Professional Development

MSW Stipend Program at GSSW

 

The purpose of the Child Welfare Stipend Program at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work is the education of professional social workers to effectively serve families who use public child welfare services.

Funds come from Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, which provides support for child welfare services, training and education. These federal funds are matched with state dollars. The Colorado state budget for 2015-2016 has not been finalized. It is unclear how many stipends will be made available. Nevertheless, the Butler Institute for Families at GSSW will proceed with the application process according to the schedule listed below.

Visit the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) website for more information regarding Child Welfare in Colorado.

 

Learn about a Career in Child Welfare

The Child Welfare Choice: The Colorado Realistic Job Preview Video

Watch the following video to learn more about the reality of a career in child welfare.

 

You can also view it directly from YouTube: http://youtu.be/-SF9pkWQByE

Stipend Overview

Program availability for the 2015-2016 academic year is contingent on the appropriation of Federal and State Dollars.

 

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Rural, Urban, and Distance Learning Stipends:

Applicants may apply for either a Rural, Urban, or Distance Learning Stipend.

  • Rural Stipends are anticipated to be $17,000 for the academic year. Students receiving Rural Stipends have two months following graduation to find employment in a rural Colorado County or Colorado Indian Reservation of their choice in public child welfare and agree to work one calendar year for each academic year of funding. Rural counties are defined by the Colorado Department of Human Services.

 

  • Urban Stipends are expected to be $14,000 for the academic year. Students receiving Urban Stipends have two months following graduation to find employment in the Colorado County or Colorado Indian Reservation of their choice in public child welfare. If they do not secure employment within two months of graduation, Urban Stipend students must take positions in rural county departments of social service.

 

  • Distance Learning Stipends for students at the GSSW’s distance sites are expected to be $10,000 for the academic year. Students receiving Distance Learning Stipends have two months following graduation to find employment in the Colorado County or Colorado Indian Reservation of their choice in public child welfare. If they do not secure employment within two months of graduation, Distance Learning Stipend students must take positions in rural county departments of social service.

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Nature of the Award:

All students receiving a child welfare stipend make a commitment to employment in a Colorado Department of Social/Human Services or on a Colorado Indian Reservation serving child welfare populations following graduation. Students must work one calendar year for each academic year of funding. Based on the needs of the State, students not securing employment within two months of graduation may be required to accept employment in a rural county designated by the state.

  • Students wishing to work in urban areas will receive a tuition credit of approximately $14,000.
  • Students committing to employment in rural Colorado county child welfare departments will be awarded tuition credits of approximately $17,000.
  • Students at Distance Learning sites will receive a tuition credit of approximately $10,000.

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Student Eligibility and Selection:

Full-time graduate students are eligible to apply for funding if they meet the following conditions:

Requirements for ALL Applicants

  • All applicants must be legal residents of the United States of America or legally authorized to work in the United States and provide proof thereof in accordance with the requirements of Colorado law.
  • All applicants must also have and maintain a valid Colorado Drivers License and proof of insurance.
  • All applicants must also meet security clearance screens to work with children.

 

Additional Requirements for each Round: 

  • Round 1: Concentration
    • Students who will begin the second year of their MSW program in the fall of 2015.
  • Round 2: Advanced Standing
    • Students accepted into the Advanced Standing MSW program at GSSW prior to the deadlines set for Stipend applicants.
  • Round 3: Distance Learning Sites and Rural
    • Students attending the University of Denver, Graduate School of Social Work, Distance Learning programs at Four Corners and West Distance Learning sites; OR
    • Students attending the main campus of GSSW in Denver and able to participate in an internship at any of the Rural Counties.
  • Round 4: Foundation
    • Students who will enter the MSW program as first year students in the Fall of 2015
    • Persons in preparation for hire in public child welfare must:
      • Complete at least one academic year of field placement in a public child welfare position; AND
      • Successfully complete all required courses; AND
      • Commit to accepting employment in a county department of social services or on a Colorado Indian Reservation in a child welfare position for one year for each academic year for which they receive funding.
  • Round 5: Current County Employees
    • Current employees of Colorado County Departments of Human/Social Services must commit to returning to their current county position for a period of one year for each academic year for which they receive funding.
    • Should they choose to leave their current state or county child welfare position, they have two months to secure employment in another Colorado County Department of Social/Human Services or on a Colorado Indian Reservation in a child welfare position.

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Academic Requirements:

Students must successfully complete the entire MSW child welfare program, which includes specialized courses in, and related to, child welfare practice. In addition, students will plan electives with their advisor and stipend program staff to advance their skills in child welfare practice. Stipend recipients who are not currently employed in public child welfare in Colorado must complete one year (three academic quarters) of field placement in a public child welfare setting.

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Application Process


Application Instructions & Process:

  1. Download your 2015-2016 Stipend Application (PDF).
  2. Email your completed application to:
  1. Written applications are reviewed.
  2. Once reviewed, selected candidates are scheduled for an interview.
    Selected candidates are interviewed by a panel consisting of representatives from the Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado County Departments of Human/Social Services, and the Butler Institute for Families at the University of Denver.
  3. Selected students are awarded stipends contingent on the availability of funds.

