Limestone Social Work Program Joins DSS Education Consortium

Limestone College's Social Work Program has joined the South Carolina Professional Development Consortium.

The Consortium is comprised of all accredited social work programs in educational institutions in the state (U.S.C. Columbia, Winthrop University, South Carolina State University, Coker College, Columbia College, and Limestone College) and is partnering with the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) to prepare workers for public child welfare positions in our state.

As a result of that alliance, the Social Work Program has been awarded a small grant to provide stipends to selected students (annually) wishing to receive certification as trained Child Welfare workers. Students commit themselves to working with DSS for a specified period following graduation and completion of the certification program. The classes will be available to all Limestone students pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. Participants will receive a Child Welfare Certification upon successfully completing two classes designed specifically in the child welfare area and completing 400 hours of field work training with DSS.

"The intention behind the program is to develop a training experience that will not only equip new social workers in the latest child welfare clinical skills, but will start future workers on a path to continuing professional development across their future careers," explained Jackie Puckett, Director of the Limestone Social Work Program. "This more academic approach should result in the development of a professional culture which continues to emphasize improvement of the skill levels of professional child welfare workers across generations."

The certification classes will be offered beginning this spring. Puckett has chosen his initial DSS Education Consortium team members from faculty who are already on board with the program. Those members include Professor Mary Beth Harllee (Florence), Professor Chuck Kuhn (Columbia), and Professor Tim Hanshaw (Gaffney). Assistant Director for Social Work Henry Hiott (Walterboro) will be helping with the development of the team. Mrs. Elaine Love, the Administrative Assistant for the Limestone College Social Work Program, will be responsible for communications for the project.
Limestone offers a BSW degree at all eight of their campus sites across South Carolina; Aiken/North Augusta, Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Gaffney (Day and Evening), Greer, Kingstree, and Yemassee.