KCV innovators from WKU, Dr. Daniel Boamah, Dr. Kimberly Green, and Dr. Austin Griffiths, attended the Title IV-E Roundtable for Child Welfare Training and Education in May 2023. KCV sponsored their attendance through the KCV GOAL (Growth, Opportunity, and Learning) Fund, which expands access to professional opportunities and resources for KCV partner institutions. Boamah, Green, and Griffiths shared more about their experience below.
Was this your first experience with the Title IV-E Roundtable? Why did you want to attend?
This was Kimberly and Daniel’s second experience of the event but Austin has attended this event multiple times. In fact, the LifeSkills Center of Child Welfare Education and Research (LCCWEAR), under the leadership of Austin, hosted the conference in Bowling Green, KY last year. However, our participation was different this year because in addition to being at the roundtable to learn, share knowledge, and network, we had the opportunity to introduce the implicit bias VR technology to the attendees.
What is one takeaway from the Title IV-E Roundtable you plan to incorporate into your work?
One take away from the event was that workforce development is key to the sustainability of the child welfare system. Having well trained workforce with adequate support to make the tough decisions with significant implications on the children and families is a necessity for a sustainable system of care.
Was there anything about the Title IV-E Roundtable that surprised you?
One thing that surprised us was the level of consensus on the need to address systematic bias and resulting outcomes that has continued to place people of certain demographics such as children of color or poor socio-economic background at a disadvantage. Stakeholders are yearning for answers and looking for innovative ways to disrupt that trajectory.
Why is it important for you to participate in conferences and professional opportunities such as the Title IV-E Roundtable?
The event provides a unique opportunity to engage professional (educators, researchers, practitioners, providers, administrators, leaders, etc.) around a common social issue which in this case was on the child welfare system.
Would you recommend others in your field attend the Title IV-E Roundtable? Why?
We cannot address issues that impact a significant portion of our society by staying in our world of silos. We strongly believe that knowledge is power and power only grows when it is shared. Also, since ideas are viewed from the originator’s perspective, it is extremely difficult to develop solutions to social problems from a single perspective. Feedback from peers could be extremely valuable in this process.
Is there anything else you want to share about your experience?
We are at a turning point of how child welfare services are delivered. This point comes with both challenges and enormous untapped opportunities. We have to be innovative in our vision and collaborative in our process to meet the demands of our time.