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Foster care initiative lands grant to boost intern support

By Kristina Kenney
University News Service
January 24, 2012

Texas State University-San Marcos Foster Care Alumni Creating Educational Success (FACES) initiative has been awarded a Public Benefit Grant from Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation (TG).

The award will provide approximately $90,000 over two years, helping support the goals and mission of the FACES initiative. Christine Norton, assistant professor in the School of Social Work, served as the grant’s principal investigator, along with co-principal investigator Toni Watt, associate professor of sociology.

The grant will go toward resources for faculty to supervise two Master of Social Work (MSW) interns each semester who will serve as advocates in assisting and supporting students who were in foster care. Throughout the two-year award period, the outcomes, program goals, objectives and deliverables that apply to the grant will be evaluated in order to further expand this initiative.

FACES is a community and campus-wide effort to help Texas State students who grew up in the foster care system achieve educational success for personal and professional stability beyond graduation. In partnership with the Central Texas Foster Care Work Group, the School of Social Work, the Sociology Department, the Vice President for Student Affairs Office and the Center for Children and Families, FACES will expand and evaluate existing direct services to foster care alumni at Texas State through recruitment, retention and graduation.

An important aspect of this initiative is to ensure the success of foster care alumni by providing each student with a Texas State faculty or staff mentor. Currently the Vice President for Student Affairs office has matched 20 faculty and staff mentors to foster care students at Texas State. FACES has also created the Foster Care Advisory Council, made up of students, faculty and community members committed to working together to meet the complex needs of students who were in foster care.

For more information, please contact Christine Norton at cn19@txstate.edu or (512) 245-2592.