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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: June 19, 2018 11:15 AM
From: Representative Thomas P. Murt
To: All House members
Subject: Child Welfare Workers Loan Forgiveness Act
A quality child welfare workforce is essential to promoting positive outcomes for children in the child welfare system. The biggest issue that effects our child welfare system’s ability to serve at-risk and vulnerable children and families is the shortage of a competent, stable workforce.

Our child welfare system depends on people who are willing and able to commit to long-term service. However, too many graduates are unable to pursue human service careers due to the overwhelming burden of their student loan debts which is only worsened since their salaries continue to be among the lowest for professionals in general, and for those with master’s level education in particular. These are the same workers who have been victims of violence or have received threats of violence in their demanding work environment.

To address the shortage of capable child welfare workers and to tackle the issue of their low-pay and high student loan debt ratio, I will be introducing legislation creating the Child Welfare Workers Loan Forgiveness Act. The act will provide student loan forgiveness awards for the purpose of attracting workers to be employed in PA by a certified child welfare employer. Recipients with an undergraduate degree can receive awards up to $10,000 and those with both an undergraduate and either a master’s or doctoral degree can be awarded up to $20,000, not to exceed the total amount of the recipient’s student loan debt.

Thank you for your consideration and support of this very important piece of legislation.

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