 

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Important Dates & Information:

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For All Applicants:

  • You MUST be accepted to GSSW prior to submitting a Stipend application
  • Field placement must be in a County Department of Human Services Child Welfare agency.
  • Payback requirements consist of one year of employment in a Public Child Welfare agency for every year a Stipend is received.

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Round 1February/March 2015:

For GSSW 2015-2016 Concentration Year Students:

  • Application Deadline: February 24, 2015 (This deadline has been extended)
  • Interview Date: March 6, 2015
  • You MUST provide a copy of your signed Foundation Year Field Evaluation.
  • Email your completed application to Collette Pella at Collette.Pella@du.edu

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Round 2April 2015:

For Summer Advanced Standing Students who have been accepted into the GSSW program at the University of Denver:

  • Application Deadline: April 16, 2015
  • Interview Date:  April 30, 2015
  • Email your completed application to Cindy Carey at Cynthia.Carey@du.edu.

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Round 3May 2015:

For 2015 Distance Learning Site Students who have been accepted to either of the two distance site programs (Four Corners Program or West Program):

OR

For students attending the main campus of GSSW in Denver and able to participate in an internship at any of the Rural Counties.

  • Application Deadline: May 4, 2015
  • Interview Date: May 18, 2015
  • Email your completed application to Collette Pella at Collette.Pella@du.edu

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Round 4June 2015:

For First Year Students:

  • Application Deadline: June 2, 2015
  • Interview Date: June 16, 2015
  • Email your completed application to Cindy Carey at Cynthia.Carey@du.edu.

 

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Round 5—June 2015:

For Current Colorado Department of Human Services Employees:

  • Application Deadline: June 17, 2015
  • Interview Date: June 30, 2015
  • You MUST provide a copy of your signed Field Internship In Place Of Employment.pdf.
  • Field placement must be in a County Department of Human Services Child Welfare agency and field placement needs to be with a different area of learning emphasis than current employment. For example: if the employee is an Ongoing Child Protection Child Welfare Worker, the internship could be served within an intake, permanency or adolescent unit of the same County Child Welfare agency.
  • Email your completed application to Collette Pella at Collette.Pella@du.edu.

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More Information

 

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Work Interruption:

A graduate who terminates employment before the required work period is completed must repay the prorated remaining amount of the stipend. However the graduate may be granted a hardship postponement of up to one year with permission of the Colorado Department of Human Services. Hardship postponements are generally granted in three-month increments. At the end of the postponement period, the graduate must complete his/her work requirement or repay the amount owed. Waivers of repayment will be made in the case of permanent disability or death. If the graduate is laid off because of county budget cuts and cannot secure employment in another county, waiver of repayment may be considered.

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Payback Requirements:

Students are responsible for repayment of the amount of the stipend, interest, and any costs of collection under the following circumstances:

  1. Failure to successfully complete the MSW child welfare program within one or two years of full time study, depending on whether a foundation or concentration year student.
  2. Students’ academic performance must remain in good standing throughout the time of attendance.
  3. Failure to meet a security clearance screen for work with children.
  4. Failure to secure employment in a child welfare position within two months of graduation (unless a waiver is granted).
  5. Voluntary or involuntary termination of employment before completion of the work requirement.
  6. Violation of the National Association of Social Worker Code of Ethics during the payback period.

 

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Terms of Repayment:

Terms of repayment will be negotiated with the University of Denver and the State of Colorado. If no agreement is reached or the student defaults on the agreement, collection procedures will be undertaken by the State of Colorado, Central Collection Department.

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Field Requirements:

Current child welfare employees must accept a field placement that will enhance their ability to perform as an MSW professional in a child welfare setting, as determined by the student and the child welfare faculty. Other students must complete at least one year of field placement in a county department of social services setting serving child welfare clients.

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Delay of Graduation:

Students shall obtain child welfare employment in a Colorado County Department of Human/Social Services or on a Colorado Indian Reservation within two months of graduation, and work for at least 4 months for each quarter of stipend support received. Should a student fail to obtain employment within two months of graduation, he/she will be required to interview and accept employment in public child welfare in a rural Colorado county.

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Work Requirements:

Students shall obtain child welfare employment in a Colorado County Department of Human/Social Services or on a Colorado Indian Reservation within two months of graduation, and work for at least 4 months for each quarter of stipend support received. Should a student fail to obtain employment within two months of graduation, he/she will be required to interview and accept employment in public child welfare in a rural Colorado county.

This employment might necessitate a student’s relocation to another part of the state. Students must accept interviews in any county in Colorado. If a graduate cannot locate a job within two months of graduation, and they are unable to obtain employment in a state selected county, payback may be delayed for up to one year upon approval of the State Department of Human Services. The graduate must demonstrate effort to secure employment within that year, participating in all interviews and accepting a job if offered.

 

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Questions?

If you have any questions, or for more information, please contact:

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