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Illinois State University’s School of Social Work receives DCFS contract


Contact:Rachel Hatch

The Illinois State University School of Social Work is the recipient of a $450,000 contract with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to participate in the Supervisory Training to Enhance Practice project (STEP).

“The contract will enable the University to hire five academic professional staff members who will be responsible for consulting and coaching with supervisors and mid-level administrators in both public and private-sector child welfare agencies throughout a 12-county area. The goal of the STEP initiative is to enhance DCFS’s ability to achieve critical outcomes identified by the Children’s Bureau within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services”, said associate professor in the School of Social Work Kathryn Wehrmann, the director of the STEP project, who will also assist DCFS with project evaluation.

The Illinois State academic professionals will work with DCFS to support achievement of critical outcomes including keeping children under the care of the state protected from abuse and neglect; helping children achieve permanency and stability in their living conditions; maintaining the continuity of family relationships and connections for children in the care of the state, enhancing families’ capacity to provide for their children’s needs; and insuring that children receive adequate services to meet their physical and mental health needs.

The three specialists who have been hired so far will soon begin work to cover the 12-county area. The program is still seeking two more candidates for the Springfield and Quad Cities areas. The specialists will work with public and private agencies in the following counties: Adams, Christian, Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Logan, McLean, Macoupin, Morgan, Peoria, Rock Island and Sangamon.

Illinois State’s School of Social Work is one of six schools in the state to participate in the STEP initiative.

For additional information, contact Wehrmann at, or 309 428-5903.

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