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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


Page address: welfare program/introduction.html

The overall purpose of the Title IV-E child welfare training programs in the U.S. is to support the delivery of quality public child welfare services to children in foster care and children who have special needs who are waiting for adoption.  This goal is achieved by financially supporting the education of public employees or persons seeking future employment in a public child welfare agency.  The federal government supports the investment in the education of these individuals based on the belief that a prepared child welfare workforce leads to quality service delivery resulting in improved child safely, permanency, and well-being outcomes.  

In return, individuals benefiting from this program are expected to secure employment in the field of public (county, tribal, or state) child welfare.  The program requirement for a post-degree commitment in a public child welfare agency supports employment and retention of a prepared child welfare workforce (Title IV-E Child Welfare Program).  Post-graduation employment will be tracked to ensure that the 'one year of education to one year of employment' payback requirement met in Minnesota.  1 semester = 4.5 months. 

The following federal programs and policies provide the foundation and structure for offering Scholars the funding to prepare for a career in public child welfare.


The Title IV-E Program is a federal entitlement program established by Congress and administered by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. This program provides financial support and vests practice guidance for State’s work with children in foster care and adoption.

The financial support covers some of the direct service and administration costs associated with these child welfare programs. Title IV-E reimbursement of foster care costs can be claimed in three different areas:

  • Care of the child in foster or pre-adoptive home or child care institution,
  • Administration of the foster care system and
  • Training of staff, providers and foster and adoptive parents.

In 1980, P.L. 96-272 (Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act) was a major amendment to the Social Security Act of 1935 and resulted in the creation of Title IV, part E of the Social Security Act (the Act). P.L. 96-272 was passed by Congress in large part due to the following concerns:

  • Children were removed from their families too frequently, without good reason and without adequate placement prevention efforts being made.
  • Efforts were not being made to reunite children with their families and often permanently lost contact with their families.
  • Children spent years in temporary foster care, adrift in foster care without a real sense of family or permanency.

This Act sets forth a complex set of requirements that define the circumstances under which a State may claim reimbursement. These requirements are based in best practices from the 1980 Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act and the 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act. The Act establishes federal authority to conduct Child and Family Services Review to assess States performance in achieving substantial conformity in the areas of safety, permanency and well-being for children in child welfare. Title IV-E of the Social Security Act is read together with the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act for American Indian children in the foster care system. (Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, 2011-2012)