Northwestern's social work department plays host to CWPEP Advisory Board meeting

January 16, 2020

CWPEP Advisory Board members Aleece Mann, Dr. Kylene Rehder, Jennifer Pribble, Dr. Jim Burke, Linda Smith, Brittany Oelze, Stacey Blaylock, Guy Willis, Elaine Akin, Bonni Goodwin, Amy White, Misty Stanberry and Jessica Roberson.

The Northwestern Oklahoma State University department of social work recently played host to a Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program (CWPEP) Advisory Board meeting on the Enid campus.

CWPEP is a title IV-E partnership between the University of Oklahoma, The Oklahoma Department of Human Services, and the US Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. The Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work coordinates the contract with Northwestern and other participating accredited undergraduate social work programs including East Central University and Oral Roberts University.

The purpose of this partnership is to enhance and support Oklahoma's public child welfare workforce. It affords interested students financial support by covering books, fees and in-state tuition in return for a specified employment obligation in a Child Welfare position with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) or a Tribe with which DHS has a Tribal/State Agreement. The stipend amount for a 12-month employment obligation is $7,876. This program is funded by OKDHS, Children and Family Services Division through Title IV-E of the Social Security Act. To be eligible to apply to the program, undergraduate students must be fully admitted to a participating accredited social work program. Upon completion of the Bachelor of Social Work degree, social workers enter OKDHS employment as Child Welfare Specialists.

The meeting included a tour of the Social Work Department’s Virtual Reality lab that enables students to wear a headset and operate hand controllers that transports them into various virtual environments to learn professional practice skills. The lab was funded by the University of Oklahoma’s Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work on behalf of the OKDHS to assist in retaining quality social workers in the public child welfare system.

The meeting was led by Linda Smith, CWPEP program coordinator from the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work, and attended by Northwestern’s Dr. Kylene Rehder, professor of social work and chair of the department, and Jennifer Pribble, assistant professor of social work and director of field experience, along with colleagues Guy Willis, OKDHS Child Welfare Training Program Administrator; Elaine Akin, Bonni Goodwin and Amy White, OU school of social work; Aleece Mann, Misty Stanberry and Jessica Roberson, OKDHS; Brittany Oelze and Stacey Blaylock, Oral Roberts University; and Dr. Jim Burke, East Central University.

To learn more about the CWPEP program, contact Rehder at (580) 327-8135 or kdrehder@nwosu.edu.

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