Child Welfare Stipend Program (B.S.W./M.S.W.)

Student Perspective

“This practice has solidified my understanding that I must create an environment in which clients know that their voices are respected, valued and heard in order to best serve youth and families.”

– 2020 graduate Claire Friedmann

Preparing social work practitioners to engage families, support children, and foster connections.

The Child Welfare Stipend Program is a partnership between the Virginia Department of Social Services and four state universities within Virginia, including Virginia Commonwealth University. This specialized training program, funded through Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, prepares social work students for a career in public child welfare.

B.S.W./M.S.W. students accepted into this program receive a $10,000 stipend per academic year, with a work payback requirement (see stipulations below). 

For questions about the program, contact Naomi Reddish, Child Welfare Stipend Program coordinator, at cwstipend@vcu.edu. 

Applying to the CWSP 

You can now apply to join the Fall 2022- Spring 2023 cohort. We would be glad to talk with you more about the program as well as answer any questions you may have as you are thinking about pursuing a career in public child welfare.  


About the program

Benefits to community partners

Our community partners also benefit from the CWSP at VCU by having the opportunity: 

  • To train social work students during their field practicums 
  • To hire graduates with practice experience in a local department of social services (LDSS) and other child-serving settings 
  • To hire graduates who have completed some of the required Commonwealth of Virginia Learning Center training prior to beginning their employment in an LDSS
  • To support their employees and enhance retention of their workforce by providing the opportunity for staff to continue their professional development by returning to VCU to complete their M.S.W.

Virginia Commonwealth University
School of Social Work
Academic Learning Commons
1000 Floyd Avenue, Third Floor
Box 842027
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2027

Phone: (804) 828-1030
Fax: (804) 828-0716
Email: sswinfo@vcu.edu
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