Recent MSW grads named semi-finalists for Calif. award for student research in social work

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Yoly Magallanes (MSW, ’17) and Celina Rivas (MSW, ’17) were selected as semi-finalists for the California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) Research Capstone Award for MSW Students. Their research, “Welfare workers’ readiness to support foster youth in developing healthy intimate relationships,” was an exploratory study that sought to understand the level of training and support of child welfare works when it comes to having conversations about healthy intimate relationships with foster youth on their caseloads.

Yolo Magallanes and Celina RivasMagallanes and Rivas conducted focus groups with San Francisco Child Welfare Workers in the Court Dependency Family Services and the Supportive Transitions Unit. Their research found that that child welfare workers in San Francisco have these conversations with foster youth on their caseloads only when these issues are impacting the foster youth’s immediate safety. The lack of training to have these conversations and the lack of awareness about policies that require child welfare workers to speak to foster youth about reproductive health were cited factors that influence their readiness. Magallanes and Rivas concluded that child welfare workers need to be given training and support to have these conversations with foster youth as one way of addressing foster youth’s vulnerability to teen dating violence and teen pregnancy.

CalSWEC launched the Research Capstone award to foster interest in applied, practice-oriented research for MSW students; promote relevant student research to agency practice; and to create a forum for students to share research results with agencies. Magallanes and Rivas conducted their study at their field placement agency, San Francisco County Human Services Agency. Massiel Gonzalez was their internship supervisor, and Associate Professor Jocelyn Hermoso was their faculty supervisor.

Pictured: Yoly Magallanes and Celina Rivas present their poster at the 2017 CHSS Annual Showcase.