Child Welfare Stipend Program at VCU, Application Form for Fall 2020 - Spring 2021 Cohort
The Child Welfare Stipend Program at VCU
Preparing social work practitioners to engage families, support children, and foster connections.
The CWSP at VCU solicits applications for full time current and prospective students each year to join the program as a part of a cohort that begins in the fall semester. Prospective first year M.S.W. students, prospective Advanced Standing Placement M.S.W. students, rising second year M.S.W. students, and rising B.S.W. seniors can apply to join the cohort.
Application Deadline: February 28, 2020
Applicants and incoming students for the M.S.W. Advanced Standing and Regular Standing, and current B.S.W. students going into their senior year are encouraged to apply for the CWSP at VCU. The application deadline to apply for this program for these groups of prospective students is February 28, 2020.
*The application deadline for rising second year M.S.W. students was December 11, 2019 and is now closed. Application packets for students to join the cohort in their third semester, fall 2020, received after this application deadline will not be considered.
**Prospective students: You may not yet have your M.S.W. admission decision by the CWSP application date however you can still apply and application packets received after the application deadline will not be considered.
Who Should Apply?
M.S.W. current rising specialization year students, applicants for the ASP and two year full time M.S.W. program (on campus or online) for fall 2020, and B.S.W. Seniors who are interested in pursuing a career in public child welfare by engaging families, supporting children, and fostering connections!
1. Application Materials
Applicants must complete this online application form and submit all required documents by the application deadline. Required documents include: two references, a current resume, the most recent field evaluation (if applicable) and a professional statement (requirements below). Application packets for the CWSP at VCU must be submitted by the deadlines discussed above in order to be considered.
2. Screening and Selection Process
VCU Child Welfare Stipend Program Coordinator and/or Advisory Committee members review and screen application packets. Once admission to the M.S.W. program is confirmed or B.S.W. status is confirmed, applicants selected for the next stage of the process are scheduled for required in person interviews. During the interview applicants are asked a series of questions and are informed in more detail of the post-graduation commitment. Applicants are selected for the program based on a thorough review of application materials and the in person interview. Approximately 15 new stipends may be awarded for the 2020-2021 Academic year.
3. Student Notification and Acceptance of Stipends
Applicants will be notified in writing via email about the award decision in a timely manner after interviews are completed for each group of applicants. Applicants who are offered admissions and choose to accept the financial award will be required to sign a legally binding contractual agreement obligating them to seek and obtain employment in a local department of social services in Virginia post graduation in foster care or adoption. This contractual agreement will be sent to applicants upon award notification. Applicants who choose to accept the stipend must submit the signed agreement to the VCU Child Welfare Stipend Program Coordinator along with a copy of their M.S.W. program acceptance letter to VCU, a copy of a valid Virginia driver’s license, and an I9 form (with sec. 1 completed) by the date specified in their award notification letter.
4. Important notes:
- Financial awards are communicated to the VCU Financial Aid Office and disbursed to student aid accounts. Acceptance of this stipend may affect other financial aid that you receive. Applicants must contact the VCU Financial Aid Office to determine the impact of the award upon eligibility for other financial aid awards.
- Monies awarded to student accounts are to be used to cover tuition first. If any monies remain in the student account they can be used to cover applicable fees only.
- Your application will be reviewed fully by faculty and community partners tasked with making a recommendation about your admittance to the program.
- Stipend recipients must verify identity and employment eligibility by completing Section 1 of INS Form I-9, providing the required documentation and submitting these to the VCU Child Welfare Stipend Program Coordinator as part of the admissions process prior to or at the time of signing the contractual agreement.
- If you are selected for an award, you will be required to complete a Request for a Search of the Child Protective Services Central Registry, a Criminal History Record Request, and an Information Request for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles upon entering your field placement and upon obtaining employment in a state or local department of social services. A history of founded CPS complaints, criminal convictions, or poor driving record may be a barrier to field placement and employment in Virginia’s state or local departments of social services, and thus, may make you ineligible to receive the award if you are not accepted for a placement by a local department of social services. If you have concerns about your eligibility, please email the program coordinator at
or call 804-828-0408 for more information. Failure to disclose this information or to report any change of status relative to conviction of a crime, any moving traffic violations, or a founded complaint of child abuse/neglect may result in dismissal from the Child Welfare Stipend Program and require your repayment of the financial award.
I have read and understand all application instructions and information. Please initial.
Area of the state in which you plan to live and complete your field placements during your time in the M.S.W. or B.S.W. program:
Northern Neck/Middle Peninsula
Fall 2020, I anticipate I will be a full-time:
First year (first semester) MSW Student
First year (second semester) MSW Student
Advanced Standing MSW Student
Fall 2020, I anticipate I will be a full-time:
On Campus Student
Expected graduation date from VCU School of Social Work (month/year):
Current field placement (if applicable):
Are you a current Department of Social Services employee?
If yes, name of agency:
Do you have any geographical restrictions regarding where you can work post graduation?
If yes, please explain.
Are you a current or previous CWSP participant at a Virginia partner university?
If so, which university?
East Tennessee State University (ETSU), Abingdon Campus
George Mason University
Norfolk State University
Required Document Submission Instructions:
The following documents must be submitted via email to
by the application deadline to be considered. Your email submission will be acknowledged within 5 business days of submission.
VCU's Child Welfare Stipend Coordinator, Naomi Reddish, can be reached by emailing
or by calling 804.828.0408.
1. Professional Statement
Please review "How the child welfare system works" (
), then listen to this podcast (
), and reflect on the strengths and goals that you have that would make you a good fit for this area of social work practice.
After you have reflected on the material above, please submit your responses to the following questions on a separate document. Responses in total should be a maximum length of two - three pages. Responses will be evaluated on quality of substance and writing skills; be thorough yet concise.
1. Why are you interested in working with families in the public child welfare system; specifically in foster care or adoption?
2. What experience have you had in public or private child welfare, as a volunteer, student, or employee? How has that experience influenced you? If you do not have experience in child welfare, tell us more about what you understand to be the focus and importance of child welfare work.
3. Describe your immediate career goals. How will a social work education with an focus in public child welfare help you obtain these goals?
4. Working in public child welfare often means you are working in situations that will challenge you personally and professionally. How do you approach stress and stressful situations?
5. The Commonwealth of Virginia is investing significant resources to enhance the education and training of it's child welfare workforce. Tell us what you will add to the the child welfare workforce if chosen to participate in this program.
2. Letters of Reference
You must submit a document listing two references (name, position, contact information) from which we should expect to receive a recommendation for you. These two references should be from professionals, preferably one from someone who has supervised you in some capacity. *If you are a CWSP participant at a partner university, one of your references has to be from your university CWSP coordinator.
Please have each of your references complete a Reference Form for you by giving them this link to the online reference form
3. Current Resume
Please submit your current resume; include employment, volunteer, and field/internship experience.
4. Most Recent Field Evaluation
Please submit a copy of your most recent field or internship evaluation if applicable.
A copy of your responses will be emailed to the address you provided.
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