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Professors Patrick Leung and Monit Cheung’s Newly Published Research Collection Aims to Improve Public Child Welfare System Through Education


Pictured left and right, Professors Monit Cheung and Patrick Leung

March 5, 2020

(HOUSTON, TX) - During the 1970s, there was a serious call from child welfare advocates to government officials that a significant increase in public funding was needed to support the training and educational opportunities for current and potential child welfare professionals. While the complexity of child welfare clients' needs was increasing, those working in child welfare realized that those without a social work education were not as effective in providing services than those who had a social work background.

As a result, lawmakers created Title IV-E of the Social Security Act as part of the Child Welfare and Adoption Assistance Act of 1980. Title IV-E provides a federal matching funding stream for child welfare activities to states. Policymakers sought to "improve the quality of care to 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."

In their newly published book "Title IV-E Child Welfare Education: Impact on Workers, Case Outcomes and Social Work Curriculum Development," GCSW Professors Patrick Leung and Monit Cheung have co-edited a collection of essential research that addresses the complexities of public child welfare.

"Public child welfare has been perceived as a field filled with stress, low pay, and minimal career growth. These problems are connected to a high turnover rate among its workforce," said Leung. "The findings from the studies in this book address social injustice for the workforce and provide implications for legislators and the social work profession on addressing the importance and contribution of Title IV-E child welfare training to workforce retention.”


Comprised of nine chapters written by distinguished researchers in public child welfare, the collection aims to holistically inform child welfare educators, administrators, and legislators about the impact of Title IV-E to better the child welfare system and curriculum through research, policy, and education. 


“Evidence is provided in this new book to address education, practice, policy and research issues," said Cheung. "Justice can only be achieved if the child welfare system pays attention to the needs of children and their families, as well as to those who serve them. When child welfare workers receive equitable rewards for their achievement in promoting child/family outcomes that are measurable, they feel respected and in turn, provide the best services to help those who need their care.” 


"Title IV-E Child Welfare Education: Impact on Workers, Case Outcomes and Social Work Curriculum Development," is published by Routledge and is available through CRC Press.


Patrick Leung, PhD is the Gerson & Sabina David Endowed Professor for Global Aging and Director of the Office for International Social Work Education at the Graduate College of Social Work, University of Houston, USA. Dr. Leung is Principal Investigator and Evaluator of numerous research projects in child welfare and family services.

Monit Cheung, PhD, LCSW is the Mary R. Lewis Endowed Professor in Children & Youth at the Graduate College of Social Work, University of Houston, USA. She is Director of the Child & Family Center for Innovative Research and Principal Investigator of the Title IV-E Child Welfare Education Project in Houston, Texas.