The state’s Title IV-E Traineeship provides stipends to university students at Alabama higher education institutions to help educate prospective child welfare workers and provide continuing educational opportunities for existing child welfare workers.

How to Apply

Students at the University of Alabama and other state institutions of higher education must apply for Title IV-E stipends through their respective university field office programs. Applicants for a Title IV-E Traineeship will need to complete a Permanency Planning Traineeship Application, participate in an interview with members of the Title IV-E Traineeship Committee and submit a field information form. University field offices will provide application materials to students.

Application Process

All traineeship applications will be reviewed by representatives from the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) and the respective Social Work Program prior to the selection of the traineeship recipient(s). An interview schedule will be developed at that time. DHR and Social Work Program representatives will participate in the interview and selection process.

Once selected, the proposed recipient will receive a letter from the dean/director of their social work program stipulating the proposed award and requesting the applicant accept or decline the award in writing and notify the appropriate office as requested by the college/university. Once confirmation is received regarding the proposed recipients wishes to receive or reject the award, a meeting will be held for all award recipients with the Field Education Coordinator, at which time, the contracts will be reviewed and formal signing by the proposed recipients will be completed.
Copies of the signed contracts will be mailed to recipients after receiving signatures from both the college/university and DHR.


Students must meet the following criteria in order to be considered for a Title IV-E traineeship:

  • Must be enrolled as a senior and have been admitted to the professional BSW program, be a MSW student who is currently enrolled in the services to children, youth, and families or the children adolescents, and their
    families concentration.
  • Have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 or higher for the last 30 semester hours of course work.
  • Complete a minimum of 400 field placement hours with DHR, when possible, or a community office related to permanency planning or adoption, if not currently a DHR employee. If currently employed with DHR, must accept appropriate placement as determined by the university.

Field Placement Application and Requirements

1. Must submit his/her job application to State DHR Field Administration/Staff Development three months prior to graduation. After review, the application will be forwarded to the State Personnel Department. Student will have the opportunity to indicate non-binding preferences for county locations at the time of application.

2. Students must make themselves available for appointment to positions within selected regions. Regions will be selected in consultation with the Title IV-E Coordinator based on preference and departmental need. Date of availability for interviews must coincide with date of application submission (date signed).

3. Upon completion of the placement, students must agree to accept child welfare program employment with any DHR office for at least two (2) months for each month that they receive financial assistance, if they are a MSW stipend recipient, or a minimum of one (1) year, if they are a BSW stipend recipient.

4. Students must agree to take an entry level Social Worker position specific to the degree (BSW or MSW) earned. If employed by DHR, must agree to take a position specific to programmatic functions of the Family and Children’s Services Division. For further information contact the Title IV-E coordinator.

5. A copy of your transcript must be provided to DHR at any time upon request. The student is responsible to provide a copy of the final transcript to the SDHR Field Administration/Staff Development. This must be done no later than two (2) months following graduation.

6. The Department agrees to offer the Student employment within three months after graduation unless precluded by merit system requirements, legislative budget cuts, or position freezes. Repayment of the traineeship funds received will not be required in the following circumstances:

  • DHR has a freeze on positions.
  • DHR is subject to budgetary constraints which precludes the offer of employment.
  • Recipient becomes physically or mentally incapacitated or dies; and/or for other circumstances beyond the control of the recipient.

Declining an employment offer

If any employment interviews are declined, employment is declined, the student permanently withdraws from the Stipend Program or the student chooses not to pursue immediate employment with DHR, the student agrees to pay back to the Department the total amount of the stipend. Such payback must be within the schedule negotiated with the university. The student must agree to repay the total amount of the traineeship if the student voluntarily leaves the employment of DHR before completing the period of obligation, is terminated by DHR due to non-performance before completing the period of obligation, or resigns/is terminated due to not obtaining social work licensure during probationary period. The student will be responsible for any and all court costs incurred by the department if student defaults on work obligation and repayment is pursued by the department.