Department of Social Work provides job opportunities to students through child welfare program

SocialWorkStudents_Fall2014For the past 20 years, the Department of Social Work has given students the chance to secure jobs before they even graduate. This opportunity is sustained through the Title IVE Child Welfare Scholar program, which allows social work students to receive a stipend if they agree to work for the West Virginia Division of Health and Human Resources (WV DHHR) for the amount of time they received the stipend, with a one-year minimum after graduation.

Jo Dee Gottlieb, primary investigator for the Title IVE Child Welfare project and a social work professor in the College of Health Professions, said the purpose of this program is to professionalize child welfare services while preparing students to be potential employees at the WV DHHR.

“Our students receive a stipend each semester for up to $3,000 and sign a contract to complete a 400-hour practicum and work for DHHR in child welfare after they graduate,” Gottlieb said. “Students gain amazing clinical experience during their practicum work and have the opportunity to obtain jobs in Child Protective Services, foster care, adoption and youth services.”

Hope Smith, community services manager at the Cabell County DHHR and a 1995 graduate of the Department of Social Work, was one of the very first students to receive the child welfare stipend. Smith said this program gave her the chance to experience a profession she otherwise would not have chosen for herself and one she still enjoys to this day.

Five Marshall students have received the program’s stipend for the 2014 academic year: Mikyla Stewart, Alyssa Hall, Cindy McDaniel, Melissa Nibert and Tiffany Adkins.

For more information on the Title IVE Child Welfare program, contact Gottlieb at


Photo: From left to right,Cindy McDaniel, Mikyla Stewart, Tiffany Adkins and Alyssa Hall have received the Title IVE Child Welfare Scholar stipend for the 2014 academic year. Not pictured: Melissa Nibert.