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The BSW Child Welfare Education Program (CWEP) is a collaborative effort between the bachelor of social work (BSW) program in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University (ASU) and the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS). Students who are accepted into the program receive payment of their in-state tuition and mandatory fees through the Title IV-E, Child Welfare Field Education and Student Support Project. This is federal funding that is administered by DCS. Students who receive this funding sign a contract committing them to work for DCS upon graduation for up to 24 months.
The mission of the program is to prepare social work students to empower families and promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of the children involved in Arizona's public child welfare system. The goals of the program are to 1) facilitate students' development of culturally responsive and socially just critical decision-making capacities, 2) instill in students frameworks for viewing both problems and collaborative solution-seeking through trauma-informed, relationally-based, and resiliency theories, and 3) teach engagement, assessment, and intervention skills specific to case management with vulnerable children and families.
The purpose of the program is to strengthen the public child welfare workforce by preparing future child welfare social workers.
BSW child welfare students can receive payment of their in-state tuition and mandatory student fees for their junior and/or senior years in the BSW program if they contractually agree to work full-time for the Arizona Department of Child Safety upon graduation. The work commitment is between one and two years, depending on the level of tuition assistance received. While working at DCS, students under contract receive the same rate of pay and benefits as all other DCS employees of their same grade and are able to promote within the agency when they are eligible.
Students are eligible to be accepted into the BSW CWEP when they are at least a Junior by credits (56) and when they are on course to be advanced in the BSW Program. Students who are accepted into the program, enter the program the semester after they apply. Students are eligible to apply as early as the second semester of their Sophomore year and as late as the second semester of their Junior year.
ALL students in the CWEP must graduate with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. Students in the CWEP may not graduate with a Bachelor of Community Advocacy and Social Policy degree. For this reason, students in the CWEP must meet each of the BSW degree milestones and the eligibility requirements for a student's application to be considered for the CWEP vary based on the student’s term in school. The table below indicates the eligibility requirements to apply for the CWEP.
Program Entry (if accepted)
Second Semester of Sophomore Year
First Semester of Junior Year – Semester of SWU 311
First Semester of Junior Year
Second Semester of Junior Year – Semester of SWU 303
Second Semester of Junior Year
First Semester of Senior Year – Semester of SWU 410
CWEP students must be able to be advanced in the BSW Program for their senior year. Eligibility for advancement includes but is not limited to having an overall overall GPA of at least a 2.0, a Social Work coursework GPA of at least a 3.0, AND having at least a C in the following critical Social Work courses: SWU 171, 291, 295, 311, 312, 306, 303, 340, 374, 410, 412, 413, 432, 442, 411, 414, and 415.
At the time of the application to the CWEP, students do not need to already be accepted at ASU. They just need to be able to start at ASU by the time of their acceptance into the CWEP. For example, students who apply to the CWEP by the spring deadline would need to be able to start at ASU by the following fall.
Students in the BSW Child Welfare Education Program receive payment of their in-state tuition (out-of-state students must pay the out-of-state portion) and mandatory student fees (this does not include books, application fees, parking, late fees, graduation fees, or fees for courses not on a student's program of study for the BSW Degree). If students complete their tuition authorization form by the program's deadline, the program will directly pay both the tuition and fees for that semester.
The program will make these payments a few days before the tuition payment deadline. Students who are receiving financial aid will often see that their financial aid is being held for tuition payment. Once the program pays the student's tuition bill, these funds will be reimbursed to the student. Please note, receipt of the scholarship may lower your financial need, which in turn could lower your financial aid. In this case, the financial aid funds would not be issued, and you would not be responsible for paying that portion back through your student loans.
The BSW Child Welfare Education Program will only pay for those courses related to the graduation requirements for the BSW degree. However, tuition for undergraduate students caps at 7 credits, so if your academic advisor clears it, and you are making timely progress toward your degree, you could take courses toward a minor or certificate program.
