LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The University of Louisville says its Kent School of Social Work will play a role in a five-year, federally funded research grant to strengthen the country’s child welfare agency workforce.

The goal is to improve the lives of the children being served.

UofL says its portion is $2.1 million for the evaluation part of the grant, which is expected to total $15 million for a consortium of five universities and three national child welfare consultants.

The grant is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration’s Children’s Bureau.

Facing high turnover rates, child welfare agencies report difficulty in retaining qualified employees in jobs that can be high-stress, low-paying and complex.

UofL says eight agencies chosen as study sites represent a mix of urban and rural communities.