Child welfare workers who are professionally educated are better prepared for the workforce, stay at their jobs longer, and can more effectively influence their organization to support best practices. Some graduate social work programs provide the opportunity for students to focus their studies on child and family or child welfare issues. Many programs also provide Federal funds for title IV-E stipends to students who are employed or preparing for employment in a public child welfare agency. Use the following resources to find out more about receiving a degree in social work with a child welfare focus.
2017 Statistics on Social Work Education in the United States (PDF - 618 KB)
Council on Social Work Education (2018)
Provides a snapshot of statistics relating to social work education in the United States and covers baccalaureate programs, master's programs, practice doctoral programs, Ph.D. programs, and faculty.
Council on Social Work Education
Represents social work education in the United States and works to support high-quality education programs, provide opportunities for leadership and professional development, and help social work students achieve their goals.
Promising Innovations in Child Welfare Education: Findings From a National Initiative (PDF - 327 KB)
Strand, Dettlaff, & Counts-Spriggs (2015)
Journal of Social Work Education, 51(2)
Highlights a curriculum innovation in a master's program at the University of Illinois and a field innovation in a baccalaureate program at Clark Atlanta University that are working to increase the readiness of social work education students for child welfare practice.
Social Work Student Questions
Council on Social Work Education (2022)
Provides an overview of social work education at the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels and gives a description of areas of study, field experience requirements, and more.
Social Work Field Education — Changing With the Times
Gibson & Carroll (2019)
Social Work Today, 19(2)
Examines the current state of social work field education, which is evolving, and discusses recent trends in social work education, including virtual learning, the use of social media and technology, and interprofessional education.
Title IV-E Education: Past, Present and Future of Public Child Welfare
Leung & Cheung (2018)
Journal of Public Child Welfare, 12(3)
Analyzes title IV-E support from the perspective of the educational preparedness of child protection services workers and the field's readiness for a strong workforce. The article discusses the title IV-E entitlement programs of the past, present, and future.