MSW Child Welfare Education Program

The MSW Child Welfare Education Program (CWEP) for full-time students is a collaborative effort between the Masters of Social Work (MSW) program in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University (ASU) and the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS). The program 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 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 36 months. While working at DCS, students 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. The purpose of the program is to strengthen the public child welfare workforce by preparing future child welfare social workers.

The mission of the Child Welfare Education 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.

  • 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 Curriculum
  • Complete a field placement at a Child Welfare Education Unit
  • Be willing and able to work full-time for DCS in AZ for 36 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 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 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.  Students are strongly encouraged to not spend their financial aid until after the program pays your tuition.  

There are 3 different award packages available for students in the MSW Standard program.  Students will be offered a package based upon availability.    

  • Package A (available to Standard Program students) provides in-state, full-time graduate tuition and mandatory fees for two academic years (no summer session tuition is provided).  Students receiving this package will be placed in their Child Welfare Education Unit (CWEU) field placement during either their foundation or concentration year.  If they complete their CWEU placement during their foundation year, they may be in the Planning, Administration, and Community Practice Concentration.  They may be in the Advanced Direct Practice Concentration if they complete their CWEU placement during either their foundation or concentration years.  Students receiving this package are contracted to work full-time for AZ DCS for a minimum of 36 months after graduation.*   
  • Package B1 (available to Standard Program students) provides in-state, full-time graduate tuition and mandatory fees for two academic years and the two six-week summer sessions (for the 3 credits of field only) of the summer following their foundation year.  Students receiving this award complete their foundation year field placement at a Child Welfare Education Unit as a summer block placement during the summer after their foundation year.  Summer block placements are full-time (Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) for 12 consecutive weeks.  Students receiving this package may be in either the Advanced Direct Practice Concentration or Planning, Administration, and Community Practice Concentration.  Students receiving this package are contracted to work full-time for AZ DCS for a minimum of 36 months after graduation.* 
  • Package B2 (available to Standard Program students) provides in-state, full-time graduate tuition and mandatory fees for three academic semesters and for two six-week summer sessions (for the 3 credits of field and 3 credits of the Capstone class only).  This award is for students who enter CWEP after their first semester of the Standard MSW program. Students receiving this award complete their concentration year field placement at a Child Welfare Education Unit as a summer block placement during the summer after their concentration year.  Summer block placements are full-time (Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) for 12 consecutive weeks.  They will graduate in August of their second year, rather than in May, though they can walk in the May graduation ceremony.  Students receiving this package must be in the Advanced Direct Practice Concentration.  Students receiving this package are contracted to work full-time for AZ DCS for a minimum of 36 months after graduation.*     

*All students receiving award packages are required to adhere to the Child Welfare Specialization Program of Study while in the Master of Social Work Program and to complete one of their field placements (Practicums) at a Child Welfare Education Unit.  The only exception is for students who have recent AZ DCS experience as a DCS Specialist.  For Standard Program students, their second field placement should be at an agency that serves or works on behalf of children and families.   

All full-time MSW CWEP students are required to follow the Child Welfare Specialization plan of study. 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 Lindsey Galvin at (602) 496-0081 or Lindsey.Glavin@asu.edu. The Child Welfare Specialization follows the 60 credit MSW curriculum (there are no additional courses required).  The three courses of the Specialization are SWG 608, SWG 609, and SWG 633.  These are taken as electives in either the ADP or PAC Concentrations.  In addition to taking the Specialization courses, CWEP students must also follow the CWEP curriculum which includes a field placent at a Child Welfare Education Unit and a second placement at an agency that works with or works on behalf of vulnerable children and families.  

The CWEP Curriculum consists of the Child Welfare Specialization and CWEP Field Placement Requirements:  

File child_welfare_specialization_pos.docx

File msw_cwep_full-time_field_education_requirements.docx

These are the basic requirements:

  1. Adhere to the requirements in the Child Welfare Specialization in either the Advanced Direct Practice (ADP) Concentration or Planning, Administration, and Community Practice (PAC) Concentration.  This entails taking the following three courses as eletives in either of those Concentrations:  SWG 608, SWG 609, SWG 633.    
  2. When choosing topics for essays, papers, and projects in all courses, choose those applicable to child welfare.    
  3. Complete one field placement at a Child Welfare Education Unit, embedded in a Department of Child Safety office.  Students are placed in a unit by the CWEP office, congruent their Award Package.  These field placements meet the requirements of an ADP placement but not a PAC placement.  Therefore, PAC students must complete their Child Welfare Education Unit placement as a Foundation year placement, not a Concentration year placement.    
  4. Complete their second field placement at an agency that works with or on behalf of vulnerable children and families.  

Field Placement/Internship

The Child Welfare Education Program coordinates six Child Welfare Education Units (CWEU) which are located within the Department of Child Safety. These units are responsible for both working active Department of Child Safety on-going cases and for the training of students in best practice models. Field placements (internships) are open to all MSW students, providing there is space available. All CWEP students must complete one of their field placements in a CWEU. Five Education Units are located across the Phoenix metro area, and one is in Tucson. 

Advantages of a Field Placement in a Child Welfare Education Unit

  • An educational curriculum is followed
  • The activities of the unit are geared toward student learning
  • The supervisors and social workers are allotted time to spend with students
  • One-on-one supervision