MSW child welfare education program

Contact Us 
For further information about the Child Welfare Education Program, please contact us via one of the methods below.

(Recruitment Coordinator)

(Administrative Associate)
 (Program Coordinator)

Child Welfare Education Program
ASU School of Social Work
Mail Code: 3920
411 N. Central Ave. Ste. 800
Phoenix, AZ 85004-0689

(Leslie Boag, Recruitment

(Jama Sandoval, Administrative

(Lindsey Galvin, Program

602-496-0800 (School of Social

In Person:
ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus
University Center, Suite 880

Mandated Reporting

All Social Workers, including social work students placed in field, are mandated reporters of suspected child and neglect.  Each semester at the Preparation for Practice training, social work students entering field are provided information about their duties as a mandated reporter.  View presentation: reporting_abuse.pptx

About the Program  

The program began in 1988 and is funded by the Child Welfare Field Education and Student Support Program, a Title IV-E grant. It is a collaborative effort of the Arizona State University School of Social Work and the Arizona Department of Child Safety.  The program provides financial support, specialized curriculum, and best practice field experience to MSW students.  The Principal Investigators on the grant are Dr. James Herbert Williams, Dr. Lynn Holley, and Miguel Vieyra. 


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.      

Working for the Department of Child Safety

Work in the field of Public Child Welfare is rewarding and meaningful and is also demanding and challenging. 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, coordinate with multiple agency providers, and provide crisis intervention. The work hours are not always limited to 8 to 5 and workers in the rural districts are required to rotate performing on-call, after-hours duties.

We advise all applicants to the MSW Stipend Program 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, MSW Stipend students will be placed for employment at DCS where the need is greatest. This means that neither the job function nor job location can be known in advance. At the time students enter the MSW Stipend Program, 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 AZ. The contract also states that the student will be hired into a DCS Specialist position. 

Full-Time MSW Stipend Program 

The Child Welfare Stipend Program provides financial assistance to students dedicated to Child Welfare who are pursuing a Master's degree in Social Work. Stipend recipients must follow the Child Welfare Curriculum while in the Master's program and must work for the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) upon graduation from the program. This program is only available to students admitted to the campus-based programs.

* 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 (See Below).

Requirements of the Stipend Program

  • Be a full-time student in the MSW program in good standing
  • Sign a stipend contract with the Department of Child Safety: PDF iconsamplecontract.pdfsamplecontract.pdfsamplecontract.pdfsamplecontract.pdf
  • 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 either 18 months (advanced standing students) or 24 months (standard program students) upon graduation with the geographic location being dependent upon the agency's need
  • Meet the essential DCS work requirements

DCS Work Requirements

  • Pass a DCS background check including fingerprinting, screening through the state child abuse registry, and not have a DUI within the past 5 years
  • Comply with the DCS driving policy.
  • Have a valid driver's license, insurance, and a vehicle capable of transporting at least two passengers
  • Submit a current Driver's Record for the past 36 months. This can be obtained from and should be included with your application.
  • Be able to visually assess children and homes for signs of abuse and neglect
  • Be able to conduct home visits to homes which may not be wheelchair accessible
  • Be able to document and communicate using a computer
  • Be able to interview children and adults in English

Note: Though not being able to fulfill all of these functions does not automatically rule out any applicant, it is important for DES to know whether or not reasonable accommodations can be be made. ANY NEEDED ACCOMMODATIONS SHOULD BE EXPLAINED ON THE STIPEND APPLICATION FORM.

Stipend Packages

There are 3 different stipend packages available. 

  • Package A provides in-state graduate tuition and mandatory fees for both academic years of the MSW program and $600/month for each of the 9 month academic years.  Students receiving this package are contracted to work full-time for AZ DCS for a minimum of 24 months.   
  • Package B1 provides in-state graduate tuition and mandatory fees for four academic semesters and for two 6 week summer sessions (for the 3 credits of field only), and $600/month for 18 months.  Students receiving this package are contracted to work full-time for AZ DCS for a minimum of 24 months. 
  • Package B2 provides in-state graduate tuition and mandatory fees for three academic semesters and for two 6 week summer sessions (for the 3 credits of field only), and $600/month for 18 months.  Students receiving this package are contracted to work full-time for AZ DCS for a minimum of 24 months.     
  • Package C is for Advanced Standing students.  It provides in-state graduate tuition and mandatory fees for the two summer sessions and for the 9 month academic year, and $600/month for 12 continuous months.  Students receiving this package are contracted to work full-time for AZ DCS for a minimum of 18 months.   

View stipend package details here:  stipend-packages17.pdf

MSW Stipend Application Process

There will be an additional application deadline of October 21, 2019 for students who are already enrolled in the full-time, campus based MSW program in their foundation year.  Accepted students will be in the B2 package outlined on our website. Accepted students will receive tuition/fees for the remaining 3 semesters and complete their internship during a second summer block and graduate in August 2021 instead of May 2021. Please contact us for more information

The deadline for Stipend Applications for those applying to the MSW Advanced Standing Program is February 18, 2020. This is for students that will be starting the Advanced Standing MSW program in May 2020.

