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NC Child Welfare Education Collaborative

Fayetteville State University (FSU) is one of four institutions that the General Assembly added to the North Carolina Child Welfare Education Collaborative (the Collaborative) July, 2008. FSU received $220,146.00 to implement this program. The Fayetteville State program is has a total of eight students for it first class. Educational and financial support is being provided for seven (7) Master of Social Work (MSW) students; and educational support for one Waiver student. Students receiving financial support will receive full tuition, service awards of $10,000.00 per calendar year and other financial and educational benefits for participating as Collaborative Scholars.

The Need
  • The statewide vacancy rate for child welfare services is 31%. This means that more than 300 social work positions are unfilled at any given point.
  • A stable, skilled, and committed workforce is critical to achieve federally mandated outcomes for children and families.
  • There are 100 County Departments of Social Services and most cannot find fully-qualified child welfare social workers to fill vacancies.
  • Graduates of the Collaborative tend to take jobs close to the Universities from which they earn their degrees. There are large areas of the state that do not have a university that has a social work program with the Collaborative.

What is the North Carolina Child Welfare Education Collaborative?

The NC Child Welfare Education Collaborative seeks to strengthen public child welfare services in the State by increasing the number and diversity of well-trained and highly committed BSWs and MSWs in local Departments of Social Services. Offering special educational opportunities emphasizing public child welfare practice, the Collaborative provides support for social work students who will commit to employment in a public child welfare setting in a North Carolina County Department of Social Services. In addition, the Collaborative supports curriculum development and research to foster excellence and leadership in public child welfare services. Under the direction of the Jordan Institute for Families, the Collaborative is a joint effort of graduate and undergraduate social work programs in North Carolina

What is child welfare?

The goal of publicly funded child welfare is to ensure safe, permanent and nurturing families for children. Services focus on supporting and stabilizing families. When it is not possible for families to remain together, placements for children through foster care or adoption are funded. Child welfare is a collaboration among professionals, community members, the family and its support systems to ensure that decisions are made in the best interest of the child, family, and community.

What are the requirements for students?

Students participating in the NC Child Welfare Education Collaborative are expected to attend classes, fieldwork, training, and seminars that provide a competency-based child welfare curriculum preparing them to work with families
and children. Award recipients are expected to:

  • Execute a Student Agreement Contract with the MSW Program.
  • Register for specific courses identified by the MSW Program. (A faculty advisor will
    be assigned to help students design an individualized course of study consistent with curriculum guidelines established by the Collaborative.)
  • Complete a field placement in a public child welfare program.
  • Participate in special training, seminars, and other activities related to child welfare as offered by the Collaborative.
  • At the completion of each academic year in which a service award is received, present a portfolio documenting educational and professional development activities in preparation for employment in public child welfare services.
  • Upon exit from the Social Work Program, agree to seek employment in a public child welfare setting in a County Department of Social Service child welfare setting for a term as specified in the Student Agreement.

During the required service period, provide regular reports about employment status and other information as may be requested by the Collaborative or each school.
Awards are contingent upon satisfactory completion of all program requirements and availability of funds. Service awards will be provided on an annual or semi-annual basis. Each school determines application deadlines. Students may apply for continuation funding following guidelines established by the Collaborative and the participating program.

Who should apply for a child welfare service award?

MSW student interested in a course of study leading to employment and leadership in public child welfare is eligible to apply for a service award. Candidates for service awards must first apply and be admitted to a participating program. Individuals who indicate a commitment to careers in public child welfare in North Carolina, individuals who reflect the diverse client populations served by public child welfare in North Carolina, and current DSS staff are especially encouraged to apply for a child welfare service award.

What is the application procedure?

Students interested in applying for a service award will complete a written application and participate in an interview with the Awards Committee. The application process must be completed before the start of the academic semester in which funding will begin. Candidates for awards will need to provide documentation of U.S. residency status and will need access to a dependable automobile and a valid driver's license for field placement assignments. Candidates on educational leave from a county are expected to provide a letter of support from the agency director. Application materials are listed below.

  1. North Carolina Child Welfare Education Collaborative-MSW Scholar Application [PDF]
  2. North Carolina Child Welfare Education Collaborative-MSW Scholar Continuation [PDF]
  3. North Carolina Child Welfare Education Collaborative-MSW Child Welfare Training Waiver INFORMATION DATA FORM [PDF]
  4. NC State Government Application for Employment (PD-107)

Are service awards available for more than one year?

Awards are granted on an annual or semi-annual basis. Students who maintain satisfactory progress in the program may apply for continuation funding, for a maximum 18 months for BSW, and 24 months for MSW. Continuation applications will prepare a professional portfolio and other material as required by the Collaborative and each participating school's Program Awards Committee.

How long is the service commitment?

Students are expected to provide six months of service in public child welfare for each semester in which an award is granted. There is a minimum of a one-year payback.

For more information

For more information on the North Carolina Child Welfare Education Collaborative please contact Dr. Gregory Perkins, Graduate Coordinator and Assistant Department Chair at (910) 672-1210 or by email at at Fayetteville State University.



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