DHR Stipend Program

Woman working with child and parent in office.


The state’s Title IV-E Stipend Program provides stipends to university students at Alabama higher education institutions to help educate prospective child welfare workers and provide continuing educational opportunities for existing child welfare workers. Title IV-E stipends are specifically designated for students planning to pursue or continue a career in public child welfare with the Alabama Department of Human Resources. An 18-month work obligation with the Alabama Department of Human Resources is a requirement of the Title IV-E Stipend Program.

Eligibility Requirements

Students must meet the following criteria in order to be considered for a Title IV-E stipend:

  • Have received a “C” or better in SW 350 Child Welfare Services field of practice elective
  • Must be a BSW student who is preparing to enter their field placement.
  • Have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher, or 3.0 or higher GPA for the last 30 semester hours of coursework.
  • Must secure appropriate field placement with the assistance of social work program Field Coordinator. 
▼   How to Apply

Any student enrolled in an accredited social work program in the state of Alabama may apply for the Title IV-E stipend through The University of Alabama School of Social Work Title IV-E Stipend Program.

Title IV-E Stipend Application

Title IV-E Stipend Program Fact Sheet

Stage One – Application

The student must review the Stipend Fact Sheet, complete the Title IV-E Stipend Application and email the application to TitleIV-E@ua.edu. The Title IV-E Stipend Application consists of four parts: (1) Student Information, (2) Outline, (3) Essay, (4) Resume and Transcript. Each part contains specific instructions that if not followed will result in the application being rejected. The outline and essay must be completed using general APA format. All required attachments must be converted from their original format to PDF prior to submission in order to preserve the intended formatting.
Title IV-E Stipend Application due dates are as follows:

June 1 - Fall Field Placement (August Start Date/December Graduation) 

October 1 - Spring Field Placement (January Start Date/May Graduation)

Students on concurrent/extended placements should apply based on the semester of graduation. Example: August field start date / May graduation – application due October 1.

Stage Two – Essay

All essays will be reviewed and scored by members of the Title IV-E Stipend Committee. Once that process is complete, the applicant will receive notification via email whether their score qualified them to advance to the next stage.

Stage Three – Interview

The applicant must participate in a video conference interview conducted via Zoom with 3-4 members of the Title IV-E Stipend Committee. Stipend applicants are selected using a rubric scoring tool based on the following criteria: application, outline, resume, essay, and interview.

Stage Four – Stipend Award Letter

If selected, the proposed recipient will receive an award letter stipulating the proposed award and a Title IV-E acceptance form in which the applicant must accept or decline the award.

▼   Stipend Recipient Responsibilities
  1. Must successfully complete field placement based on the requirements of the individual social work program.
  2. Must complete a minimum of one IV-E Learning Activity each week during field placement*.
  3. Must agree to work with a professional development coach approximately two hours per month during field placement* and 18-month work obligation.
  4. Must submit DHR job application and Willingness Questionnaire to TitleIV-E@ua.edu for compliance review during the first month of the semester of graduation. The recipient must indicate non-binding preferences for three regions they would be willing to accept employment. Date of availability for interviews indicated on DHR job application must be the same date the application is completed, not graduation date. After compliance review, the recipient must apply for employment with DHR via the process outlined on the State Personnel Department website at https://personnel.alabama.gov/.
  5. Upon receipt, must submit a copy of DHR registration confirmation to TitleIV-E@ua.edu.
  6. Upon graduation, the recipient must agree to accept child welfare program employment with DHR, if offered, by any county within their selected regions for at least 18 months in an entry level Social Worker position specific to the degree (BSW or MSW). If employed by DHR, the recipient must agree to take a position specific to programmatic functions of the Family and Children’s Services Division.
  7. Must agree to provide the University of Alabama Title IV-E Stipend Program Coordinator with a permanent address, telephone number, and email address at the time of graduation and will notify the School and DHR Field Administration of any changes for the purposes of program evaluation.
  8. Must agree to provide a copy of their transcript to DHR or the University of Alabama Title IV-E Stipend Program Coordinator at any time upon request.
▼   Professional Development Coach

Stipend recipients will be assigned a professional development coach with extensive experience in the field of public child welfare and knowledge of DHR policies and procedures. The coach will provide approximately two hours per month of professional development on a variety of topics based on the needs of the stipend recipient during field placement* and work obligation period. Coaching sessions count towards total field placement hours, but cannot exceed two hours per month. Meetings can be held face-to-face, over the phone, or via video conference (Zoom, FaceTime, etc.). The coaching support role will include the following:

  • Clarify and focus on the recipients goals and support their professional growth
  • Identify personal sources of energy and inspiration to fuel motivation
  • Work through barriers that may interfere with work/life satisfaction
  • Improve personal and professional communication skills
  • Discover or enhance a personal vision and mission