Child Welfare Scholars

Title IV-E Child Welfare Scholars Program

2021-2022 Overview and Requirements

Goal of the Title IV-E Child Welfare Program

To provide financial support and educational resource to BSW students committed to a post-graduate career in public or tribal child welfare.  Primary elements of the Title IV-E Child Welfare Program:
1. Financial support
2. Educational/Programmatic Expectations and Requirements
3. Employment Obligation
4. Career Development and Support
5. Research and Evaluation

Financial Support

Students are eligible to receive $2,250 per semester in the fall and spring semesters for a total of $4,500 per academic year. Students are eligible to receive the stipend for the duration of their time in the Social Work Program, provided they continue to study full-time.

Educational/Programmatic Expectations and Requirements

The Title IV-E Child Welfare stipend is attached to a program. Specific IV-E programmatic requirements were developed to provide students with enhanced learning to prepare them for practice in a child welfare settings. Any student who receives the IV-E stipend at any point in their BSW career is considered a “IV-E Child Welfare” Fellow and is therefore obligated to complete all of the programmatic requirements each year they are a student. The primary obligations for students include:
1. Completion of specific BSW courses (detailed below)
2. Attendance of Experiential Learning (TBA):
3. Specialized IV-E Child Welfare advising with Dr. Rebecca Hoffman, Child Welfare Scholars Program Coordinator, at least once a semester.
5. Completion of required field placements:
a. Students complete their internship in a county, state or tribal child welfare setting.  These placements are identified in field materials or can be approved only in consultation with the Director of Field Education, Dr. Brenda Mack, and the Title IV-E Field Coordinator, Dr. Rebecca Hoffman. Title IV-E students need to have enough flexibility to be able to be considered a desirable candidate for county, tribal and related placements. We do not recommend IV-E student work full time and the stipend is intended to off-set living expenses during this time.
5. Completion of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)
6. Completion of Child Welfare Foundation Training through the Minnesota Department of Human Services Child Welfare Training System (MNCWTS), detailed below.

Employment Obligation

The Title IV-E Child Welfare stipend is not traditional financial aid. Rather, it is an employment repayment program. All graduates upon completion of the BSW programmatic requirements are obligated to search for, accept, and remain employed in a public or tribal child welfare agency. The length of employment obligation is equal to the amount of time graduates were supported as students. One semester of educational funding is equivalent to 4.5 months of employment obligation. If a student receives the IV-E stipend for three semesters, they are obligated to an employment “payback” of 13.5 months. If a student receives the stipend for four semesters, they are obligated to an employment “payback” of 18 months.

It is the goal of CASCW to support students throughout their employment search and employment “payback” obligation and beyond. CASCW will provide supportive coaching throughout the job search process. All graduates must stay in contact with CASCW staff while completing their obligation. CASCW hopes to remain in contact with graduates beyond their obligation as a means of providing continuing education and career support.

Career Development and Support

CASCW provides conferences, publications, and additional resources to support the child welfare workforce. Additionally, Child Welfare IV-E alumni have a relationship with CASCW as advisory board members, field instructors, evaluation collaborators, community partners, etc.

Research and Evaluation

Researchers at CASCW have developed a longitudinal evaluation framework which aims to determine the effectiveness of Title IV-E education (including BSW course work, field experiences, IV-E requirements, and advising) on the preparation and retention of Minnesota social workers in public and tribal child welfare. CASCW will ask Title IV-E Fellows to partner with us in completing research and evaluation of the IV-E Program through a pre- and post-knowledge assessment, as well as post-graduate satisfaction and retention surveys.


All Title IV-E Program students must complete the following training and coursework.

Child Welfare Foundation Training (CWFT)

Minnesota statute {Minn. Stat. 626.559, subd. 1a} requires that all newly hired child protection workers receive training provided through CWFT provided by The MN Child Welfare Training Academy. Once hired, counties, as well as some tribes, send employees to complete this training. CWFT provides a skill-intensive foundation curriculum that combines classroom as well as web-based training.  Some BSW students have completed the entire CWFT while in their primary public or tribal child welfare field placement. This provides them with an advantage in their public and tribal child welfare job search since counties and tribes hiring new child welfare employees must release employees to complete this training. Additionally, the training enhances IV-E field experiences with the development of hands on skills, case consultations, and field instructor/supervisor discussion guides.

  • BSW Classroom time: 58 credit hours (outside of internship/field)
  • SOWK 3780: Family & Child Welfare (spring semester only)
  • Child Welfare Scholars Program outside of class time: 1+ hour for each credit spent in class, 58 hours across two years
  • Foundation Field: SOWK 2140 Field Experience, 60 hours across one semester
  • Internship/Field: SOWK 4970, 40 hours a week for 480 hours across one semester
  • Internship/Field Seminar: 6 meetings across the semester, 12 hours
  • Child Welfare Foundation Training (TBA)
  • Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Training (TBA)
  • The IV-E Child Welfare program provides, on average, 2.5 additional hours per week of specialized child welfare education and training content and experience.
  • We do not recommend that IV-E students work full time.  *Based upon the Graduate School expectation that three hours are spent outside of the classroom for each credit.

Child Welfare Scholars Program Application & Admissions

We are recruiting full-time BSW Social Work students to become child welfare scholars will take specific courses during their time at Bemidji State University and will complete their practicum at a county or tribal level child welfare program. A stipend of $2250 per semester will be offered to the scholars. Accepted scholars retain their status and stipend each semester until graduation, pending funding and acceptable academic and professional progress. After graduation, child welfare graduates are required to apply the skills, values, and knowledge acquired from their education and experienced through employment in a child welfare setting.

Title IV-E of the Social Security Act focuses on providing safe and stable care for children who have been placed in out-of-home care as a result to maltreatment or other circumstances. This care lasts until the child can be safely returned home or placed permanently with an adoptive family or some other planned arrangement. The Title IV-E Child Welfare Scholars Program provides stipends to students who are interested in pursuing careers in public child welfare.  To be eligible for the program, a Bemidji State student must be:

  • Interested in pursuing a career in public child welfare.
  • Willing to expand their educations in the field of child welfare.
  • Enrolled as a full-time student at Bemidji State University (minimum 12 credits)
  • Accepted into the social work program.
  • In good academic standing
  • A U.S. citizen

Child Welfare Stipend Requirements
If awarded a Child Welfare Stipend, Baccalaureate in Social Work (BSW) students are required to:

  • have an internship in a county, state or tribal child welfare unit;
  • complete SOWK 3970 Child & Family Welfare;
  • attend child welfare IV-E student meetings and training seminars;
  • maintain good academic standing (as defined by social work department policy); and
  • upon exit from the social work department seek and accept employment in public child welfare (if
    such a position is available and offered within three months of graduation) and maintain such
    employment for four and a half months for each semester of stipend received.)

If you are interested in learning more about the program click here to view brochure: Child Welfare Brochure 2020

To apply click on the following link and complete form:  IV-E-Application-Form 2021-2022

Please email application to:

Deadline is Monday, September 13, 2021 at 8am.

Awards will be announced by September 22nd, 2021

For detailed information contact:  Dr. Rebecca Hoffman at or (218) 755-2837

Link to Katie Northbird Child Welfare Scholarship recipient.


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