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Title IV-E FAQ's

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  • Title IV-E of the Social Security Act authorizes the Foster Care and Adoption Assistance programs to provide federal matching funds to states for directly administering the programs. Its objective is to improve the quality of care of children in foster care, reduce the number of children in foster care, return children to their homes as soon as conditions permit, and facilitate the adoption or permanent placement of children who cannot be returned to their homes.

  • There are two kinds of IV-E stipend recipients, pre-service and employee stipend. Pre-service stipend recipients are currently enrolled social work students who are not currently employed by DFPS. Employee stipend students are current DFPS employees who enroll in the School of Social Work to pursue an MSW degree.

  • Applicants must be in good academic standing to apply for the stipend and during the entire stipend tenure.

      For pre-service BSW and MSW students:
    To be eligible for the Title IV-E sequence, the applicant must complete the following courses:
    • BSW students must take SOWK 4315 - Child Welfare
    • BSW students are encouraged to study in the Texas State Spanish Language Institute.
    • MSW students must take either SOWK 5315 Social Work Intervention in Child Abuse and Neglect, or SOWK 5360 -- Directed Study in Social Work.
    • Both BSW and MSW students must complete a CPS internship.
    • Being bilingual is preferred for both degree programs.
    • All applicants must demonstrate an appreciation for cultural diversity.

      For current DFPS employees:

      (Employees do not have to meet all of the above requirements)
      • Employees must meet all Texas State and School of Social Work admission requirements and have agency approval. 
    • For pre-service BSW and MSW students:

      The student must submit the following to the Field Director:
      • Application for field practicum
      • A personal resume (CV) reflecting education, work, and volunteer experience
      • A two-to-three page, double-spaced essay detailing an applicant’s interest in and commitment to child welfare work in the public sector.
      • An official transcript
      • The application materials must be submitted to the Field Office by the posted deadline each semester.
      • DFPS staff will interview all applicants and then submit a recommendation to the Field Office.
      • Field Directors: Region 7, Martha Wildberger,, 512-834-3217 OR Region 8, Richard brooks,, 210-337-3582
      PLEASE NOTE: Ultimately, the agency chooses the student and the contract is between the student and the agency, not the university.
      For current DFPS employees:
      • Employees, who are eligible for a Title IV-E position, must contact his/her supervisor and go through the agency review team. Employees must meet all Texas State admission criteria and be approved by the agency. Agency requirements are subject to workforce needs of the region and are determined on an annual basis.
    • In accordance with both federal and state guidelines, each CPS region will determine specific program details (how stipend recipients are selected, trained, and placed). Each region will make the final determination in the selection of its own stipend recipients.

      • Pre-service students should contact the Title IV-E grant specialist for current information.
      • Current DFPS employees should contact their supervisors.

    • Yes. You must not only pass a criminal background check, but also a CPS background check and a drug test prior to employment.

    • The number of stipends varies each semester depending on funding.  

      1. For pre-service students, the stipend is $5500 for the final block placement for BSW students and $5500 for the final block placement for MSW students. Currently, the stipend is dispersed approximately six weeks into the semester from the financial aid office.
      2. For current DFPS employees, tuition and fees are paid along with an additional stipend amount for books. The book stipend amount varies by contract year. 
      3. It should be noted that the amounts mentioned here are for this year’s contract and are subject to change with each new contract.
    • The stipend amount is counted as part of your financial resources for calculating your financial aid eligibility and loan amounts. Please contact the Financial Aid office directly to determine what, if any, impact there will be on your current financial aid/loan package.

    • Child welfare workers perform a multitude of tasks in a complex setting. These may include:

      • Assessments
      • Testifying in court
      • Case management
      • Referrals to services
      • Foster care and adoption management
      • Community organization
      • Advocacy
      • Travel
      PLEASE NOTE: Interns will be held to the same professionalism and accountability standards as employees.
    • You may be expected to travel to attend training. The trip could take up to two weeks and your expenses will be paid. However, you may be expected to pay a portion or all of your travel expenses up front. You will be reimbursed AFTER travel is complete.

    • For pre-service BSW and MSW students: 

      The payback for the stipend is 8 calendar months of employment at DFPS for each semester in which a stipend was received.

      For Current DFPS employees:

      The payback for the stipend is 4 calendar months of employment at DFPS for each semester in which a stipend was received.

      PLEASE NOTE: The payback begins after the pre-service student begins employment status, and after the employee graduates with a BSW/MSW degree.

    • A IV-E stipend recipient who fails to complete this obligation is required by law to repay the agency for all stipend monies received.

      • Grant Director Martha Wildberger is based in Austin, and she may be reached at 512.834.3217 or
      • Grant Specialist Richard Brooks is based in San Antonio, and he may be reached at 210.337.3582 or