Child Welfare Scholars

Interested in a Career in Child Welfare?  We’ll Help Get You There!

The Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW) partnered with the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Minnesota Association for County Social Services Administrators (MACSSA) to develop Child Welfare Workers Position Description:
  • Interview children and families at intake
  • Carry a caseload where a need for continuing social casework predominates
  • Provide counseling to families and individuals
  • Conduct complex case evaluation for the purpose of assessing problems and determining appropriate types and methods of treatment
  • Prepare intensive long or short-term treatment plans, which require a fund of casework knowledge
  • Identify client situations, which require intensified service and brings to the attention of supervisor for help or referral
  • Provide adult and child protective services
  • Provide vocation/employment services
  • Provide adult and children’s mental health services and services to persons with disabilities
  • Provide or assists in providing services to other cases involving difficult or complex social and financial problems
  • Interpret programs to clients, refers clients to appropriate community services
  • Interpret social and emotional factors to others involved in treatment of clients
  • Prepare social histories with emphasis on psychosocial factors, adoption, or foster home placements
  • Supervise foster home placements
  • Interview and screens prospective adoptive parents
  • Provide preventive services
  • Interpret policies and regulations to clients
  • Provide casework services for rehabilitation and care of children
  • Prepare and maintains case records which meet federal, state and local guidelines
  • Dictate findings and correspondence
  • Prepare regular and special reports
  • May provide work direction to social work paraprofessionals
  • Participate in in-service training and other staff development activities to increase knowledge of social work processes and skill in application to individual cases

Bemidji State University BSW Child Welfare Scholars Program

Overview and Requirements

Goal of the Child Welfare Scholars 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 Child Welfare Scholars 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
  1. The Child Welfare Scholars (CWS) stipend is attached to a program. Specific programmatic requirements were developed to provide CWS with enhanced learning to prepare them for practice in a child welfare settings. Any student who receives the CWS stipend at any point in their BSW career is considered a “Child Welfare Scholar” and is therefore obligated to complete all of the programmatic requirements each year they are a student. The primary obligations for students include:
  2. Completion of specific BSW courses (detailed below)
  3. Attendance of Experiential Learning (TBA):
  4. Specialized Child Welfare Scholars 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 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.
  6. Completion of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)
  7. 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.