Title IV-E Public Child Welfare Training Program

The IV-E Public Child Welfare Training Program (CWTP) supports students who have career interests in child welfare. The program aims to:

  • increase the quality and retention of the child welfare workforce by supporting the education and training of social work BSW and MSW students who are committed to working in the child welfare field;
  • promote the professional development of current and future leaders, supervisors, and managers in child welfare;
  • provide financial assistance to students in return for employment with IV-E eligible child welfare organizations in Milwaukee and surrounding counties.

BSW Program

BSW students are recruited to complete a field placement at either Racine County Human Services or the Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services. After students complete their degree, they will be required to seek child welfare employment at their field placement agency.

Financial assistance provided:

    • Tuition/Fees
    • Book Allowance

Title IV-E CWTP BSW Application Requirements

1. Watch the job preview video developed by the State of Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.

2. Current resume including work and volunteer experience that reflects your social work knowledge/skills

3. Copy of your current transcript (can be unofficial).

4. Personal statement including:

Explain why you wish to pursue a career in public child welfare. What experience do you have that would support your work in public child welfare? What experience do you have working with individuals that are different than you? What have you learned from these kinds of experiences? What are your career goals (next 5 years)?

Choose a current challenge in child welfare practice and describe how you hope to be a part of the solution:

    • Racial disproportionality.
    • Number of children being removed from the home and placed in foster care.
    • Turn over among the workforce.
    • Teens “aging out” of foster care with few formal and informal supports.
    • A challenge of your choice.

5. Letter of recommendation from a faculty member or employment/volunteer supervisor who knows you well and can attest to your likelihood of success as a child welfare professional.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Title IV-E Public Child Welfare Training BSW Program
  • What is the Title IV-E Program?
    The Child Welfare Training Program (CWTP) serves child welfare professionals who are seeking to earn a bachelor’s in social work (BSW) degree with an emphasis in family and child welfare. The program is a partnership between UW-Milwaukee’s Helen Bader School of Social Welfare and the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. The program is designed to help to support the quality and retention of child welfare staff in the state of Wisconsin. Students who are admitted to the program, complete a field placement at a child welfare agency and then are required to complete a work obligation at the agency where they completed their field placement.
  • What agencies do you partner with?
    Currently, students are able to apply to complete their field placement and work obligation at either the Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services or Racine County Human Services. (Additional information is in subsequent questions.)
  • Who is eligible to participate?
    Current BSW majors who are scheduled to complete their field placement (SW 421) in Spring or Summer 2022. Students should have a minimum 3.0 GPA to apply. If your GPA is below 3.0, you may contact Johanna Barkei to discuss your application.
  • How do I apply?
    Apply between August 15 and September 15, 2021. New students are admitted each Fall. Students are required to complete the narrative statement, submit a resume, and obtain a recommendation letter from a University staff member or employment supervisor.
  • What kind of financial support do students receive?
    Students will have support for all tuition /fees, and a book stipend per course starting the semester that they begin their field placement.
  • How many students are accepted each year?
    The number of students accepted each year is dependent upon the approved budget from DCF. This is typically 2 students per year.
  • What happens after I am admitted into the program?
    Students will continue with the academic plan that they developed with their academic advisor. The CWTP will make arrangements for your field placement at the child welfare placement where you were accepted. The program will continue to monitor your grades/progress to ensure that you still qualify for financial support.
  • Where will I complete a field placement?
    Students will apply and be interviewed by partnering agencies at the time of their application. Currently the options are at the Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services or Racine County Human Services.
  • What is the student work commitment that must be fulfilled upon graduation?
    Students are required to seek employment at the agency that they completed their field placement. Upon hire, they are required to maintain their employment for the same amount of time that they were supported in the program (usually 1-2 years).
  • What if the agency where I completed my field placement does not hire me or does not have employment openings at the time of graduation?
    Students will be required to apply at 3 additional qualifying public child welfare agencies within 90 miles of Milwaukee. More details are available in the student traineeship agreement.
  • Will I receive assistance in obtaining employment from UWM?
    Yes! You will receive assistance in locating openings at qualifying public child welfare agencies, resume review, interview practice, etc.
  • What if I decide I don’t want to work in child welfare or leave my employment early?
    If a participant does not complete their work obligation, they will be required to pay back a pro-rated amount of the total support that they received. For example, if the program paid 10,000 and you completed 30% of your payback obligation time, you would owe $7,000. Students are not typically able to complete their work payback at a different agency than their original sponsoring agency.
  • Can I get a deferment on my work obligation if I plan to go to graduate school right away?
    Unfortunately, this is not currently an option. Students are encouraged to either wait to attend graduate school until after they complete their work obligation or attend graduate school part time.
  • Where can I get more information about UW-Milwaukee’s program?
    Contact the CWTP Project Manager, Johanna Barkei at barkei@uwm.edu

Part-Time MSW Program

At this time, we are only accepting applications from individuals who are currently employed in child welfare in Milwaukee County, Racine County, and Walworth County. Recruitment is done in partnership with child welfare agencies.

Prospective applicants can apply for either the Advanced Standing MSW (BSW within the past 5 years) or the Standard MSW (non-BSW bachelor’s degree, or BSW more than 5 years old).

Students will be enrolled in the part-time MSW Program and will typically complete courses in the evenings. All students will be required to complete a 2-4 semester field placement in an agency that serves child welfare clients. Upon graduation, students will be required to complete a work obligation at their employing agency of approximately 10 months. The Advanced Standing Program should take approximately 2.5 years to complete. The Standard Program should take approximately 4.5 years to complete.

