Erin Mayhorn


Exploring the Use of Virtual Reality Simulation in Child Welfare Training and Education


This presentation focuses on the potential of virtual reality (VR) simulation in child welfare training and education. The presenter will explore the concept of VR simulation and its application across various industries, highlighting its unique capacity to immerse participants in emotionally charged or complex scenarios. The presentation will also make a compelling case for integrating VR into child welfare training programs, emphasizing its ability to enhance learning outcomes and prepare professionals for real-world challenges. Finally, challenges and future directions for research and development in this field will be identified, underscoring the importance of continued innovation to meet the evolving needs of child welfare professionals.


Erin J. Mayhorn holds a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from Morehead State University, a Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) from the University of Louisville and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Social Work (DSW) at the University of Kentucky. She serves as the Child Workforce Development Manager, focusing on innovative child welfare recruitment and education approaches.

With a research interest in Child Welfare Education, Erin’s work includes a pioneering Capstone Project on “Exploring Virtual Simulation in Child Welfare Training and Education.” Her dedication to transforming child welfare through innovative methods has earned her recognition, including features on KET and UKNOW.

Erin is committed to shaping the future of social work education and practice, utilizing virtual reality (VR) projects to enhance training. Her efforts have garnered attention and accolades, showcasing her passion for advancing the field.

Erin’s contributions extend beyond academia, as she is a dedicated social work educator with a drive to make a tangible difference in the lives of children and families. Her commitment to excellence and innovation sets her apart in the field of social work.

For more information on Erin’s work, please visit:
KET Feature: VR Training for Social Workers
UKNOW Feature: UK Social Work Launches Virtual Reality Child Welfare Investigation Simulation