Research and Projects
Behavioral and Mental Health Workforce Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS)
The Social Work Department’s SDS scholarship can help students attend the program full-time and graduate with few or no loans to repay. While most students require two full-time years, Advanced Standing students holding a recent BSW may graduate in one year. The funding is provided by through the Health Research and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and administered by UTEP.
These scholarships aim to meet the needs of the Border region and beyond by creating a diverse, culturally competent workforce. They provide financial and academic support for students who have faced economic and environmental challenges to earning an education, such as students who are:
- the first in their family to attend college,
- from working class and poor backgrounds,
- members of ethnic and/or racial minority groups, and/or
- graduates from high schools with limited resources available to prepare students for college/graduate education
This scholarship can pay for tuition and fees, living expenses, textbooks, travel to internship sites, and licensing exams! Scholarship amounts vary based on students’ level of financial need. Amounts range from half of the cost of tuition to over $27,000. Scholarships are awarded at the beginning of Fall and Spring semesters. Students may receive the scholarship for multiple semesters.
Eligibility Requirements and Scholarship Application
Borderland Behavioral Health Workforce Initiative
This project is funded from FY 15 – FY 17 by the Health Research and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Each of the three years, second-year MSW students who qualified received a $10,000 stipend to support their educational needs, along with a commitment to select a second-year field placement in an agency servicing the target population. By the end of FY 17, a total of 51 students will have received the stipend.
Residents of the El Paso region are profoundly underserved in the areas of health and mental health, due in large part to the critical shortage of graduate level behavioral health professionals. The goal of the project is to increase and strengthen the child, adolescent and transitional-age youth behavioral health workforce in the El Paso border region. Special emphasis is on training to meet the needs of transitional-age persons 16 to 25 years old who are at risk for mental illness, substance abuse, and suicide, and among the least likely to seek continuous help.
This project is intended to increase and expand the child and adolescent behavioral health workforce by:
- increasing the number of MSWs who are prepared to provide behavioral health services;
- equipping caregivers and professionals to intervene in more effective and culturally competent ways;
- utilizing innovative teaching and simulation methods to strengthen the interprofessional experiences of child and adolescent behavioral health professionals; and
- increasing the number of MSW level professionals in the behavioral health field to serve as supervisors for future Social Work students.
The evaluation of the project is still in process, involving both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods, measuring both process and outcome indicators.
Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Collaborative
The Child Welfare Training Collaborative (CWTC) is a Title IV-E Educational Project housed in the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Department of Social Work. CWTC is a partnership built between the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), Children’s Protective Services (CPS). The partnership offers CPS employees in Title IV-E funded positions with the opportunity to pursue a Master of Social work (MSW) degree with the goal of continued work with CPS in the outlined positions.
CPS Staff Requirements
Employees in the Title IV-E funded positions with DFPS must contact their immediate supervisor for proper approval and guidance through the application process. Employees who receive approval to participate in this project will be expected to repay the stipend funding with time as a CPS employee in a Title IV-E allowable position: 4 months for each semester funded by the stipend.
Foster Youth Specialist Project
The Foster Youth Specialist Project is a contract with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (FY 2015 and FY 2017) to work with youth transitioning out of the foster care system. The Youth Specialist will meet with the target population at the YLC meetings, and advocate with the state legislature for youth in care and aged-out youth. The project is housed in the Region 10 CPS offices, but supervision and personnel management of the Youth Specialist is provided by the Department of Social Work.
Parent Partners Project
The Parent Partners program is a contract with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (FY 2015 – FY 2017) to mentor parents currently involved in the CPS System Region 10 (including El Paso and surrounding communities in West Texas) to support parents to increase parental skills and capacities to reduce threats to the child’s safety. The targeted CPS programs include Conservatorship Program (families in which the child/children had been removed) and The Family Based Support Services Program (added in FY 17 for at-risk families where the child still resided in the home). The project employs Peer Mentors who were individuals who had been active with CPS in the past and successfully achieved reunification. Clients are referred by CPS workers; the Peer Mentors are supervised by licensed social worker and meet face-face with clients. An evaluation component includes both process and outcome measures.