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Community Scholars Program

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Community Scholars Program

The Perspectives and Service Needs of Low-income Families Project is a partnership between Morgana State University School of Social Work and the Family Welfare Research and Training Group of the University of Maryland School of Social Work. The project explores low-income families who currently receive TCA or TSS benefits experiences and service needs. Specifically, it focuses on how these recipients perceive their current TCA participation in their financial and psychological well-being. Subsequent analysis will examine the specific challenges these recipients face in complying with TCA or TSS requirements, its impact on the stability of their family, and their experience of a successful transition to employment. Finally, a needs assessment survey will be conducted with these recipients to understand the assistance necessary to achieve compliance with and independence from cash assistance programs.

The Child Support Project is a partnership between Morgan State University School of Social Work and the Child Support Administration, Maryland State Department of Human Services. Specifically, this study explores low-income parents' experiences and service needs with current child support orders and obligors. It focuses on how these parents perceive the current child support order on their financial and psychological well-being and their assistance in achieving compliance. Collaboratively, investigators, students, and community members will explore the parents' perspectives and provide additional information for policymakers to determine actionable methods of increasing compliance among obligors. The knowledge of the assistance obligers require will assist in targeting interventions to meet individual, family, and community needs.

Research Assistants 

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Participate in bi-monthly weekly qualitative research methods training during Phase I with the Co-Principal investigators
  2. Conduct literature reviews
  3. Collect and analyze data
  4. Prepare interview questions
  5. Recruit and/or interview subjects
  6. Maintain accurate records of interviews, safeguarding the confidentiality of subjects, as necessary
  7. Summarize interviews
  8. Attend project meetings
  9. Attend area seminars and other meetings as necessary
  10. Participate in summarizing project results
  11. Prepare progress reports for the Co-Principal investigators
  12. Assist in preparing other articles, reports, and presentations

Who is eligible?
BSW students who have a specific interest in urban children and their families in social work practice, research, and policy and who meet the selection criteria are eligible to apply.

Students must meet, at a minimum, the following conditions:

How much is the stipend?
Educational stipends are $5,000
The Community Scholars Program student stipend/tuition is $2,500 per semester for a total of $5,000 per academic year for the student.

Contact Dr. Laurens Van Sluytman at laurens.vansluytman@morgan.edu or 443-885-3901 for further information on Morgan State University School of Social Work's Morgan State University School of Social Work Community Scholars.

Community Scholars Program - Research Assistant, Child Support Project