MSW Child Welfare Education Program

The Child Welfare Education Program for full-time MSW, Standard Program (2 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 36 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.

  • 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 MSW full-time award packages (A, B1, B2, or C) 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 (internship) at a Child Welfare Education Unit.  The only exception to the field placement requirement 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.   

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 (Julie.VonWald@asu.edu).

The Child Welfare Specialization for Standard Program (2 year) students follows the 60 credit MSW Standard Program 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 Standard Program can take these courses as electives in either the Advanced Direct Practice (ADP) Concentration or Policy, Administration, and Community Practice (PAC) Concentraion.  In addition to taking the Specialization courses, MSW CWEP students must complete one of their two field placents at a Child Welfare Education Unit. These units are considered direct practice field placements.  For this reason, MSW Standard Program CWEP students who want to be in the PAC Concentration must be in their CWEU field placement as their Foundation year (1st year placement). For more information, 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 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 CWEP students must be in a CWEU field placement unless they have recent experience as a DCS Specialist. CWEU field placements are also open to non-CWEP MSW students, providing there is space available.  The CWEUs are located in West Phoenix, Central Phoenix, and Southeast Tucson.  MSW Standard Program CWEP students will be in a CWEU as an academic year or summer block 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 with an academic year placement are in field Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Summer block placements are five days a week and span the 12 weeks of Summer Sessions A and B (40 hours a week for 12 weeks).  Students with a summer block placement are in field Monday through Friday 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