"PCWCP gives students a chance to actually practice what they will be doing in the workplace.
It prepares students with the tools that they will be using everyday in the field."
- PCWCP Graduate
History of the Program
THE IMPORTANCE of WELL-PREPARED FRONTLINE WORKERS
Public child welfare services in the United States have long struggled with finding and keeping well-prepared frontline workers. While there are many reasons for this, key factors are the difficulty of the job, the lack of understanding of what that job is all about and giving the new worker enough time to be prepared for the challenges.
In 1996 the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services and the University Training Consortium identified a breakthrough approach to this problem. Select BSW Social Work Programs and the training division of DCBS designed a recruitment, preparation and retention system that has produced exceptional outcomes. The program which targets junior level BSW students provides tuition, a stipend and a special concentration in public child welfare training including special practicums, retreats and mentoring to the students for their final two years in the BSW program.
Since the PCWCP program's inception, over 1,000 well-prepared graduates have been added to the DCBS workforce. Retention for the PCWCP program is extremely good through the second year of employment. Over the past 13 years the percent of graduates remain with the Cabinet after two years of employment ranges between 79% and 88%. Further study of the program has also indicated that these workers are better prepared for their job and are not as overwhelmed by the difficulties.
Two elements are needed for the program: support of the agency for recruitment and retention of workers and a solid partnership between the agency and university system.
IT'S NOT TOO LATE to MAKE A CHANGE
Evaluations of program effectiveness indicates advanced knowledge and practice skills for PCWCP graduates and better understanding of the public child welfare field. In addition, numerous PCWCP graduates are currently in DCBS leadership positions including Family Services Office Supervisor (FSOS), Service Region Administrator Associate (SRAA), Service Region Clinical Associate (SRCA), Clinicians, and Program Specialists. PCWCP graduates continue to stay employed with DCBS at higher rates than non-PCWCP hires.
87% Retention rate after two years of employment
1053 Graduates have joined the DCBS workforce
since the program's inception
*Information based on Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report.