Research Matters

Research Matters

Kansas Workforce Initiative

Across Kansas, agencies that safeguard children are challenged to find skilled staff that can produce the best outcomes for kids. But now help is on the way. From the University of Kansas, This is Research Matters, I'm Brendan Lynch.

Aired October 26, 2008


2 minutes (3.7 MB) | Download mp3

Transcript

Funded by a $2.5 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, Alice Lieberman, professor of social welfare at KU, is leading a five-year effort to build a statewide training program for child welfare workers and agencies.

Alice Lieberman: The purpose is to expand and upgrade the child welfare workforce. Western Kansas is extremely underserved, but frankly the entire state is underserved by social workers in child welfare. We want to train students who have an interest in child welfare to hit the ground running when they move into those agencies. We also want to do the things that allow agencies to retain their workforce for as long as they possibly can. We want to provide training and technical assistance to shore up supervisors' skills. We also want to train workers in the best practices in their field, because when you feel competent you're likely to stay longer.

The program, called the Kansas Workforce Initiative, aims to create a steady and well-prepared labor pool of private and government child welfare workers and supervisors. These social workers facilitate adoption, foster care and family preservation.

Alice Lieberman: We want to develop teaching and training modules that can be used at schools of social work across the state, not at just at the University of Kansas. And we also want to make sure that we have students who will receive stipends from this grant that are at schools on the western side of the state - because those students are the ones that are most likely to stay and that's really the most underserved area.

Additionally, the four tribes in Kansas who provide services under the Indian Child Welfare Act are critical actors in this initiative.

Alice Lieberman: The tribes have their own service provision networks. But they also have child welfare issues on the reservations and there are child welfare issues with indigenous families that do not live on the reservations.

For more on the Kansas Workforce Initiative, log onto Research Matters dot K-U dot E-D-U. For the University of Kansas, I'm Brendan Lynch.

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Kansas Workforce Initiative

Funded by a highly competitive $2.5 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, Alice Lieberman, professor of social welfare at the University of Kansas, is leading a five-year effort to build a statewide training program for child welfare workers and agencies.

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