Financial assistance provided:

    • Tuition/Fees
    • Book Allowance
    • Stipend during field placement (if applicable)

Title IV-E CWTP MSW Application Requirements

1. Current resume including work and volunteer experience that reflects your social work knowledge/skills

2. Transcripts from all programs attended, including any post graduate courses (may be unofficial)

3. Personal statement including:

  • What have you done to make the world a better place? Please consider any of the following areas in your response to this section: community engagement, professional experience, human/social service experience, volunteer experience, internships, social justice activity.
  • Describe one family/situation in your work that you experienced that changed/influenced the way you practice child welfare. When answering this question, ensure that you are respecting confidentiality.
  • Where do you see yourself in 5+ years in terms of your career?
  • How will your MSW help you to achieve your professional goals?
  • Additional information, if applicable: If your GPA is below 3.0 or you do not feel that your academic record accurately reflects your ability, please explain. In addition, include what plans/safeguards have you/could you put in place to help you excel and meet the rigorous demands of graduate school?

4. Letter (or email) of support from your agency program director/manager stating that they understand that you are applying for this program and support your application.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Title IV-E Public Child Welfare Training MSW Program
  • What is the Title IV-E Program?
    The Child Welfare Training Program (CWTP) serves child welfare professionals who are seeking to earn a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree with an emphasis in family and child welfare. The program is a partnership between UW-Milwaukee’s Helen Bader School of Social Welfare and the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. The program is designed to help to support the quality and retention of child welfare staff in the state of Wisconsin.
  • Who is eligible to participate?
    All participants need to be current child welfare employees at one of our participating agencies and have agency support. These agencies include Children’s Wisconsin Community Services, SaintA, Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services, Walworth Co Dept of Health and Human Services, and Racine County Human Services. Prospective applicants must have already obtained a bachelor’s degree.
  • Am I eligible if I have already been admitted to the MSW program or have taken some MSW classes?
    Yes, although there are some restrictions. If you have been accepted into the MSW program but have completed only one or two classes, you are eligible to apply. If you have taken some courses in the Foundation curricula as a non-degree student, you can also apply and count up to 12 credits toward the MSW degree, depending on when the courses were taken and what grades you made.
  • How do I apply?
    Apply between August 15 and September 15, 2021. to New students are admitted each Fall for a January academic start date. Students are required to complete the narrative statement, submit a resume, and obtain a letter of support from their agency program manager/director.
  • Is the IV-E application the same as the graduate school application?
    The IV-E application and admission process is separate from the UWM graduate school application process. Students will need to apply to the graduate school upon acceptance into the program. Continuation in the program is dependent upon acceptance into the graduate school.
  • What kind of financial support do students receive?
    Students will have support for all tuition and fees, a book stipend per course, and during their 2-4 semester field placement may receive a monthly stipend, if eligible.
  • How many students are accepted each year?
    The number of students accepted each year is dependent upon the approved budget from DCF. This is typically 2-3 participants per agency.
  • How long does the program take?
    Students in the Advanced Standing Program complete their degree in approximately 2.5 years and Standard Program students finish in approximately 4.5 years.
  • What is the difference between Advanced Standing and the Standard Program?
    The IV-E application and Advanced Standing students are those that have received a BSW degree within the last 5 years from an accredited social work program. Standard program students are those that either do not have a degree in social work or earned their degree more than 5 years ago.
  • How many classes will I take each semester?
    Students will take one class per semester except during their field placement where they will take a class and complete their field placement. Summer semesters contain 2 terms, and a class is taken each term.
  • Where and when are classes held?
    Classes will be offered in the evenings (or possibly on Saturday). Most classes will be held on the UW-Milwaukee campus, but some classes will be offered online. Due to limited course offerings in the evening, there is not often flexibility around scheduling (ie day of the week, time).
  • Do I have to complete a field placement?
    All students will be required to complete a 2-4 semester field placement. Students are expected to reduce their work schedule to ensure they are available to complete their field placement. (See Social Work Field field website for additional information about field placements).
  • Where can I complete my field placement?
    Field placements can be completed at an agency that serves the same population as is served in child welfare. Since this program is designed to support students in a career in child welfare, clinical placements and public school placements are not available. Employment based placements may be available.
  • What is the student work commitment that must be fulfilled upon graduation?
    Students are able to work off some of their work commitment while they attend classes since they continue to be employed at their agencies. Payback obligations are approximately 10 months post-graduation.
  • What if I need to leave my agency or do not fulfill my obligation?
    If a participant does not complete their work obligation, they will be required to pay back a pro-rated amount of the total support that they received. For example, if the program paid 10,000 and you completed 30% of your payback obligation time, you would owe $7,000. Students are not typically able to complete their work payback at a different agency than their original sponsoring agency. If a student leaves the program prior to graduation, they will be required to either complete a work or monetary payback.
  • What other Wisconsin schools have the Title IV-E program?
    UW-Milwaukee is the oldest IV-E program in Wisconsin and operates very differently than other programs, in that it primarily supports current employees in child welfare. At this time, UW-Madison, UW-Green Bay, and UW Eau-Claire all have Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Programs.
  • Where can I get more information about UW-Milwaukee’s program?
    Contact the CWTP Project Manager, Johanna Barkei at barkei@uwm.edu

Apply between August 15, 2021 and September 15, 2021.

Title IV-E CWTP BSW Application

Title IV-E CWTP MSW Application

Contact Us
  • Project Manager
    Johanna Barkei
    barkei@uwm.edu
  • Current students, contact the project manager with any questions or concerns.
  • Contact the project manager if your county or agency would like to partner with UW-Milwaukee.