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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 their in-state tuition and mandatory fees paid through the Title IV-E, Child Welfare Field Education and Student Support Project.
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.
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 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 18 months (Advanced Standing MSW Stipend Program) or 24 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 if the Title IV-E part-time MSW program for current DCS employees is still available, you could apply for it. 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 of October and the second Monday in April each year. Each semester, the specific deadline date, will be posted in this section.
The application consists of 1) CWEP application form 2) DCS Supplemental Forms 3) personal statement, 4) current resume, 5) transcripts, 6) plan of study, 7) fingerprint clearance card materials, and 8) driver's license record.
1. Download and complete the CWEP Application Form (please note this is an Adobe fillable form - you should be able to type directly into the fields). Click on the link below to download the forms.
2. Download and complete the Supplemental DCS Forms (please note these are Adobe fillable forms - you should be able to type directly into the fields). *Please note that the Criminal Offense form requires a notary, but a notary is no longer required on this form. Click on each link below to download the FOUR required forms.
3. In a personal essay of 2-4 typed pages (1 inch margins, double-spaced, 12 pt., Times New Roman font) please address the following topics: 1) my interest in working in the field of child welfare; 2) my experience in working with vulnerable children and families; 3) my understanding of the roles and responsibilities of DCS specialists (on-going case managers/investigators) at the Department of Child Safety (DCS) and my understanding of the kinds of things I would be doing as a DCS specialist; 4) my strengths in being a DCS specialist; 5) challenges I may face in being a DCS specialist; 6) my understanding of the commitment to work for DCS upon graduation; and 7) if applicable - additional information I would like you to know about me that I believe is important in considering my application for this program.
4. Resume - A current copy of your resume which includes each of the following: 1) educational experience; 2) employment and professional experience; 3) volunteer experience (be sure to include your volunteer placement completed for your Social Service Delivery Systems class, if applicable)
5. Transcripts - Please include copies of your transcripts (unofficial is fine) from all institutions with courses that you intend to transfer to ASU for credit and/or transcripts from all institutions with courses that will be applied to your BSW degree.
6. Plan of study (not Required at time of application) - Include a copy of your most recent plan of study or your academic plan that identifies when you will be in Field (SWU 412 and SWU 414). You must meet with an ASU School of Social Work academic adviser in order to get a Plan of Study. If you are unable to get an appointment prior to the application deadline, please turn in all other forms and work toward submitting your plan of study as soon as possible.
7. Fingerprint Clearance Card materials - If you already have a valid, Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card from the State of Arizona Department of Public Safety that was issued within the last 5 years, please make a copy of BOTH sides of the card along with a copy (all on the same page) of your social security card. You will submit this page as your fingerprint clearance card materials.
Please note that just being fingerprinted for previous employment or volunteer activities does not mean you have a Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card. If you do not have a white plastic card, the size of a credit card, issued by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, you do NOT have a Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card.
If you do not have a valid, Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card, you will need to apply for one. Please contact Jama Sandoval (Jama.Sandoval@asu.edu) to obtain the necessary forms and instructions for obtaining the card. Once you have completed the application form and have been fingerprinted, your CWEP application can be considered (you will not have to wait until you actually receive the card). Please note 1) you MUST use the fingerprint application form supplied by our program and 2) you will NOT have to pay for the fingerprinting process.
Please note that you do NOT need to have received your fingerprint card back or have had your fingerprint card validated by the time of the CWEP application deadline, you just need to have applied for the card or submitted your card for validation.
8. Driver's license record - Please include a copy of your driver's license record. The record needs to be inclusive of at least the past 36 months. Students with Arizona driver's licenses can obtain this information from https://servicearizona.com/motorVehicleRecord
The cost of obtaining the record through the website is $3.00. This fee is payable directly to the site. This fee is the responsibility of the student. If you have an out-of-state driver's license, you should consult your state's department or division of motor vehicles in order to get a driver's license 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 during this deadline.
The CWEP has an application deadline each fall and spring.
Submission instructions: Please submit all application materials by the deadline.
You may scan and email your materials to:
You may mail or drop off the materials to:
Arizona State University
School of Social Work
Mail Code 3920
411 N. Central Ave., Suite 800
Phoenix, AZ 85004-0689
Questions can be directed to:
Jama Sandoval - Administrative Associate. Jama.Sandoval@asu.edu; 602-496-0486 (questions about submitting the 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 - 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.