UND Social Work Department serves Grand Forks area at-risk children


Juan Pedraza

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines


The University of North Dakota is pleased to inform the community about a Department of Social Work service training unit that provides direct services to at-risk children in Grand Forks County. This unit is located in Gillette Hall on the UND campus.

This spring, Jackie Hoffarth, a master's of social Work student, and Savannah Nelson, a bachelor of science in social work student, are completing their field placement experiences in this program, titled PLUS (Parents Learning and Understanding Supports). Both students have a full caseload and comment on the tremendous value of this learning experience.

"The diverse background and social work skills of these two students are a tremendous asset in allowing them to connect with parents and children thoughtfully and productively," said Thomasine Heitkamp, chair of the social work department.

Through participation in this program, parents have secured the needed support to obtain adequate housing, more gainful employment, access to parenting resources and referrals to health and mental health services.

The supervisor of the program is Kim Hanson, a social work faculty member.

"I'm pleased with the productivity of student interns who serve families in our community in their homes," said Hanson.

In recognition for the excellent quality of work performed by student interns, the PLUS Program received the North Dakota Family Based Services Association Program Award for outstanding contributions in serving North Dakota's children and families. PLUS partners with Northeast Human Service Center, Grand Forks County Social Service Center and Lutheran Social Services of ND to deliver services.