What is the Academic Partnership?
The Arkansas Academic Partnership in Public Child Welfare is a statewide collaboration of nine Arkansas universities and the Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) focused on education and training to improve child welfare practice.
History of the Academic Partnership
In 1991 Arkansas received a call to action stressing the need for system-wide reform in its child welfare services. This call came in the form of a class action lawsuit, Angela R. v. Clinton. The lawsuit was settled with the caveat that substantive changes needed to be made to the Arkansas public child welfare system. A Partnership was formed between the Arkansas DCFS, the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff to address child welfare reform. Since that time the Partnership has grown to include Arkansas Tech University, Harding University, Philander Smith College, Southern Arkansas University, and University of Arkansas at Monticello.
The vision of the Partnership is to provide education and training to create and maintain a professional child welfare workforce that can adequately respond to the needs of the vulnerable children and families of Arkansas.
The Partnership objectives are to develop family-centered child welfare academic curricula and to infuse it into interdisciplinary degree programs statewide; to recruit and prepare university/college students for employment in the child welfare system administered by DCFS; to better prepare child welfare workers and supervisory staff through state-of-the-art pre-service training and by providing a variety of continuing education forums such as one-on-one training, on the job training, field training, advanced practice training, and classroom style training.a