Full-Time Child Welfare Training Program (CWTP) for New MSW Applicants

Program Description
Student Support
Work Obligation
Admission Requirements

Applying to the Program
Classroom Curriculum

Field Education

Project Personnel
Additional Information
MSW Program
UWM Enrollment Services
UWM Graduate School

CWTP Program Description

Participants in the program complete the same basic degree requirements as all MSW students, except that some additional field placement hours and some specialized courses are required. Electives are targeted toward knowledge and skills related to practice in public child welfare, as are several required courses. The full-time Child Welfare Training Program has two curriculum options that lead to the Master of Social Work degree:


  • Advanced Standing Program -- This is a 15-month, full-time course of study for applicants who have earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree from an accredited program within the past five years. Classroom courses begin in the first session of each summer semester, and field placement courses begin in September. Both then continue through the last session of the following year's summer semester.

  • Standard Program -- This is a 24-month, full-time course of study for applicants who have an undergraduate degree in a field other than social work, or an undergraduate social work degree earned more than five years ago. Both classroom and field placement courses begin in the fall semester of each year and continue until the end of the summer semester two years later.


Any applicant to the MSW program is eligible to apply. Prior work or volunteer experience in child welfare services is a plus but not a requirement. Applicants with be reviewed by both faculty in the School and administrators in the Bureau or one of its two partner agencies.


Student Support

  • Participants receive full tuition for all courses required by the program.
  • Participants receive a monthly stipend of $1,160 per month for living expenses while participating in the program. Students in the Advanced Standing program will receive payments for 15 months. Students in the Standard program will receive payments for 24 months.
  • All participants receive a cash allotment each semester designed to help defray the cost of required textbooks.


Work Obligation

Upon admission, all participants must sign a contract agreeing to work full-time for their sponsoring agency beginning immediately following graduation and continuing for as many months as they receive financial support. For those in the Advanced Standing program, this means an obligation of 15 months, and for those in the Standard program it means an obligation of 24 months. Students who complete the program will be expected to return to their respective sponsoring agencies and remain there for the duration of the work obligation.


Admission Requirement

  • Bachelor's degree with GPA of at least 2.75
  • Admission to the MSW program through the UWM Graduate School and the admission panel of the HBSSW Department of Social Work
  • Selection to the Child Welfare Training Program by faculty and agency representatives
  • Ability to pass a criminal background check


Application Checklist

  • Complete and submit the Child Welfare Training Program Application Form by February 29, 2012. Download the CWTP Application (PDF).

Note: The Child Welfare Training Program Application includes a Verification of Employment Form. Applicants must have this form signed by an administrator at their current agency.

Classroom Curriculum

Students will follow a specialized curriculum within the MSW program. Students take all courses required for the MSW but some courses, including methods, are offered in special sections for the child welfare specialization students only. Required courses for this specialization must be taken in sequence. Electives must be selected from a list of approved options.


Field Education

Students in the Standard program will complete six semesters (20 hours/week) of field practicum in a specialized child welfare training unit serving cases referred from the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare and its key partner agencies. Students in the Advanced Standing program will complete three semesters (20 hours/week) in the unit. Field assignments are with a culturally diverse population in direct service areas such as family reunification and permanency planning or in a specialized intervention program approved by the CWTP. School of Social Welfare faculty supervise students on site in the field practicum.


Project Personnel

Co-directors of the Child Welfare Training Program are Professor Steven L. McMurtry and Associate Professor Susan J. Rose. For further information or materials about the program, please contact the Program Assistant Mary Heller. Diane Miller is the School's graduate advisor. Supervisor of the field education units where students complete their internship requirements is Clinical Associate Professor Susan Loeher.


Additional Information

For further information contact:
Diane Miller, Graduate Advisor
UWM Helen Bader School of Social Welfare
(414) 229-4852


Mary Heller, Program Associate
UWM Helen Bader School of Social Welfare
(414) 229-4895

Program availability and level of program benefits are contingent upon approval of funds.