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The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) has announced that Jessica Cabrera, an employee at the Center for Child and Family Studies and a student at Colorado State University’s School of Education, is a winner in the society’s 2014 scholarship program.


ASTD’s John Coné Scholarship program recognizes students studying the human resource development field and provides access to research, content, and resources relevant to the training and development profession. As part of this award, Cabrera will have the opportunity to attend the ASTD International Conference & Expo in Washington D.C. in early May.


Cabrera says, “I am honored and grateful to be a recipient of this award, which offers opportunities for learning and growth that I would not be able to take advantage of otherwise. I actively pursue opportunities to use my knowledge and interest in training and development to contribute to building organizational capacity for serving and engaging Latinos, which has been my focus during my graduate studies.”


Cabrera is also the 2013-14 recipient of the Graduate Fellowship for Research on Diversity from the School of Education at Colorado State University. She recently presented her research “Hispanic Dual Surnames: The Implications of Misinterpretation and Misrepresentation” as part of the School of Education’s Diversity Dialogue Series. She says, “The fellowship has afforded me the opportunity to document stories that have not been heard, to give a voice to a topic that has often been overlooked, and to raise awareness of an issue that has adversely impacted the lives of many Latinos that I know personally.”


In May Cabrera will graduate from Colorado State with an M.Ed. in Education and Human Resource Studies: Adult Education and Training and a Graduate Certificate in Teaching with Technology and Distance Learning.




IL Graduation Celebration 2014

The South Carolina Department of Social Services Independent Living Program, in collaboration with The Center for Child & Family Studies at USC, will sponsor the second annual Graduation Celebration. Join us for a wonderful day when graduates with a variety of diplomas and degrees will be honored for their achievement. With special guests GOALL and SC NYTD Youth Voice, this will be a memorable and meaningful day as these youth continue on their pathway to success!

Click here for registration.


Youth Camp

Each year the South Carolina Department of Social Services Independent Living (IL) Program sponsors a youth training event for youth in foster care. Instead of hosting the Independent Living Conference this year, the SCDSS IL Program is sponsoring these camps as an exciting new initiative for youth training.


South Carolina foster youth in care can attend a Leadership Camp or Sibling Connections Camp and take part in fun activities like zip lining, kayaking, hiking, biking, canoeing, and swimming! And SCDSS will pay for your trip! Transportation is available through SCDSS. Take advantage of this opportunity to do something fun―for free!


For questions about the program, send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Register for 2014 Camps!


Sibling Connection Camp

This camp is designed to allow siblings ages 10-17 who are not placed together to attend a fun and educational adventure. At least one sibling must be in foster care for the sibling group to attend. The legal guardian of any child not in foster care must sign the permission form. Due to programming and staffing, no exceptions will be made for youth who are outside the age requirement. Youth will engage in a variety of experimental, hands-on learning activities including key themes for each weekend. Themes include: leadership, communication, job skills, advocacy, relationship building/trust, and planning. Youth will have fun with activities like go-carts, climbing walls, teams course, canoeing, archery and much more!


Leadership Retreat

This camp is exclusively for Chafee-eligible youth, ages 15-20. Youth will engage in a variety of experimental, hands-on learning activities including key themes for each weekend. Themes include: leadership, communication, job skills, advocacy, relationship building/trust, and planning. Youth will have fun with activities like go-carts, climbing walls, teams course, canoeing, archery and much more!


2014 Camps Coming Soon!


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Camp Locations


Click here for our Youth Camps Map around the state.

Youth Leadership Institute (YLI)

698 Concord Church Road―Pickens, SC 29671


Sewee Coastal Retreat Center (Camp Sewee)

7407 Doar Road―Awendaw, SC 29429


Cooper Leadership Center (Camp Bob Cooper)

8001 M. W. Rickenbaker Road―Summerton, SC 29148


Long Leadership Center (Camp Long)

82 Camp Long Road―Aiken, SC 29805



Cheryl Worrell, the Program Coordinator for the South Carolina Citizen Review Panels, was invited to participate in an upcoming panel session at the National Citizen Review Panel Conference in Atlanta, from May 19-21. She will be joined on the panel by the National CRP Coordinator, Blake Jones, and the Federal Region IV Community-Based Child Welfare Specialist, Tracy Fava.

The session is entitled "Working Relationship between the State Child Welfare Agency and their CRP: Expectations and Responsibilities.”  This relationship has been highlighted as an area of concern for many CRPs throughout the country. Ms. Worrell was asked to join the panel to discuss the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that the South Carolina CRP has established with DSS.

In accordance with the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), Federal Law mandates that each CRP delivers a report to state authorities at least once annually, with a required response within 6 months. In some states, this does not always happen. The MOU is a way to define the terms of collaboration between the two entities and establish the obligations and responsibilities of all parties. This also opens greater lines of communication for the CRP to address their concerns regarding child safety and to better discuss options for improving policies, procedures, and practices. Ms. Worrell will also discuss other tips and strategies to better facilitate relationships between CRPs and state authorities.

In addition to her duties at the center, Ms. Worrell is also a member of the National Advisory Board for CRPs.

Darlene Jones-Jack, MSW, has had her poem “Be a Helper: Why I Became a Social Worker” published by the journal The New Social Worker’s Social Work Month series online. Darlene is a program coordinator II at the Center and performs Quality Assurance Reviews for the South Carolina Department of Social Services. She graduated from USC’s MSW program in 2013 with a macro focus.

Darlene became a helper by getting involved in social work. She says that as a social worker, she has the ability to change the lives of the most vulnerable people. Her ultimate goal is to help those in need reach their potential and find fulfillment.

She also writes poetry to help others. According to Darlene, poetry is not just a creative outlet, but a means to disseminate knowledge, empower readers, and bring altruism to the forefront of public consciousness. The acrostic poem not only brings awareness to social injustice, but reminds us that we have the power to heal the world. “Be a Helper” demands that we be bold in our compassion.

Social workers aren’t the only people capable of making change; rather, every person has the opportunity to improve the lives of others. Darlene says, “I hope people will read the poem and that it will help them see how, in their lives, they can be a helper and help people.”

Read her poem at:

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