A skilled and productive workforce is essential to employers and consumers alike. This is especially true for those working in helping professions. The Office of Workforce Development, Research, and Support informs and supports employees, employers, and organizations through rigorous research, workplace-centered practice, and community-informed service. The Office of Workforce Development, Research, and Support translates research findings into workforce solutions, workplace practices, and public policy transformation. In addition to research to practice innovation, the office focuses on adept, accessible training, employee recruitment and retention, and professional, personal, and organizational self-care practices.


Fostering Success

While the current overall employment landscape has recently improved, employment opportunities for youth and young adults transitioning from foster care remains a challenge. In response, the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) partnered with the University of Kentucky College of Social Work’s Training Resource Center to implement its Fostering Success program. Fostering Success is a 10-week hybrid employment training program. Participants receive job training and mentorship, which occurs concurrent to a job placement. Upon completion, participants may continue employment placements and/or enter an array of vocational training programs. Initial reports indicate significant improvements in job readiness and self-efficacy. Please contact Linda Smith at linda.smith@uky.edu for more information.

Public Child Welfare Certification Program (PCWCP)

The Public Child Welfare Certification Program is a pre-service education and training program for undergraduate junior and senior social work majors designed to prepare them for employment in Kentucky’s public child welfare services. The PCWCP at the University of Kentucky continues to operate under the administrative umbrella of the College of Social Work’s Training Resource Center.  The participants of this program are exposed to two child welfare courses, 24 hours of training at four program retreats plus an additional six days of training in their last semester. Both of their practicum placements, accounting for 640 hours on-site in two semesters, are spent with the Commonwealth’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department of Community Based Services, Protection and Permanency units.  This collaborative effort between the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) and eleven public and private universities is a comprehensive and thorough preparation that is meant to ensure competent and confident workers.  Statewide, the retention rate for participants who continue two years or more beyond their initial two-year commitment to employment with the Cabinet is approximately 85%.

To be eligible for PCWCP, students must be full-time Bachelor’s of Social Work majors with an overall cumulative grade point average of 2.5, a 3.0 in all Social Work courses and a solid commitment to the work of public child welfare services.  Students take coursework and CHFS training equivalent to that given new employees in their first six months of employment as well as internships in local Protection and Permanency units.

The students’ (in-state) tuition and a stipend are paid by Cabinet for Health and Family Services for each of their last four semesters in the Program.  Upon graduation, the students are obligated to work for two years in local CHFS offices, where they might do the work of Child Protection Intake, Investigations, On-going (treatment), Foster Care, Permanency Planning, Adoptions or Juvenile Services. Please contact Erin Mayhorn for more information.

Self-Care Initiative

Coming Soon