Students already admitted to the program who take a course applicable to their graduation requirements for the BSW degree at a community college can receive reimbursement for the tuition for those courses.
Work in the field of public child welfare is rewarding and meaningful and is also demanding and challenging. Child Welfare Social Workers must be able to work with abused and neglected children, as well as, with those children's families, including the parents who abused and/or neglected them. Additionally, workers testify in court proceedings, write legal reports to the courts, assess the safety of children, work toward enhancing the well-being of children in out-of-home care, advocate for clients with service providers, coordinate with multiple service providers, work with children's families and connections toward identifying permanent homes for children in out-of-home care, and provide crisis intervention. The work hours are not always limited to 8 to 5 and workers in the rural regions may be required to rotate performing on-call, after-hours duties.
We advise all applicants to the CWEP to explore whether a career in child welfare would be a good fit for them. Listed below are several ways you can gain more information about the work of public child welfare specifically at the Department of Child Safety.
Upon graduation, CWEP students will be placed for employment at DCS where the need is greatest. This means that neither the job function nor job location is known in advance. At the time students enter the CWEP, they will sign a contract with DCS. The contract states that the student can be placed for employment at any DCS office in the state of Arizona. The contract also states that the student will be hired into a DCS specialist position (a case carrying position).
If you are a student in the BSW CWEP, you must begin your work commitment upon graduation with your BSW degree. You may not postpone your work commitment until after the MSW program. However, there are still several ways you can pursue an MSW. The first option would be that you fulfill your work commitment and apply for the Title IV-E MSW Stipend Program. If you were accepted into this program, you would need to resign from DCS in order to be in school full-time. If you accepted the tuition assistance and stipend in the MSW stipend program, you would be obligated to work another 24 months (Advanced Standing MSW Stipend Program) or 36 months (Standard Program MSW Stipend Program) at DCS upon graduation with your MSW. Your second option is to work at DCS for three years and apply for the Title IV-E part-time MSW program for current DCS employees. A third option would be that you attend the MSW part-time program (either online or through ground classes) while working at DCS and pay for the program personally or through loans. Students still under a Title IV-E work contract cannot enter a new IV-E contract until the prior contract is completed.
Applications are accepted in the fall for those who plan on entering the program in the spring and in the spring for those who plan on entering the program the following fall.
Deadlines for applications are usually the second Monday in April and the second Monday in October each year. Each semester, the specific deadline date, will be posted in this section.
The initial application consists of 1) CWEP on-line application, 2) Resume, 3) Unofficial transcript(s), 4) Plan of Study, and 5) Essay that addresses the 6 questions outlined below. Please follow the steps below to apply for the program.
1. Collect your resume, unofficial transcript(s), and Plan of Study. Ensure that these are saved on the device you will be using to complete the application and are saved as either MS Word documents (will have a .doc or .docx file extension) or Adobe Acrobat documents (will have a .pdf file extension).
2. In a personal essay of 2-4 typed pages, address the 6 topics outlined below. In writing the essay, please comply with the following APA guidelines: one inch margins, double-spaced, 12 pt., Times New Roman font, use of headings and sub-headings, and inclusive of page numbers. Please also be sure your name is on the document and that it is saved on the device you will be using to complete the on-line application as either an MS Word document (.doc or .docx file extension) or Adobe Acrobat document (.pdf file extension).
3. Open the on-line application and complete it by clicking on the "CWEP Application" button below. Note that the on-line form will save your entries for up to two weeks. The data you enter in the form is associated with your IP address. For this reason, if you are using a computer that is not private, you are strongly encouraged to open the application from an incognito window (in Google Chrome, click on the three vertical dots in the upper right hand corner and click on "New incognito window"). Additionally, because the form is saving your data, you will not be able to start the application over or go back past a skip question (e.g., which program you ware applying for) unless you wait two weeks, use a different computer, or open the form from an incognito window.
