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Child Welfare University Partnership Program





The Child Welfare University Partnership Program (UPP) seeks to develop direct service practitioners, creative child welfare leaders, policy makers, and managers who are capable of critical thinking and promoting best practices and highest-quality service to children, families and communities. The program accomplishes this by providing coordinated, integrated, and high quality social work education and training with a focus on social work in child welfare settings.

Financial Assistance

The Child Welfare University Partnership Program provides a post-graduation employment incentive ($5,000 or $10,000) to social work students (Junior and Senior Undergraduates and Advanced MSW Social Work Majors) who are interested in pursuing careers in child welfare.

Unique and Beneficial Collaboration

The University Partnership is a unique and beneficial collaboration among the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), Ohio’s public schools of social work, the Institute for Human Services, Ohio Child Welfare Training Program, the Public Child Service Association of Ohio (PCSAO) and Public Children Service Agencies (PCSAs). Students in bachelor and master of social work degree programs take special child welfare courses, complete a field placement in a PCSA and receive a child welfare post-graduation employment incentive after being hired as a PCSA caseworker within 180 days after graduation. Juniors in UPP must work a minimum of two years and seniors/MSW graduates must work a minimum of one year in a PCSA upon graduation. Students can choose to fulfill the work requirement in any of the 88 county PCSAs throughout Ohio.

Making a Positive Difference in Public Child Welfare

The purpose of the Child Welfare University Partnership Program is to positively influence recruitment and retention in public child welfare while increasing new staff’s readiness to provide quality services to children and their families. Social workers who participate in a program such as UPP stay longer and more satisfied with their employment than those who did not complete such a program.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Child Welfare University Partnership Program (UPP) is a collaboration between public universities, agencies and students.

Ohio University Social Work Program shall:

Offer two child welfare courses focused exclusively on the fundamentals of practice in child welfare. The courses are standardized with other universities and are concurrent with the field experience.

Coordinate standardized field experiences for participants at local county children service agencies.

Establish strong working relationships with representatives at local participating county children service agencies

Provide transfer of learning expert support for students and children service agencies.

The Field Placement will:

Provide students with challenging field education opportunities based on a standardized field education curriculum.

Provide skilled field education instructors to work with students and the CWUPP Campus Coordinator to facilitate the transfer of learning.

Students will:

Actively participate in course and field education offerings (concurrent).

Sign a contract, provide a permanent address for your check to be sent, sign a release of information allowing the University to send your UPP Certificate to your PCSA employer, and CONTACT THE SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM UPON EMPLOYMENT.

Become prepared for work in a public children service agency.


Each student participating in the CWUPP must sign an agreement or “contract” detailing the exchange of financial incentive funds for a commitment to work in a public children service agency for one year following graduation. The funds will be $5,000 dollars per each year of participation (depending upon the year of acceptance into the program). The contract will be given to the student for review and signature upon admission to the Child Welfare University Partnership Program.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services will disperse the funds to Ohio University, which will maintain the funds in escrow until the student successfully completes the program. Successful completion of the program is defined as:

  1. Successful completion of the child welfare courses
  2. Successful completion of field education experience at a public children service agency
  3. Graduation from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Social Work or a Masters of Social Work degree
  4. Employment at a public children service agency

Upon completing the items listed above, the University will disperse to the student the funds for the student’s participation in the program.

Application Information

Students interested in applying for CWUPP must fill out an application and interview with the Campus Coordinator. Applications for enrollment in the CWUPP program are at can be found on the Social and Public Health website.

If you have any questions contact:

Tracy A. Pritchard, LISW-Supervisor



Kortnie Weisenberger