, said Claiborne.

“Often the complex, crisis-oriented and fast-paced nature of the work can distract agencies from ensuring their most valuable asset — the workforce,” she said.

The Institute will develop ways to help child welfare agencies recruit, develop and retain skilled staff; foster adaptive change-oriented leadership at all levels; build agency climates that support the implementation of promising and evidence-supported practices to ensure the well-being of staff and families; and engage academic partners to educate child welfare professionals.

Information about NCWWI’s current work, including the Workforce Development Framework, workforce focused resources and toolkits, and the Real Stories from the Field Series, is available at www.MyNCWWI.org.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciencesbusiness, public health, health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.



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