Stephen F. Austin State University

Child Welfare Professional Development Project

Child Welfare Professional Development Project (CWPDP)

The Child Welfare Professional Development Project (CWPDP), Title IV-E program of the School of Social Work at Stephen F. Austin State University, is in its 17th year of partnership with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS). The Project supports the agency's efforts to ensure positive safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes by enhancing the knowledge and skills of current and future Child Protective Services (CPS) workers through undergraduate and graduate education in social work and providing opportunities for foster parent and staff training.

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Stephen F. Austin State University is situated to serve two regions of TDFPS, Region 04 (Tyler - 23 counties) and Region 05 (Beaumont - 15 counties). The majority of the service area is rural and the population is underserved by social workers with professional and advanced degrees. The Child Welfare Professional Development Project helps to reduce the barriers to education and training for those that strive to improve the lives of East Texas children and youth in foster care.

CWPDP offers competitive stipends to BSW and MSW students who are interested in a challenging and rewarding career serving families and children. Students must complete a Title IV-E stipend application the semester before entering their last semester of field instruction. A CPS stipend committee reviews applications, conducts interviews and awards stipends; stipend amount is contingent upon availability of funds. Upon graduation, stipend recipients commit to work for CPS for eight months in a Title IV-E position. Click here for more detailed information on BSW stipends and MSW stipends.

Current CPS employees are also offered opportunities to extend their professional social work education by completing an MSW degree. Employees who have been approved for the Title IV-E stipend and admitted to the MSW Program at SFA receive a stipend every fall and spring semester as they complete their degree plan. Employees agree to four months of full time employment for each semester of stipend receipt.

Graduate Assistants, Aaron Camp and Destiny Peters, are ready to assist in the Child Welfare Information Center.

Throughout the year, CWPDP provides training opportunities to CPS staff, foster and adoptive parents, and community providers. Project staff publishes the REACHOUT Newsletter biannually. The Spring 2014 issue offers important information for parenting children who have been sexually abused. Foster parents across East Texas may earn one hour toward their annual required training by completing an enclosed test and returning it to their caseworker. MSW graduate student, Aaron Camp, has also featured resources for foster and adoptive parents to help their children cope with sexual abuse, which are now available for check out. Back issues of the REACHOUT Newsletter are available to earn additional hours. Individualized foster parent training is also available through the Child Welfare Information Center; a toll free number (1-877-886-6707) is provided, materials are mailed with a stamped return envelope, and training hours are awarded through CWPDP. Click here for the DVD List and Video List.

Scenes from the 16th Annual Region 5 Foster Adoptive Training Conference held on the SFA campus, April 20-21, 2013


Throughout the year, CWPDP also provides training opportunities to CPS staff, foster and adoptive parents, and community providers. Project staff is currently preparing for the 16th Annual Region 5 Foster and Adoptive Training Conference to be held April 20, 2013 at the Baker Pattillo Student Center on the SFA campus. There are over 15 workshops planned for the day and 8 CEU hours are being offered for LSW, LPC, TAADAC, and LCDC; for registration information, check the School of Social Works events page or contact CWPDP at (936) 468-1846, and we will be glad to help you! Above are scenes from the 2013 conference; we look forward to seeing you in 2014!

Conference photographer and BSW Volunteer, Debbie Vestal


For more information contact Becky Price-Mayo at (936) 468-1808 or Donna Shelton at (936) 468-4020. Ms. Price-Mayo can be reached by email at bmayo@sfasu.edu and Ms. Shelton can be reached at dshelton@sfasu.edu.

Contact Information:

School of Social Work

Child Welfare Professional Development Project (CWPDP)

420 E. Starr Ave., Suite 209

PO Box 6165

Nacogdoches, TX 75962-6165

936.468.1808