If you pass the record review of your initial application materials, you will be notified via email to proceed with the background screening process. Please do NOT submit the screening forms until you have received word that you passed the initial application phase. The screening documents are included below for your reference. Please review the forms to ensure that you will be able to pass the screening process and be eligible for the CWEP. The screening process includes the submission of 4 forms, a fingerprint clearance card or application, and driving record.
Spring Deadline-April 20, 2020 - Students who are eligible to enter the CWEP as of Fall 2020, should apply by this deadline. This would be students who will have junior status or 56 credits by Fall 2020. If you will be enrolled in SWU 295 in Spring 2020 semester, this means you should be eligible to apply for this deadline.
The CWEP has an application deadline each fall and spring.
Submission instructions: Please submit your initial application and associated materials via the on-line application.
Questions can be directed to:
Jama Sandoval - Administrative Associate. Jama.Sandoval@asu.edu; 602-496-0486 (questions about the on-line application, fingerprint cards, or deadlines)
Leslie Boag - Recruitment and Retention Coordinator. Leslie.Boag@asu.edu; 602-496-0288 (questions about completing the application, the program, or the DCS work commitment)
Lindsey Galvin - Program Coordinator. Lindsey.Galvin@asu.edu; 602-496-0081 (questions about academic eligibility, plans of study, or working at DCS)
The record review of applicants is primarily based on whether or not the committee feels that the student would be a good fit as an employee at DCS and can complete the BSW Program in a timely manner. Selection criteria include but are not limited to:
Students accepted into the BSW Child Welfare Education Program will follow the BSW curriculum. CWEP students do not have to take any credits above and beyond those required for the BSW degree. However, CWEP Students do have to follow the CWEP curriculum for which there are two overall requirements: 1) take SWU 442 as their senior year selective, and 2) complete their field placement at the Department of Child Safety.
Selective - CWEP Students are required to take SWU 442, Practice with Children and Families in Child Welfare as their senior year selective. Downtown Phoenix campus and West campus-based students should plan to take this course the first semester of their field placement (Fall or Spring semester). Tucson-campus-based students should plan to take this course the second semester of their field placement (Spring semester). Please note that this course is only offered as a day-time course. No night sections are available.
Field placement - BSW CWEP students are required to complete their field placement at a Department of Child Safety (DCS) site.
Downtown Phoenix Campus and West Campus students - The Child Welfare Education Program has five education units embedded in DCS offices. The field hours for the Child Welfare Education Units are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays for BSW students. While students may, on occasion, flex some of their field hours to different days or times, in general, students are expected to be available for their field placement experiences during these days and times.
Tucson campus students - The Child Welfare Education Program has an education unit in Tucson. If that unit is not full with MSW students, BSW CWEP students are placed in this unit until the unit is full. Once the unit is full, CWEP students are placed with DCS field instructors at DCS offices in the Tucson area. Students placed in the education unit may be asked to alter their field schedule from the one posted in the course catalog in order to accommodate trainings with MSW students.
The program may not be able to accommodate students' requests for a placement within a short commute from their home. Additionally BSW students in the CWEP must complete their internship at a Child Welfare Education Unit. The only exception for this is for current DCS employees (case aides, administrative assistants). If a student who is a current DCS employee would like a placement at the Placement Center or AHIT and such a placement exists, the CWEP will attempt to secure this placement for the student. However, this is not guaranteed. Sometimes there are no placements available in these locations that would offer alternative hours.
The Phoenix-area field placement units can accommodate students who are starting field in the fall and doing a fall/spring field placement, as well as, students who are starting field in the spring and doing a spring/summer field placement. Students completing a spring/summer placement will not follow the schedule posted in the course catalog for their field hours.
The Tucson field unit only accepts BSW students doing a fall/spring placement.
Please download, save, carefully read, and continuously refer to the BSW CWEP Curricular and Field Requirements List: