In 2003, representatives of accredited social work education programs in Alabama and the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) joined together to create the Alabama Higher Education Consortium on Child Welfare.

The primary purpose of the Consortium is to provide high-quality undergraduate and graduate social work education to current and prospective public child welfare workers and enhance training opportunities for child welfare workers throughout Alabama. The Consortium is an arena in which social work educators and representatives of the DHR can explore and address issues and concerns in the spirit of collaboration.

The Consortium seeks to

  • Recruit and enroll qualified undergraduate and graduate students in academic programs at Alabama social work schools and colleges accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and that support a child welfare emphasis in program curriculum.
  • Recruit social work education child welfare workers in Alabama who currently provide direct services, supervise staff, or administer programs for DHR. The focus is to advance their skills through additional professional education. An emphasis is placed on recruiting MSW students with career interests in child welfare and permanency planning.
  • Ensure that the on-going training needs of existing child welfare workers are addressed through training institutes provided by qualified individuals with a strong commitment to strengths-based child welfare practice.

The Consortium meets each fall and spring.

Recent activities of the Consortium include

  • Funding stipends for students interested in child welfare careers
  • Holding regional workshops for current child welfare personnel
  • Hosting an annual statewide Fall Social Work Conference focusing on child welfare practice
  • Initiation of an evaluation component focusing on employment of former stipend holders in the child welfare system
  • Enhancement of child welfare teaching and curriculum
  • Collaborative development of model child welfare case studies to be used in teaching

Consortium Members

Tonya E. Perry-Mitchell, MSW Chair and Professor
College of Education, Humanities & Behavioral Sciences, Department of Social Work, Psychology & Counseling
Bib Graves Hall, Suite 104
Alabama A & M University
Normal, AL 35810
Tel: 256-372-8356
Cell: 256-653-7765

Turenza Smith, Interim Department Chair
Social Work Department
Alabama State University
915 S. Jackson Street
Montgomery, AL 36101-0271
Tel: 334-229-4372
Danilea Werner, Director
Social Work Program, Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work College of Liberal Arts
Auburn University
7014 Haley Center Auburn, AL 36849-5256
Tel: 334-844-2879
Maureen Newton, Chair
Department of Sociology and Social Work
Jacksonville State University
306 Brewer Hall
700 Pelham Road N.
Jacksonville, AL 36265-1602
Tel: 256-782-5337

Erika Williams, Coordinator of Field Practicum
Department of Social Work
Miles College
5500 Myron Massey Blvd.
Fairfield, AL 35064
Tel: 205-929-1561
Jason M. Newell, Director
Social Work Program
University of Montevallo
Station 6180
Montevallo, AL 35115
Octavio Ramirez, Director
Oakwood University
7000 Adventist Blvd
Huntsville, AL 35896
Tel: 256-726-7341
Fax: 256-726-7527
Susan Vickerstaff, Chair, Social Work Dept.
Dean, Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Talladega College
Seymour Hall
627 Battle Street
Talladega, AL 356160

Martha Jones Smith, Assistant Professor
Department of Social Work
Tuskegee University
John A. Kenny Hall
Tuskegee, AL 36088
Raymond Jeff Waller, Director of MSW and Associate Professor
Social Work Program
Troy University
104 McCartha Hall
Troy, AL 36082
David Pollio, Chair
Social Work Program
Heritage Hall Building
HHB 322
1720 2nd Ave. South
Birmingham, AL 35294-1152
Vikki Vandiver, Dean
School of Social Work
The University of Alabama
Box 870314
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0314

John Hodges, Chair
Department of Social Work
University of North Alabama
Box 5114
Florence, AL 35632-0001
Stephen M. Young, Assistant Professor and BSW Program Director
Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work
University of South Alabama
13 Humanities Building
Mobile, AL 36688
Nancy Buckner, Commissioner
State of Alabama Department of Human Resources
50 Ripley Street
Montgomery, AL 36137
Paul Butler, Deputy Commissioner
State of Alabama Department of Human Resources
50 Ripley Street
Montgomery, AL 36137

Lisa Baker, Chair
Department of Social Work
Samford University
CHS Building 1 1605
Birmingham, AL