The ASU Title IV-E Interdisciplinary Committee is maintained as one of the performance indicators in the contract among ASU Department of Social Work, UAF Department of Social Work and the Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The committee is comprised of faculty from a variety of academic departments across the ASU campus. The participating departments represent applicant pools of future child welfare workers accepted for employment by DCFS in Arkansas. The committee chair currently is Dr. Richard Freer, Associate Professor from the Department of Social Work who also serves as the Principle Investigator for the Title IV-E grant at ASU. Other members include: Dr. David Saarnio, Professor in the Department of Psychology and Counseling, Dr. Joanna Grymes, Associate Professor in the Department of Teacher Education, Dr. Larry Salinger, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology, and Karen Fullen, LCSW, Title IV-E program director.
Title IV-E Interdisciplinary Committee Objectives
The objectives of the Interdisciplinary Committee are:
- to infuse child welfare content into curricula across disciplines
- to educate undergraduates regarding professional child welfare practice
- to recruit students into the child welfare profession
- to highlight and foster a collaborative spirit among students and professionals from different fields toward the provision of seamless, effective and efficient services to children and their families on a broad range of topic areas.
The committee convenes quarterly to plan activities that meet the objectives.
The members of the committee provide continuing education for DCFS workers and foster parents as well as pre-professional educational opportunities for ASU students considering child welfare as a profession. The two primary educational events sponsored by the committee include the annual Title IV-E mini conference and the fall and spring “Lunch and Learn” activities on ASU’s campus.
Members of the committee conduct presentations in seminars and conferences sponsored by ASU Title IV-E for DCFS staff, area foster parents, community providers in child welfare, and ASU students.
Lunch and Learn
Each Lunch and Learn event focuses on a different topic which impacts current child welfare practice. The event is always entitled, “Who’s Who and What do they do in….”. Past topics have included School Based Mental Health, Juvenile Court, Services to Children of Incarcerated Parents, and Families with Substance Abuse Issues. The format of the event is a panel moderated by a member of the committee and comprised of DCFS staff members, ASU faculty and staff members and community service provides who come to educate the students on what they do, how their service impacts children and families, how the different agencies collaborate with one another, and what kinds of future employment opportunities exist for students in this part of the state.