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For information regarding the Title IV-E Interdisciplinary Committee contact Karen Fullen.


The A-State Title IV-E Interdisciplinary Committee is maintained as one of the performance indicators in the contract among A-State Department of Social Work, UAF Department of Social Work and the Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The committee is comprised of faculty from a variety of academic departments across the A-State campus. The participating departments represent applicant pools of future child welfare workers accepted for employment by DCFS in Arkansas. The committee chair currently is Dr. Richard Freer, Associate Professor from the Department of Social Work who also serves as the Principle Investigator for the Title IV-E grant at A-State. Other members include: Dr. David Saarnio, Professor in the Department of Psychology and Counseling, Dr. Joanna Grymes, Associate Professor in the Department of Teacher Education, Dr. Larry Salinger, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology, Karen Fullen, LCSW, Title IV-E Program Director. and Natlie Gatlin, LMSW Title IV-E Field Trainer.

Title IV-E Interdisciplinary Committee Objectives

The objectives of the Interdisciplinary Committee are:

  • to infuse child welfare content into curricula across disciplines
  • to educate undergraduates regarding professional child welfare practice
  • to recruit students into the child welfare profession
  • to highlight and foster a collaborative spirit among students and professionals from different fields toward the provision of seamless, effective and efficient services to children and their families on a broad range of topic areas.

The committee convenes monthly during the academic year to plan activities that meet the objectives.


The members of the committee provide continuing education for DCFS workers and foster parents as well as pre-professional educational opportunities for A-State students considering child welfare as a profession. The primary educational events sponsored by the committee include workshops, conferences, and student lunch and learn activities on the A-State campus. 

Lunch and Learn

Each Lunch and Learn event focuses on a different topic which impacts current child welfare practice. The event is always entitled, “Who’s Who and What do they do in….”. Past topics have included School Based Mental Health, Juvenile Court, Services to Children of Incarcerated Parents, and Families with Substance Abuse Issues. The format of the event is a panel moderated by a member of the committee and comprised of DCFS staff members, A-State faculty and staff members and community service provides who come to educate the students on what they do, how their service impacts children and families, how the different agencies collaborate with one another, and what kinds of future employment opportunities exist for students in this part of the state.