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New CMU program to support students pursuing careers in child welfare

Rick Brewer

Central Michigan University is establishing a new program intended to provide funding for students pursuing jobs in child welfare services.

The Child Welfare Fellowship Program aims to address the shortage of social workers in adoption, foster care and protective services.

"Part of the intention of this program is not just to benefit students, but it's really to assure that we are putting more really qualified social workers into child welfare where they're desperately needed," said Professor Susan Grettenberger, director of CMU's social work program.

According to Grettenberger, the program helps students earn enhanced training.

She said, it is important that professionals in child welfare learn how to work with people instead of acting as if they were the police.

"We're there to be a collaborator to help families stay together and children have their needs met," Grettenberger said.

She added that professionals also have to recognize the importance of diversity as they will be working with people from various different backgrounds.

The new program will provide financial support to students who might not otherwise pursue a career in this field.

Jazmin Anderson is a newsroom intern covering central Michigan for WCMU.