Child Welfare Education Program

The Child Welfare Education Program (CWEP) is a collaborative effort between the School of Social Work and the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS). The program assists students pursuing their Bachelor or Master of Social Work degree with a focus of study in child welfare by providing tuition assistance and educational support.

The primary goals of the program are to:

  • Recruit promising social work graduates into long-term public or tribal child welfare careers.
  • Increase professional skills of public or tribal child welfare practitioners within DHS and enhance public awareness of the role of the agency.
  • Promote increased work force diversity reflective of the changing multicultural nature of our state
  • Develop and implement advanced curricula that increase the relevancy of social work theory to child welfare practice.
  • Provide research opportunities and resources for examining the effectiveness of the social work educational process and the ways in which public or tribal child welfare can help children and their families.

Tuition and Educational Support

Those who are admitted into the BSW/MSW Program and Child Welfare Education Program (CWEP) can receive funding through the use of federal Title IV-E funds:

  • CWEP tuition assistance is available for fall, winter, spring and summer (if applicable) terms. 
  • DHS Child Welfare employees can receive up to $10,000 per year toward tuition depending on the number of credits registered for each term. 
  • MSW students who are not employed by DHS Child Welfare can receive up to $6,000 per year.
  • MSW, Child Welfare Partnership students who are also in the Culturally Responsive Leaders Program will be awarded up to $10,000 per academic year (fall, winter and spring terms). This stipend is not in addition to the CWEP tuition support. 
  • BSW students in their senior year of the program can receive up to $6,000 to complete their studies. 

Required Internship

While receiving funding from CWEP, students must complete one of their internships in public or tribal Child Welfare. Upon acceptance, students are assigned a CWEP faculty advisor who will support their educational development throughout the program. The CWEP faculty advisor also serves as the liaison to the students' field placement. CWEP students benefit from receiving additional educational supports, such as academic advising and enhanced field placement opportunities. 

Review Child Welfare Partnership Internship Expectations (PDF) »

Payback Obligation

Upon acceptance into CWEP and before receiving Title IV-E tuition assistance, accepted students sign an agreement with the Oregon Department of Human Services that details the responsibilities of the agency and the student. The student agrees to work for DHS in public Child Welfare or for tribal Child Welfare upon graduation from Portland State University’s BSW or MSW program. The payback obligation is one year of employment for every year of tuition support. The exact period of the work obligation varies depending upon the length of each student's participation in CWEP.

CWEP Application Overview

The Child Welfare Education Program (CWEP) requires a separate application (see below) in addition to the School of Social Work MSW application due on 01/04/21 -OR- the BSW application due on 3/1/21. Requirements:

  • Only those who submit an application for admittance to the School of Social Work by January 4th or those currently enrolled in PSU's BSW or MSW program are eligible to apply. 
  • BSW students may apply for funding in their senior year. MSW students, including Online and Distance Option (Central Oregon in Bend, Eugene, Salem and Southern Oregon in Medford cohorts) may apply any year of their MSW program. 
  • DHS Child Welfare employees must have two years employment prior to applying and supervisory approval.
  • Strong candidates will have experience working with children, youth and families, familiarity with Oregon's public or tribal Child Welfare system and a desire to make a significant contribution to the field of public or tribal Child Welfare.

For more information, view:

CWEP Brochure (PDF) »

CWEP's Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) »

CWEP Student Handbook (PDF) »

CWEP Webinar (MP4) »

School of Social Work MSW Admissions »

Important Application Information

2021-2022 CWEP Application due date has been extended to  March 1, 2021. We are hopeful that we will have the capacity to accept new students for the 2021-22 academic year, but it will be contingent on funding available. Please note MSW Portland Campus and Online Option SSW Applications are due January 4th, 2021 and the final due date for Distance Option Applications is April 1, 2021. 

The Child Welfare Education Program Assessment must be completed. The job preview (link is on the assessment) must be viewed to help you make an informed decision about whether this career is right for you. If you are a Child Welfare employee, you must have a minimum of 2 years employment within Child Welfare prior to applying and must have your supervisor's approval.

Download Child Welfare Education Program Assessment (PDF) »

Download application prior to filling out. Must be signed and submitted via mail or scanned in an email, with all requisite supplementary materials. Please indicate your interest in applying for the Culturally Responsive Leaders (CRL) Program by checking the box on the CWEP application.

Download CWEP Application (PDF) »



Jessica Schmidt
Assistant Director

Karen Moorhead
Assistant Professor of Practice

Laurie Leasure
Administrative Program Assistant