Northwestern social work program receives $25,000 grant

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Northwestern social work program receives $25,000 grant

May 28, 2009

 Linda Smith and Kylene Rehder
The social work program at Northwestern Oklahoma State University has been awarded a $25,000 student payback fund grant. Linda Smith, CWPEP program coordinator at the University of Oklahoma, presented the award to Kylene Rehder. Funds will be used to establish a Resource Center and Interviewing Lab among other things.
The social work program at Northwestern Oklahoma State University has been awarded a $25,000 grant by the Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program (CWPEP) with funds to be used to construct a Social Work Resource Center and Interviewing Lab in Jesse Dunn 308 that will be completed by fall 2009.

"The new Social Work Resource Center and Interviewing Lab will establish a designated space for social work students to study, research and practice interviewing skills,” Kylene Rehder, social work program director, said.

“We are thrilled about constructing this new space because it will be equipped with the latest technologies and will effectively support the academic curriculum of the social work degree."

The proposal states that the program intends to make the interviewing equipment mobile and accessible to all social work students on all three campuses, as well as to Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) child welfare workers in this region. With this grant, students will have a unified space to learn and practice skills in order to support educational goals.

“Senior Administration has been extremely supportive of this proposal and has designated a space in the Jesse Dunn Building where social work faculty offices are located,” Rehder said.

She also said the project will allow space for a conference area to conduct CWPEP student interviews, contract signings, seminars, trainings and other various CWPEP associated activities. There will be a comfortable space for students to study with access to an in-house library of social work textbooks, selected journals and practice-skill videos.

An interviewing lab will be equipped with both a video camera and a computer with web camera capabilities. This technology allows for students to save interviews, providing them with opportunities to view them immediately or at a later date.

“The importance of interviewing skills in the field of child welfare is well-documented, and research indicates social workers who are well-prepared remain longer in the public child welfare system,” Rehder said.

This grant is being administered by the University of Oklahoma on behalf of the OKDHS in order to assist the department in retaining quality social workers in the public child welfare system.
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