By Craig Adams
On Feb. 22-23, the UNC School of Social Work hosted the first in a series of meetings on the Wicked Problems of Child Welfare. Co-sponsored by the school’s Jordan Institute for Families and the Children’s Home Society of America, the first Institute reflected on lessons learned from the original Title IV-E waiver demonstrations. The Institute also focused on ethics and methods of innovation for increasing economically sound, effective evidence-based child welfare interventions with built in evaluation mechanisms. Technical assistance was provided to Institute participants considering applications for the newly announced next round of Title IV-E waivers.
Members of the N.C. Child Welfare Workforce Collaborative attended the Institute and supported the School’s efforts to provide technical assistance to the participants by facilitating breakout sessions oriented at increasing the likelihood of a successful waiver application. This experience afforded Collaborative students the opportunity to experience first-hand the intersection of national policy, academic research, and the impact on child welfare practice. Students also enjoyed the secondary gain of practicing facilitation skills acquired over the course of their academic training. This two-day Institute underscored virtually every major aspect of course work and field placement in a concise applied iteration, revealing just how well-prepared graduates of the UNC School of Social Work will be upon program completion.