School of Social Work Office Hours
9:00am - 5:00pm
Monday - Friday*
*with the exception of academic holidays
Over the past 15 years, California has developed an infrastructure to address a portion of the workforce development needs of public human service agencies across the state via the Title IVE Social Work Training program. This program housed at UC Berkeley’s California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) together with 19 schools of social work delivers a specialized MSW/BSW education in child welfare to students who choose to go into this field. Additionally this program offers financial assistance which then obligates the student to work in a public child welfare agency after graduation.
As part of CalSWEC’s annual review process an analysis of student retention data revealed that areas within the state have not been the beneficiary of this workforce development program. Over the past 15 years, the number of counties in which CalSWEC students have been employed has increased from 67% to 86%. Despite these gains, upon closer review it was found that the areas that did not have CalSWEC graduates were consistently the same over time and were the most rural and remote areas of the state.
This data was presented to CalSWEC’s Child Welfare Committee of the Board in May 2007 and it prompted discussions with the 20 Small Committee of the County Welfare Directors Association. The 20 Small Committee expressed interest in engaging in a study of workforce development needs and issues in the rural and remote regions of the State. The mobilizing concept in these discussions was that rural counties face markedly more challenges in recruiting, training, and retaining a quality workforce than their large urban counterparts and that distance education strategies might offer an opportunity to address the educational and training needs of human service agency staff in rural and remote areas.