International Child Welfare Exchange


The International Child Welfare exchange elective is a new addition in the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work. In May 2014, the first ten MSW graduate students traveled to Israel where they learned and experienced international issues in child welfare. They shared this in-country experience with other faculty from University of Oklahoma as part of an ongoing international elective exchange program generously funded by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

Continuing this interprofessional experience, fourteen faculty and graduate students from Haruv Institute, Israel will visit Tulsa during the week of October 19-23. As part of the itinerary, OU social work students who traveled to Israel in May, will display their experiences in digital presentations they created surrounding topics of international child welfare. A reception in the Schusterman Library will launch this exhibit, Perspectives on International Child Welfare, which will showcase their work, on Monday October 20th. All current students are invited to the highlighted events shown on the agenda for the trip

Other activities planned for the week include visits to social services organizations and clinics around the city, a trip to the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, a guided tour of the OKC Memorial and the Anne and Henry School of Social Work in Norman, and a tour of Child Protection Systems in Tulsa.

Information for students wishing to apply for the 2015 International Child Welfare social work elective will be available in early November. For more information or questions, contact Dr. Mary Brandt, International Exchange Coordinator, at 

So what did our students this about this amazing opportunity and experience? Here's just a few things they had to say:

"If their CPS workers can work in and be successful in the Haredi community, I can find the courage and strength to work with survivors and families in Oklahoma." Amanda Beard

"To use a cliché, this trip to Israel was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I will never be able to recreate the experiences I had, people I met or the things I learned and I will remain eternally grateful for being chosen for the trip. I know I will use every bit of this experience at some point in my life, both personally and professionally."  Paige Melton

"I walked away with a new set of tools in my pocket and a humbled heart that just wants to be the best social worker I can be."  Aly Sparkman

"As I look back one thing sticks out in my mind when it comes to the end of today and it was in Dr. Clancy’s lecture that he gave at the end of the trip. He encouraged us to work hard so others will listen and to say yes to opportunity as it comes. Don’t be afraid to take chances and to do the hard things to make a difference. Prefect thought to a perfect trip."  Lisa Leung


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