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Professor Berrick Receives Major Grants

Funding from the Zellerbach Family Foundation and NCCWI to support child welfare research and MSW/PhD training

Berkeley Social Welfare Professor Jill Duerr Berrick recently received two prestigious awards to further support her research and work to improve child welfare policy and practice.

Funding from the Zellerbach Family Foundation will support the 18-month research project, “Outcomes and Experiences of Children in Family-Based Care Settings.” Slated to begin this summer, the project aims to “shed light on the circumstances of vulnerable children living in kinship and foster family homes in California.” The study will look at “caregiving environments and the financial subsidies that partially shape these settings” in conjunction with “indicators of child well-being.” Project findings will help to inform “whether and how the policy contexts that offer caregivers access to financial and service supports act to enhance or impair vulnerable children’s well-being.”

Additionally, a grant from the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCCWI) will support the Cal-Child Welfare Leadership Training (Cal-CWLT) initiative. Cal-CWLT will fund five MSW and one PhD students per year for five years. Berkeley Social Welfare Director of Field Education Greg Merrill and the School's field faculty will be closely involved in the project.

The initiative’s key goals are to train the student participants in evidence-based, trauma-informed child welfare direct- and administrative practice; coach them to develop engaged leadership skills; and support them in conducting practice- and program- relevant research projects that address agency priorities for systems change. Their research endeavors are guided by a specially selected research liaison at the University, and students are placed at the Human Service Agency of San Francisco or Seneca Family of Agencies, San Francisco.