Advanced Standing MSW

The Child Welfare Education Program for MSW full-time, Advanced Standing (1 year) students provides financial support, a specialized curriculum, and a public child welfare field placement to MSW students at ASU.  Students who are accepted into the program receive payment of their in-state tuition and mandatory fees. Students who receive this funding sign a contract committing them to work for DCS upon graduation for 24 months. While working at DCS, graduates under contract receive the same rate of pay and benefits as all other DCS employees of their same pay grade and are able to be promoted within the agency when they are eligible. 



  • Must qualify for the ASU Advanced Standing MSW by having a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an accredited university with a 3.20 Jr/Sr GPA within the last 6 years
  • Be a full-time student in the MSW program in good standing
  • Attend the in-person MSW program at the Phoenix or Tucson campus
  • Complete the Child Welfare Specialization 
  • Complete a field placement at a Child Welfare Education Unit
  • Be willing and able to work full-time for DCS in AZ for 24 months upon graduation with the geographic location being dependent upon the agency's need
  • Meet the essential DCS work requirements
  • Students currently employed by DCS are not eligible for this program while working at DCS. Current DCS employees are encouraged to apply to the part-time MSW program

Employment Eligibility

CWEP students must also be willing and able to work full-time for the Arizona Department of Child Safety upon graduation. Part of the CWEP application will be to determine your DCS employment eligibility which includes but is not limited to:

  • having a valid AZ Department of Public Safety Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card
  • passing a Central Registry background check (which ascertains if the applicant has a substantiated allegation of child abuse or neglect against her/him as a parent/care-giver)
  • passing a criminal record background check
  • having a driving record with fewer than 8 points in the past 39 month period
  • passing a reference check including references from prior employers
  • passing an impromptu writing evaluation (which assesses basic writing skills),
  • passing an interview (which assesses basic competence in skills such as organization, communication, time management, and working with diverse people)

Students in the MSW 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).  The program will directly pay both the tuition and fees for each semester the student is in the program.  

The program will make these payments a few days before the tuition payment deadline. Students who are receiving financial aid may see that their financial aid is being held for tuition payment. Once the program pays the student's tuition bill, these funds will be released 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, if funds have already been released to you, when the program pays your tuition, you could owe those funds back.  We encourage all students to wait to spend their financial aid until their tuition bill has been paid by the program.  

There is one award package available to students in the MSW Advanced Standing Program.

  • Package C (available only to Advanced Standing students) provides in-state, full-time graduate tuition and mandatory fees for the two six-week summer sessions of the Advanced Standing bridge courses and for the following academic year.  Students receiving this package will be in a Child Welfare Education Unit during their concentration year*.  Because these field placements are considered Advanced Direct Practice (ADP) placements, Advanced Standing CWEP students must be in the ADP concentration.  Students receiving this package are contracted to work full-time for AZ DCS for a minimum of 24 months after graduation.

* Students with recent (within the pat 5 years) AZ DCS field experience or who completed their BSW field placement in an ASU Child Welfare Education Unit (CEWU) can be exempted from the requirement of completing their field placement in a CWEU.  


Child Welfare Specialization

All full-time MSW CWEP students are required to be in the Child Welfare Specialization. This Specialization is inclusive of three courses taken during the Concentration year as electives. Students not enrolled in CWEP are also welcome to be in the Child Welfare Specialization.  To receive information about the Specialization (offered in both the ADP and PAC Concentrations), please contact Julie Von Wald (

The Child Welfare Specialization for Advanced Standing students follows the 39 credit MSW Advanced Standing curriculum (there are no additional courses required).  The three courses of the Specialization are SWG 591:  Advanced Child Welfare Practice I, SWG 609:  Advanced Child Welfare Practice II, and SWG 633:  Child Welfare Policy and Programs.  MSW CWEP students in the Advanced Standing program take these courses as electives in the Advanced Direct Practice (ADP) Concentration.  In addition to taking the Specialization courses, Advanced Standing CWEP students must complete their Concentration year field placent at a Child Welfare Education Unit. These units are considered direct practice field placements.  For this reason, Advanced Standing CWEP students must be in the ADP Concentration; they cannot be in the PAC Concentration. For more information about the Child Welfare Specialization, please see the Child Welfare Specialization Plan of Study below.        

Child Welfare Specialization Plan of Study:

File child_welfare_specialization_plan_of_study.docx

 Field Placement/Internship

The Child Welfare Education Program manages three ASU Child Welfare Education Units (CWEU) which are embedded within the Department of Child Safety (DCS). These units are responsible for training and teaching students in the competencies and skills of child welfare social work through the management of active DCS on-going cases.  The field instructors in the units are MSW practitioners who work for CWEP and manage DCS cases as contract providers.  Students work directly with families involved in on-going DCS cases, recieving instruction, supervision, coaching, and feedback from the assigned Social Workers and Supervisor in the unit.  Over the course of the internship, students complete over 100 benchmarks, participate in group supervision, clinical staffings, one-to-one supervision with the unit supervisor, case consultations, and unit huddles.  Additionally, they visit children and families in their home using engagement, assessment, and intervention approaches to empower families in promoting children's safety, permanecy, and well-being; they coordinate and plan for services for children, families, and caregiver families; they advocate for the needs and well-being interests of the children and families they serve; they attend court, Team-Decision Making meetings, and Child and Family Team meetings; and they write case notes, assessments, case plans, and court reports. As part of their formal training, students follow a training schedule inclusive of content and instructional trainings, tours at community agencies, and participation in three specialized workshops with experiential learning demonstrations, namely the Interviewing Workshop, Permanency Planning Workshop, and Testifying Workshop. The practice framework used in the ASU CWEUs focuses on empowerment-centered trauma and oppression-informed perspectives, relational and resilience theories, and solution-focused, motivational, and narrative practice approaches.  All MSW Advanced Standing CWEP students must complete a field placement in a CWEU, unless they have recent experience as a DCS Specialist or completed their BSW field placement in an ASU CWEU.  These placements are also available to non-CWEP students if there is space available. The CWEUs are located in West Phoenix, Central Phoenix, and Southeast Tucson.  MSW Advanced Standing CWEP students will be in a CWEU as an academic year placement.  Academic year placements are two days a week and span the 15 weeks of each of the Fall and Spring semesters (16 hours a week for 30 weeks).  Students are in field Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  For more information, please review the CWEP Field Placement Requirements.  

File field_requirements_for_msw_cwep_students.docx