Culturally Responsive Leaders


Culturally Responsive Leaders

Culturally Responsive Leaders Program Overview

The Culturally Responsive Leaders Program (CRL) provides a specialized MSW pathway for culturally responsive students who are emerging leaders in Child Welfare. Safely reducing the over-representation of African American and American Indian/Alaskan Native children who enter the foster care system at highly disproportionate rates has long been a central concern within Child Welfare. There is a continued need to develop a Child Welfare workforce that represents diversity. Child Welfare is committed to serving the overrepresentation of children, youth and families, such as LGBTQ, African American, Native American and linguistically diverse populations. The initiative of developing a highly skilled and supported, culturally aware work force specifically addresses the challenges that may impede progress towards equitable outcomes for children, youth and families.


  • Acceptance into this program is contingent upon acceptance into the MSW and CWEP.
  • If interested check the box located on the CWEP Application. Applicants will also write a personal statement.

Program Benefits

  • Improved ability to to understand and recognize the influential role of diversity and how deeply it impacts Child Welfare practice.
  • Increased cultural awareness and responsiveness.
  • Specialized seminar and field placement experiences.
  • Assistance in staying current in the field of Child Welfare and professional development opportunities.    
  • Leadership and mentoring capacities for students and alumni. 
  • Assistance preparing for and continuing your career during and after graduation. 


Since its inception in 2009 through a five year grant from the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI), this unique program has helped support students from diverse cultural back grounds graduate with their MSWs. These students have continued to emerge as leaders in public or tribal Child Welfare agencies. In 2014 the Oregon Department of Human Services Child Welfare Programs, embraced the program. The CRL is now a part of a student stipend supported program within the Child Welfare Education Partnership.