The University Record, September 12, 1994

Grant funds training of those working with abused children

(Editor’s Note: See related article on page 6 on Faller’s research.)

By Bernie DeGroat
News and Information Services

The School of Social Work has received a gift of more than $300,000 to establish the Civitas Initiative Partnership Program to help train students to treat abused and neglected children.

The award was made by the Civitas Initiative, a national nonprofit program that provides funding to train specialists in child abuse assessment. It is headed by Chicago attorney Jeffrey Jacobs, president of the Harpo Entertainment Group, which produces the Oprah Winfrey Show.

“It is my hope that the Civitas scholars from the University of Michigan School of Social Work will be warriors in the community and will work to change current trends in our society,” Jacobs says.

Social Work Dean Paula Allen-Meares says that the School of Social Work is the only social work school in the United States that receives support from the Civitas Initiative, which also provides funding to the Civitas Child Law Center at Loyola University School of Law in Chicago and the Civitas Child Trauma Programs in Child Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

“We are extremely honored and pleased that Mr. Jacobs has selected our school to receive the scholarships,” Allen-Meares says. “I know our students will benefit, not only from the financial assistance, but from the opportunity this initiative creates to link with both the scholars of law at Loyola and the mental health scholars at Baylor.”

According to Kathleen Faller, professor of social work and faculty coordinator of the program, recipients will receive $10,000 for each academic year

and a $5,000 stipend to support their field-placement requirements.

“The generosity of Civitas and Jeff Jacobs is deeply appreciated by the School and by me, personally,” she says. “The monies will be used to support 11 students who will dedicate their careers to working with children at risk because of maltreatment.”

This year’s Civitas Scholars include: Moira Birdsall, Ave Bortz, Monique Davis, Jennifer Dietrich, Vicki Fadeley, Kristin Gaulden, Elizabeth Gibner, Veronica Grijalva, Tashelle LeBlanc, Deborah Salmons and Greg Watt.