Logo for Alabama Higher Education Consortium on Child WelfareThe state’s Title IV-E Stipend Program 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.

Title IV-E stipends are specifically designated for students planning to pursue a career in public child welfare with the Department of Human Resources.

Eligibility

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

  • Must be a BSW student who is preparing to enter their field placement, an Advanced Standing MSW student or MSW student in their second year with an emphasis on social work with children, adolescents and their families.
  • Have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher, or 3.0 or higher GPA for the last 30 semester hours of course work.
  • Must secure appropriate field placement with the assistance of social work program Field Coordinator. Non-DHR employees must accept a field placement with a DHR County office. DHR employees must accept a field placement related to permanency in child welfare deemed appropriate by the Title IV-E Stipend Committee.

Application Process

Any student enrolled in an accredited social work program in the state of Alabama may apply for the Title IV-E stipend through The University of Alabama School of Social Work Title IV-E Stipend Program.

Title IV-E Stipend Application due dates are as follows:

The student must review the Stipend Fact Sheet, complete the Title IV-E Stipend Application and email the application to TitleIV-E@ua.edu. The Title IV-E Stipend Application consists of four parts: (1) Student Information, (2) Outline, (3) Essay, (4) Resume and Transcript. Each part contains specific instructions that if not followed will result in the application being rejected. The outline and essay must be completed using general APA format. All required attachments must be converted from their original format to PDF prior to submission in order to preserve the intended formatting.

Stipend Interview and Selection Process

If the application is accepted, the Title IV-E Stipend applicant must participate in a video conference interview conducted via Zoom with 3-4 members of the Title IV-E Stipend Committee. Stipend applicants are selected using a rubric scoring tool based on the following criteria: application, outline, resume, essay, and interview.

If selected, the proposed recipient will receive an award letter stipulating the proposed award and a Title IV-E acceptance form in which the applicant must accept or decline the award. If the recipient elects to accept the award, a meeting will be held, at which time, the agreement will be reviewed and formal signing by the proposed recipient will be completed. A copy of the signed Title IV-E Stipend Agreement will be emailed to the recipient after receiving signatures from both The University of Alabama School of Social Work and DHR.

Stipend Recipient Responsibilities

1. Must successfully complete field placement based on the requirements of the individual social work program.

2. Must complete a minimum of one IV-E Learning Activity each week during field placement*.

3. Must agree to work with a professional development coach a minimum of two hours per month during field placement* and 18-month work obligation.

4. Must submit DHR job application and Willingness Questionnaire to TitleIV-E@ua.edu for review during the first month of the semester of graduation. The recipient must indicate non-binding preferences for three regions they would be willing to accept employment. Date of availability for interviews indicated on DHR job application must be the same date the application is completed, not graduation date. After review, the recipient must apply for employment with DHR via the process outlined on the State Personnel Department website at https://personnel.alabama.gov/

5. Must submit a copy of DHR registration confirmation to TitleIV-E@ua.edu.

6. Upon graduation, the recipient must agree to accept child welfare program employment with DHR, if offered, by any county within their selected regions for at least 18 months in an entry level Social Worker position specific to the degree (BSW or MSW). If employed by DHR, the recipient must agree to take a position specific to programmatic functions of the Family and Children’s Services Division.

7. Must provide a copy of transcript to DHR at any time upon request. The recipient must provide a copy of their final transcript to the Title IV-E  Stipend Program Coordinator no later than two months following graduation.

Professional Development Coach

Stipend recipients will be assigned a professional development coach with extensive experience in the field of public child welfare and knowledge of DHR policies and procedures. The coach will provide a minimum of 2 hours per month of professional development on a variety of topics based on the needs of the stipend recipient during field placement* and work obligation period. Coaching sessions count towards total field placement hours, but cannot exceed 2 hours per month. Meetings can be held face-to-face, over the phone, or via video conference (Zoom, Face Time, etc.). The coaching support role will include the following:

  • Clarify and focus on the recipients goals and support their professional growth
  • Identify personal sources of energy and inspiration to fuel motivation
  • Work through barriers that may interfere with work/life satisfaction
  • Improve personal and professional communication skills
  • Discover or enhance a personal vision and mission

Stipend Recipient Hub

The Stipend Recipient Hub is a website specifically designed to provide IV-E stipend recipients with a comprehensive source of material. Once selected, stipend recipients will receive a password granting them access to view the materials located within the hub. Those materials are as follows:

  • Learning Activities: Recipients are required to complete a minimum of one per week during field placement*. These activities require field supervisor feedback and are intended to be completed during regularly scheduled field placement hours when possible.
  • Resources: Quick reference guides, primarily to assist with the completion of Learning Activities
  • AL DHR: Documents related to the Alabama Department of Human Resources
  • Self-Care: Assessments designed to increase knowledge and awareness about self-care

DHR Employment

The Department agrees to consider the recipient for employment within three months after graduation unless precluded by merit system requirements, legislative budget cuts, or position freezes. Repayment of the stipend 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 other circumstances beyond the control of the recipient

Stipend Repayment Conditions

Stipend payments are awarded upon the successful completion of the recipient’s field placement and fulfillment of all terms of the Title IV-E Stipend Agreement.

If any employment interviews are declined, employment is declined, the recipient voluntary/involuntary withdraws from the stipend program or if the recipient chooses not to pursue immediate employment with DHR, the recipient agrees to repay the total amount of their stipend to The University of Alabama.

In the event the recipient goes to work for DHR after graduation from their respective program and 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 recipient agrees to repay the stipend as outlined in their repayment plan. The recipient will be responsible for any and all court costs incurred by the Department if they default on work obligation and repayment is pursued by the Department.

Note: *Students in concurrent placements will have a coach and complete learning activities during the second half of their field placement.