February 1, 2016

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Offers Financial Support to Aspiring Social Workers

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University has partnered with the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services to help strengthen public child welfare service initiatives by developing and retaining a stable workforce of educated and professional social workers.

At the beginning of the 2015-2016 academic year, VSU’s Department of Social Work was awarded $170,560 in grant funds through the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services’ Title IV-E Child Welfare Education Program to help support Master of Social Work students committed to careers in child welfare services. A total of eight students were selected through a competitive application process to receive a financial award equal to full tuition and fee costs, as well as a book allowance and stipend each semester of attendance. 

With funding support expected to continue, VSU’s Department of Social Work plans to offer Title IV-E Child Welfare Education Program grant funds to an additional 10 Master of Social Work students during the 2016-2017 academic year. This includes current students and new, incoming students.

“I am truly excited about this opportunity for our students, our department, and the university,” said Dr. Mizanur R. Miah, professor and head of the Department of Social Work and principal investigator of the Title IV-E Child Welfare Education Program grant at VSU. “I am confident that this grant will be continued for a long time.”

All Title IV-E Child Welfare Education Program grant recipients are required to complete an internship with the Georgia Division of Child and Family Services before graduating with their Master of Social Work degree. They are then required to work for the Georgia Division of Child and Family Services for one calendar year for each academic year they received funding support.

“This program will help ensure that we are able to attract a high-caliber workforce that is prepared upon college graduation to effectively and professionally deliver social services to Georgia’s children and families,” said Bobby Cagle, director of the Georgia Division of Children and Family Services. “Additionally, this is an avenue for current employees to re-energize and enhance their skills in order to pursue opportunities for advancement, which should result in a reduction in staff turnover.”

Fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the Department of Social Work at VSU offers a Master of Social Work Program that focuses on multi-level, advanced generalist practice. Students learn about both clinical and community practice and are able to develop the requisite skills to practice in many settings, from schools to hospitals, law enforcement to hospice. Students in the program can attend classes on campus full time or part time, or they can take advantage of an innovative web-based program that requires them to meet face-to-face only a few weekends each semester.

VSU’s Department of Social Work is located in the Health Sciences and Business Administration Building. It is one of nine departments that comprise the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services.  

Contact VSU’s Department of Social Work at (229) 249-4864 for more information.

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Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 2: Increase financial support for the institution.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.