Child Welfare Workforce Professional Education Program (CWWPEP)

child_welfare_logo family2

Do you want to be...

  • considered among the best-trained and best-educated child welfare workers in the nation?
  • a competent, satisfied career professional who continues to be enthusiastic, creative, and respected for your work?
  • working in a supportive agency with excellent supervision that provides personal rewards and incentives that focus on the career line social worker?
  • an advocate empowered to coach and mentor children and families based on best practice standards?

The Child Welfare Workforce Program may be right for YOU.

The Child Welfare Workforce Program seeks to develop creative child welfare leaders, policy makers, managers, and direct service practitioners who are capable of critical thinking and promoting best practices and highest-quality service to children, families, and communities. The program accomplishes this by providing coordinated, integrated, and high quality social work education and training.

UPP students

UPP students

Key benefits for social work students & professionals

  • Specialized course work & training in child welfare (Core training and additional seminars)
  • “Fast-tracking” to full-time employment in child welfare upon graduation
  • Individualized attention & mentoring by UA Title IV-E coordinator & field instructors
  • Early exposure to the field of child welfare
  • Significant financial assistance: $5,000-$10,000 in workforce incentive.



For more information and application materials:

Child Welfare University Partnership Program
Fact Sheet
Program Brochure
Program Manual
Child Welfare Field Practicum Handbook
Key Field Experience Activities for Interns
Qualifications for Field Instructors
Confidentiality, Research, SACWIS Access
Application Form





Everything You Need to Know About CWWPEP

  • 9 BSW students and 2 MSW students are chosen.
  • Students specialize in public child welfare in their elective course work and field placement during the year prior to graduation.
  • Training includes two child welfare courses, a field seminar in public child welfare, trainings through the Ohio Child Welfare Training Center, and a field practicum in an Ohio public children's services agency.
  • After earning a social work degree, a commitment to work for at least one year in an Ohio public children service agency, and successful hiring at an Ohio public children services agency, graduates will receive an employment incentive of $5,000.
  • Note: Current employees (caseworkers, supervisors, and administrators) of an Ohio public children services agency are not eligible.

In the future, we hope that all Ohio Public Children Service Association (PCSA) caseworkers will:

  • have MSW degrees and be considered the best trained and educated child welfare workers in the nation
  • be competent, satisfied career professionals who continue to be enthusiastic, creative, and respected for their work
  • work in supportive agencies with excellent supervision that provides personal reward and incentives that focus on the career line social worker
  • be advocates empowered to coach and mentor children and families based on best practice standards

The mission of the CWWPEP is to develop creative child welfare leaders, policy makers, managers, and direct service practitioners who have the capacity for critical thinking and to promote best practice and highest quality service to children, families, and communities. The CWWPEP accomplishes this through the coordinated and integrated provision of quality social work education and training.

  • ensuring that, in accordance with Ohio House Bill 448, all newly hired caseworkers shall achieve or shall have achieved, within five years of employment, an undergraduate or graduate degree in a job-related human services field
  • reducing staff turnover in public child welfare agencies
  • maximizing the expenditure of in-service training resources
  • creating career ladders and ongoing professional development
  1. Successful completion of two specialized, standardized child welfare courses and a year-long field placement in an Ohio PCSA
  2. Graduation from the University of Akron
  3. Employment in an Ohio PCSA within 180 days of graduation
  4. Continued employment in an Ohio PCSA in fulfillment of the UPP student contract

Required social work courses and the two child welfare courses and internship in a PCSA that must be successfully completed by CWPEP graduates have been deemed by the CWWPEP planning committee to provide all the competencies equivalent to those  in Caseworker Core with the exception of the legal aspects Core module. CWWPEP students at some universities take the legal aspects module at an RTC before graduation. CWWPEP graduates who have not completed the legal aspects Core module must do so in their first year of employment at a PCSA.

Ohio House Bill 95 stipulates therefore that PCSA directors who hire UPP graduates MAY waive the required first year Core training requirements.

To print the Everything You Need to Know About CWWPEP document (Program Manual), click here.


Frequently Asked Questions

How does this traineeship work?

Once students earn their degrees, they have agreed to work for at least one (1) year in an Ohio public child welfare agency; once they are successfully hired at such an agency, they will receive a work incentive within 90 days. (If they do not complete this year, they are required to pay back the reimbursed funds.)

What are the course requirements & responsibilities for the student?

(1) Child welfare courses Fall and Spring Semester; (2) Field practicum in a public child welfare agency in Ohio; and (3) Motivation & enthusiasm to serve vulnerable families from diverse backgrounds

Where does the funding come from?

Funding for the CWWPEP is provided by Title IV-E of the Social Security Act.

Which fees are NOT covered by this stipend?

At the time of this writing, health insurance mandated by UA is NOT covered. (Tuition & fee reimbursement information may change for next year.)

How do students apply for this traineeship?

BSW seniors and MSW candidates must fill out an application (including an essay describing your interest in working in child welfare) within 60 days prior to starting their field placement. You will also need to interview with the Title IV-E Coordinator or Field Agency staff following review of the application.



For further information, please contact:

Melissa McCollister

Melissa McCollister, PhD, MSW
Campus Coordinator, Child Welfare University Partnership Program (UPP)
Office: 410, Polsky Bldg.
Phone: 330-972-5287
Email: mkm12@uakron.edu