BSW Child Welfare Education Program

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.

  • BSW students enrolled with the ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus, ASU West Campus, or ASU Tucson Campus are eligible to participate in the CWEP
  • Current DCS employees who are pursuing a BSW degree at ASU may participate in the CWEP
  • Students participating in the BSW CWEP can be full-time or part-time students

Academic Eligibility Guidelines:

Students are eligible to apply to 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. The eligibility requirements for a student's application to be considered for the CWEP vary based on the student’s term in school. Questions about when a student is eligible to apply are common, so please contact us for questions about your specific circumstances. The table below indicates the eligibility requirements to apply for the CWEP.

Application Submitted

Application Eligibility

Program Entry (if accepted)

Second Semester of Sophomore Year

  • Overall GPA of 2.5

  • SW GPA of 3.0

  • At least a B in ENG 102, ENG 105, or ENG 108

  • At least a B in SWU 171, and 291 or 295 by the end of the current semester

  • 56 credits completed by the end of the current semester

First Semester of Junior Year

First Semester of Junior Year

  • Overall GPA of 2.0

  • SW GPA of 3.0

  • At least a C in SWU 171, 291, 295

  • At least a C in required SWU 300 level courses by the end of the current semester AND a 3.0 GPA across these classes by the end of the current semester

  • at least 56 credits completed by the end of the current semester

Second Semester of Junior Year

Second Semester of Junior Year

  • Overall GPA of 2.0

  • SW GPA of 3.0

  • At least a C in SWU 171, 291, and 295 

  • At least a C in required SWU 300 level courses AND a 3.0 GPA across these classes

  • at least 56 credits completed by the end of the current semester

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.

Employment Eligibility Guidelines:

CWEP students must also be willing and able to work full-time for the Arizona Department of Child Safety upon graduation. This 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 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 in Maricopa County. 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 one education unit in Tucson. 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. 

Please note that there are no guarantees that students' field placements will be within a short commute from their home.  Also note that an exception to the requirement of completing the field placement at a Child Welfare Education Unit can be made for current full-time 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 units that would offer nights/weekends field placement hours.  In those circumstances, the student would need to be placed in a Child Welfare Education Unit and make themselves available during the day two days.    

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.

BSW CWEP Curriculum

Please download, save, carefully read, and continuously refer to the BSW CWEP Curiculum which outlines the requirements for taking the selective, SWU 442 and for being in a Child Welfare Education Unit.   

File bsw_cwep_curriculum.docx

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). The program will directly pay both the tuition and fees for each semester students are enrolled.  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 released to the student. Please note, receipt of the scholarship may lower your financial need, which in turn could lower your financial aid.  We strongly encourage students not to spend their financial aid until the program has paid their tuition.  

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.