Evaluation of the Title IV-E/426 program
Murphy, Sandra Ruthven
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This research study was a formative program evaluation completed for the State of Georgia Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) to assess the Title IV-E program. Title IV-E funds are used to provide social work education to full-time and part-time bachelor’s and master’s degree students who are interested in public child welfare employment following graduation. Graduates of the program were asked to rate their own capabilities in completing thirty various tasks of child welfare work; they also completed scales on professional commitment, job satisfaction, job stress, and their intent to remain working for DFCS. Two comparison groups of new case managers hired during the same period also completed the measures: one group of new employees who had no social work education, and another group of new case managers who had social work degrees, but had not received Title IV-E funding. Additionally, supervisors of the study participants were asked to rate their workers’ capabilities using the same measures. The results of the data analysis indicated that there were no statistically significant differences among groups of new workers. It was found that the Title IV-E graduates and the group of non-IV-E social workers rated themselves the same as their supervisors. However, the group of non-social workers rated themselves significantly higher than their own supervisors did. This result led to the speculation that non-social workers are more likely to not know what they don’t know about child welfare work. The measures of job stress, professional commitment, and intent to remain employed for DFCS did not show significant differences among groups. Job satisfaction did show significant difference among groups with the non-social workers indicating the greatest satisfaction and the non-IV-E social workers showing the least satisfaction.