Athens, Ga. – A University of Georgia faculty member will be honored by a national social work education organization this fall.
Alberta J. (Bert) Ellett, an associate professor in the School of Social Work, will receive the 2010 Distinguished Recent Contributions in Social Work Education Award from the Council on Social Work Education at the group’s annual program meeting Oct. 14 in Portland, Ore.
Ellett, a nationally respected expert in the field of child welfare, was selected for her significant contributions to social work education over the past 10 years. The award is given annually to one recipient who demonstrates excellence in research and scholarship, pedagogy and curriculum development, and organizational leadership.
“I am certainly humbled by this award because there are many very productive and contributing academics in social work education. I am very excited about the award-recognition by peers is the highest professional honor one can receive,” Ellett said. “This is very meaningful to me personally.”
Since joining the social work school faculty in 2000, Ellett’s academic and practical work in professionalizing and improving the child welfare workforce has included pioneering two child welfare special interest groups at two national academic organizations for social work, co-editing the Journal of Public Child Welfare, securing some $7.8 million in external funding for UGA’s Title IV-E Child Welfare Education Program and her own research and publishing 27 scholarly works.
“Dr. Ellett has demonstrated exemplary performance in research, teaching and public service. Her dedication to child welfare has helped position the school as a national leader in the field,” said Maurice Daniels, dean of the social work school. “Not only is she an effective researcher and educator, she truly cares about the welfare of children and has made a difference in enhancing child welfare programs and services. We are proud to have her on our faculty.”
Ellett directs UGA’s Title IV-E Child Welfare Education Program, which has funded nearly 400 students under her lead. The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Reform Act of 1980 established Title IV-E to provide funding to universities to train child welfare workers.
Ellett performed the largest statewide retention and turnover study of child welfare employees in Georgia and presented the results along with 37 recommendations to improve child welfare to the Georgia Senate Children and Youth Committee in 2003. The state has implemented many of the recommendations.
Prior to joining the SSW faculty, Ellett worked for 25 years in Georgia and Louisiana in child welfare at all organizational levels from providing direct services to abused and neglected children and their families to the development of state child welfare policy.
CSWE is the sole national accrediting agency for social work education in North America.