Child Welfare Stipend Program

The School of Social Work would like to congratulate the recipients of the 2018-19 CWSP Award 

Group Picture

Kathleen Chester


Samantha Gosling


Ana Portillo


Tabitha Criner


Reanna Herrington


Asiana Rollins


Lindsey White


Kaelah Freeman


Rachel Leffel


Pollyanne South


Savannah Gallegos


Mykole McCray


Essence Turner


The Child Welfare Stipend Program (CWSP) is a partnership between the Virginia Department of Social Services and four state universities within Virginia (Radford University, Norfolk State University, George Mason University, and Virginia Commonwealth University). This specialized training program, funded through title IV-E of the Social Security Act, prepares BSW and MSW students for a career in child welfare. 

Please take a moment to review the Current CWSP Resource Newsletter from Virginia Department of Social Services. 

Program Requirements

  • Eligible students must be enrolled in a full-time BSW or MSW program at one of the four participating universities. 
  • Stipend Recipients must successfully complete two Child Welfare courses (Child Welfare Policy elective and a Child Welfare practice elective).
  • MSW Stipend Recipients must complete one field practicum in a child serving setting, and one field practicum at a Local Department of Social Services (primarily in a foster care/prevention/adoption role).
  • BSW Stipend Recipients and MSW Advnaced Standing Stipend Recipients must complete one field practicum at a Local Department of Social Services (primarily in a foster care/prevention/adoption role). 
  • Stipend Recipients must complete additional CWSP seminars/training as indicated by their University Coordinator. This includes the VDSS Foster Care New Worker Policy Training, and other topics such as trauma informed care, regional trends in substance abuse, interpersonal violence, etc. 


Students accepted into this program receive a $10,000 stipend per academic year. In exchange for the stipend and extensive child welfare training, the stipend recipient must commit to work at a Local Department of Social Services within the state of Virginia (one calendar year for each academic year that the stipend was received). This employment obligation must begin within three (3) months of graduation.

Application Process

To apply, review the Program Guidelines, complete the application and submit all documentation by the date indicated on the application.


Erica Thornton, MSW
CWSP Coordinator
Waldron Hall 229
Radford, VA 24142

Virginia Department of Social Services Supplemental Information

VDSS is one of the largest Commonwealth agencies, partnering with 120 local departments of social services, along with faith-based and non-profit organizations, to promote the well-being of children and families statewide.

National Title IV-E Website

National Title IV-E Website has been established to build Title IV-E Child Welfare Agency/University Partnerships among participating universities in the United States. This website is also a collaborative network among faculty in social work education programs with a focus on child welfare, both nationally and internationally. learn more