2020 Session

Budget Amendments - SB30 (Member Request)

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Chief Patron: Favola
Child Welfare Stipend Program

Item 354 #4s

Item 354 #4s

First Year - FY2021 Second Year - FY2022
Health and Human Resources
Department of Social Services FY2021 $500,000 FY2022 $500,000 GF

Page 357, line 41, strike "$272,351,043" and insert "$272,851,043".
Page 357, line 41, strike "$268,464,940" and insert "$268,964,940".


(This amendment adds $500,000 each year from the general fund for a state-funded stipend program to address the shortages of Bachelor and Masters degree graduates with experience in child welfare that work in local departments of social services. The Child Welfare Stipend Program (CWSP) is a partnership between the Virginia Department of Social Services and five universities. This specialized training program, funded through Title IV-E prepares social work students for a career in child welfare. Because of Title IV-E funding rules, stipend program workers must spend at least 51 percent of their time in foster care/adoption work. This is a barrier to many rural departments because they do not have positions that work 51 percent in that area. As a result, small rural agencies do not benefit from the stipend program as they cannot hire stipend graduates. These local departments have a turnover rate of 61 percent. In order to help stabilize the child welfare workforce, a state-funded stipend program is needed to help support smaller agencies. Stipends have the potential to increase the stability and quality of the child welfare workforce by providing education incentives to encourage social work students to specialize in child welfare. Students accepted into this program receive a $10,000 stipend per academic year. In exchange for the stipend and extensive child welfare training, the stipend recipient must commit to work at a Local Department of Social Services within the state of Virginia (one calendar year for each academic year that the stipend was received. This is a recommendation of the Commission on Youth.)