The application priority deadline for those applying to the Standard Two Year MSW program is April 20, 2020. If space is still available after this deadline, there could be an additional deadline of June 2020 (will be updated here).

Students must submit a completed application to the MSW program prior to applying to our program. In order for your stipend application to receive maximum consideration we recommend that students submit a completed MSW application to the ASU School of Social Work prior to submitting an application to the Child Welfare Education Program.

Information Sessions about the MSW Child Welfare Education Program will be held at ASU Downtown Phoenix campus, 411 N. Central Avenue, UCENT Room #822A, Phoenix, AZ on the following dates:                

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 from 2pm-3:30pm to register please click here:


Thursday, March 26, 2020 from 10am-11:30am to register please click here: 

Info sessions will be an informal question/answer conversation with CWEP staff, DCS workers, and alumni of our program. It is an opportunity to gain more information about the program, internship, and what it's like working at DCS currently.  Ask us anything!

For questions about the info session, please email

The application process proceeds as follows:

  1. Students' stipend applications, stipend essays, school applications and school essays are reviewed by the Child Welfare Stipend Application Review Committee consisting of both Child Welfare Education Program staff and Directors and DCS Administrators and Supervisors.
  2. Select students are referred on to an interview with a DCS hiring panel including human resources staff, and Supervisors.
  3. Notification letters are mailed to all applicants.

The Selection of Stipend Students is primarily based on whether or not the committee and interview panel feel that the student would be a good fit as an employee at DCS, can complete the obligations of the Stipend Contract, and can complete the Child Welfare curriculum. Selection criteria include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Evidence of a desire to work in Child Welfare, specifically in the field of child protection; and of the desire to pursue child welfare as a career choice.
  2. Evidence that the student understands the requirements of the work commitment and is willing and able to work at Arizona DCS for the contracted time upon graduation.
  3. Evidence of ability to scholastically succeed and complete the MSW program in the contracted amount of time (i.e. 18 months for Advanced Standing students and 21 to 24 months for Standard Program students).
  4. Evidence that the student could competently work with both children who have been abused and neglected and with their parents/guardians who have abused and neglected them.
  5. Evidence that the student can effectively communicate with and collaboratively work with team members including the clients' extended family members, foster care providers, community stakeholders, social service providers, mental health care clinicians, attorneys, judges, and DCS supervisors and managers.
  6. Evidence that the student can have empathy for vulnerable and marginalized children and families and can work cross-culturally with diverse populations including people whose values may be different from the students' own.
  7. Evidence that the student has enough familiarity and/or experience with poverty, substance abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse and neglect that daily exposure to such issues would not be personally overwhelming to the student.
  8. Evidence of writing competency based on the stipend essay, school essay, and impromptu writing exercise administered during the interview.

Download application:

PDF iconmsw_stipend_applicant_and_dcs_forms_9.2019.pdf

In addition to this 14 page downloaded/printed application, please include with your application a 2-3 page typed essay that addresses the following issues:

1. What led you to apply for this stipend

2. What strengths I bring to the field of child welfare generally and DCS specifically

3. What challenges I would face working in child welfare generally and DCS specifically

4. How will working in the Department of Child Safety fit into my career goals

5. What is my understanding of the work commitment I would have if I am selected

6. My financial need

MSW Child Welfare Specialization

All full-time MSW stipend students are required to follow the child welfare specialization curriculum. Other students interested in participating in the specialization should call Lindsey Galvin at (602) 496-0081. The Child Welfare Curriculum follows the 60 credit MSW curriculum (there are no additional courses required).

PDF iconchild_welfare_curriculum_as_of_12-14-18.pdf

These are the basic requirements:

  1. Two-year MSW students may either choose the Advanced Direct Practice (ADP) or Planning, Administration, and Community (PAC) concentration. Advanced Standing students must choose the ADP concentration. 
  2. Advanced Direct Practice (ADP) students must take the ADP classes of the Public Child Welfare Specialization. Electives must be chosen from among those approved as Child Welfare Electives.
  3. All students in the Planning, Administration and Community (PAC) Concentration must complete their Child Welfare Education Unit placement during their first year and must take the ADP classes of the Public Child Welfare Specialization SWG 608, SWG 609, and SWG 633.   
  4. All papers and research assignments, to the extent possible, should be related to child welfare topics.
  5. Please note that the Program does not pay for summer classes above those required for each students' specific stipend package (i.e. the program pays for the 3 credits of field for the first and second summer session for those in a summer block child welfare training unit). 

The Child Welfare Education Program coordinates three Child Welfare Field Units which are located within the Department of Child Safety. These units are responsible for both working active Department of Child Safety 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 stipend students must complete one of their field placements in an Education Unit. The Education Units are located in Phoenix, Mesa and Tucson.

Advantages of a Field Placement in a 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

To arrange a visit at one of the Child Welfare Field Units please email Leslie Boag at

* Stipend students in the standard program will be placed outside of the education unit for one of the years they are in the MSW program. This placement must either be on the approved list of placements or be approved by the program coordinator.

Download approved field placements: 


Part-Time MSW Program for current DCS Employees 

For more information about this program please call Lindsey Galvin-White at (602) 496-0081 or email