PSU program receives $1 million grant

Portland State’s Child Welfare Partnership (CWP) recently received the Rural Child Training Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Over five years, CWP will collect a total of $1 million to help welfare workers in rural areas of Oregon and Alaska.

Based in the Graduate School of Social Work in cooperation with the Extended Studies program, CWP helps with the training of child welfare workers and foster parents in Oregon.

“The (CWP) does a lot of training for the state department of Human Services,” Caleb Heppner, executive director of CWP said.

One of only seven organizations in the United States to be awarded the grant, CWP will put the money to use by creating a curriculum for welfare workers in rural areas where resources are especially scarce. CWP will partner with the Oregon Department of Human Services and the University of Alaska’s Family and Youth Training Academy to design the new program.

Heppner called the grant “a neat opportunity.” He also stated, “We think it’s a really good opportunity to help the state improve.”

Heppner explained that CWP would be partnering with the University of Alaska’s Family and Youth Training Academy because of the high number of rural areas in Alaska. Once the program is designed and implemented, Heppner sees other states besides Oregon and Alaska benefiting from it as well.

It is expected that the program will be available online and through on-site delivery in areas where it is needed.

The program will fit well with CWP’s goals of making sure children are well cared for and the needs of families and children in rural settings are met.

As Heppner said, “The grant is a great opportunity for PSU and our partners in Oregon and Alaska to contribute to the effectiveness of child welfare practice in our rural communities and to help build the national understanding of best practices.”