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Federal grant helps social work students at UWEC

Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 7:11 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -Across the country social workers are in demand. A federal grant is helping more people enter the field.

The Federal Foster Care Program gives the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire almost $200,000 a year. Part of that money goes to students who will become child welfare social workers.

UW Eau Claire students can receive a grant for $9,000 and an additional $1,800 stipend to help fund their education.

They can then spend more time focusing on their classes and less time worrying about paying for them.

It also allows the university to create classes specifically tailored for this area of social work.

UWEC assistant professor Jamie Tester Morfoot hopes this grant will help keep students in child welfare after graduation.

“Child welfare is an area that often has a high level of turnover, and I think a lot of that has to do with that students just aren’t as prepared for what they are going to experience in child welfare," Tester Morfoot said. "This allows us both, the students to get that exposure as well as our program to better prepare them.”

Jill Chaffee, the vice president of community-based services at Lutheran Social Services, hopes this grant will bring social workers to the area.

“It also will bring people to Eau Claire that maybe hadn’t been here before and oftentimes at LSS, we see students come for internships," Chaffee said. "We see students who stay in the Eau Claire area after college, and so I think this has multiple levels of positives.”

Those who receive the grant must stay in Wisconsin for at least a year working in child welfare.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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