Collaborative Title IV-E Summit Is Opportunity for Students to Lead and Connect

CalSWEC Spotlight summarizes the latest developments in program initiatives and activities of interest to CalSWEC's community.

This month, Rose Elia Chahla, Title IV-E Stipend Program Project Manager, describes the significance of student engagement in the 2018 Title IV-E Summit.

November 20, 2017

The CalSWEC Title IV-E Summit is an annual educational conference that convenes 350 Title IV-E partners, students, agencies, and Tribal and community partners around a relevant child welfare theme.

For IV-E students, however, the Summit is much more.

In collaboration with CalSWEC Title IV-E staff and a Partner Planning Committee, a rotating group of IV-E Student Representatives from around the state plan the Title IV-E Summit. At the start of the academic year, up to two Student Representatives from each of the 22 schools in the CalSWEC consortium are selected for this Student Committee. They will typically attend two in-person student planning meetings where their responsibilities include:

  • developing the Summit theme and  goals;
  • serving on the Media, Workshop, Welcome, or Public Child Welfare Resource Zone Student Committee where they are assigned such responsibilities as creating the Summit logo, recruiting presenters, and promoting the event on social media; and
  • supporting operations at the Summit itself such as managing registration and assisting attendees.

For Student Representatives, involvement in the Summit provides a valuable leadership opportunity that connects them to the greater Title IV-E student network through an impressive statewide collaboration and further prepares them for the world of work.

The 2017 Title IV-E Summit Student Coordinator, Amani Odom, currently employed at Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services as a Children's Social Worker, sums up her experience and the benefits she derived from it:

“With all of us having different work ethics, styles, and ideas, it was imperative to learn how to be able to work collaboratively with each and every one of the other Student Coordinators and Representatives… This was great preparation for helping me work as a county social worker and having to juggle many tasks at the same time, such as staying in constant communication with other workers, families, and service providers, being able to take feedback from others, as well as give feedback constructively, working under tight deadlines, remaining organized, and being able to advocate for myself and others.

“These have all been useful and helpful in the workplace. Now, being able to step up and ask those hard questions or take on challenges and tasks that may seem hard or confusing is a little easier to do. I have more confidence in my abilities to know that even if I do not know how to complete a task, I am able to find the answer and clear whatever confusion I may have.”

Watch a short video on Title IV-E student leadership and planning involvement.

Learn more about the 2018 CalSWEC Title IV-E Summit, which will be held on April 19 and 20 at the San Mateo Marriott. 

Read more: Details about the 2018 Title IV-E Summit