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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)March 6, 2006

(Mahwah) – Ramapo College of New Jersey is one of seven higher education institutions in the state to participate in the Baccalaureate Child Welfare Education Program (BCWEP) that prepares undergraduate social work students for careers in public child welfare.

The intent of the program is to enhance the public child welfare workforce by encouraging students with generalist social work education and additional coursework in child welfare to enter professional positions in New Jersey public child welfare agencies.  It is believed if social work students are given the financial resources and the opportunity for a fieldwork experience, child welfare agencies such as DYFS will benefit.  The program will also provide a better-trained workforce.

Three Ramapo College students majoring in social work are participating in the BCWEP, including Helen Ha of Paramus and Lori Laverty of East Rutherford.  They were in field placements during the fall 2005 semester and will continue during the spring.  They will work in the offices of the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) in Bergen County.  The students will receive tuition, fees and a stipend of $5,500 for one academic year and serve a 400-hour internship at an office of DYFS.  In return, students accepting a traineeship must sign a legally binding commitment to work for DYFS for a minimum of one year following graduation.

This is a win-win situation,” notes Dr. Susan Scher, an associate professor of social work who oversees the BCWEP at Ramapo College.  It helps students by providing financial assistance, helps them test out if this is the field of practice for them
and offers them a job as they leave college.  DYFS wins because they will have a pool of entry level staff who know what it means to work in a public child welfare setting.  The program strengthens Ramapo College’s commitment to the community.”

BCWEP is a collaborative effort by the New Jersey Office of Children’s Services and a consortium of seven accredited baccalaureate social work programs in New Jersey.  The lead institution in the consortium is Richard Stockton College of NJ.  In addition to Ramapo College, other member institutions include Georgian Court University, Kean University, Monmouth University, Rutgers University-Newark and Seton Hall University.  It is an outgrowth of the New Jersey Baccalaureate Social Work Education Association, which has long addressed issues affecting social work education at the undergraduate level.  Federal funds available under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act and a state match support the program.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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