Child Welfare Program

Social Work in Child Welfare

Child welfare social workers focus on protecting children from abuse and neglect, preservation of the family, and establishing permanency for children who are unable to remain with their families. The School of Social Work at the University of Alabama is the host site for the state’s public child welfare program administered by the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR). DHR employs approximately 1,200 social workers and case workers, many of whom are University of Alabama graduates, to address child abuse and neglect, provide family preservation services, support kinship, foster care and adoption services.

DHR also contracts with private agencies to provide community-based support services, group and residential services and trauma-informed treatments for children and their families.

Alabama Higher Education Consortium on Child Welfare

The Alabama Higher Education Consortium on Child Welfare partners with DHR to provide quality child welfare services to the families in the state of Alabama through continued and enhanced educational and training opportunities for both prospective social work students and existing child welfare workers. The Consortium also works to maintain a strong level of support for DHR clients. See more on the Consortium.

Title IV-E

The Higher Education Consortium on Child Welfare voted to have the University of Alabama School of Social Work, under contract with DHR, administer the Title IV-E Traineeship Initiative. The Title IV-E Traineeship has a two-fold purpose:

  • To educate prospective child welfare workers
  • Provide continuing educational opportunities for existing child welfare workers

Title IV-E traineeships provide monetary stipends through a partnership between DHR and the Higher Education Consortium on Child Welfare. The partnership is funded with federal dollars from the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program of the Social Security Act. The stipends are specifically designated for students planning to pursue a career in public child welfare with the Department of Human Resources. See Title IV-E Stipend Fact Sheet for more information.

Contact information

Kristy Holt, MSW
Title IV-E Coordinator and Training Specialist
Office of the Dean
2143 Capital Hall, 205-348-0753
krholt@sw.ua.edu