North Carolina Child Welfare Collaborative

The North Carolina Child Welfare Education Collaborative was established in 1999 to improve public child welfare services in North Carolina and is administered by the Jordan Institute for Families at UNC-Chapel Hill.  These schools offer a curriculum that not only meets the state's preservice competency requirements but includes specialized, in-depth training in child welfare best practices and theory.

The Collaborative is a joint effort of the NC Division of Social Services, the NC Association of County Directors of Social Services, the National Association of Social Workers NC Chapter, and the following thirteen (13)social work programs in North Carolina as follows:

Collaborative Scholar Programs:

Appalachian State University (BSW)

East Carolina University (BSW & MSW)

Fayetteville State University (MSW)

North Carolina State University (BSW)

North Carolina Central University (BSW & MSW)

The Joint MSW Collaborative Scholar  Program (MSW), NC A&T SU, and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Methodist University (BSW)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (MSW)

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (MSW & BSW)

The  University of North Carolina at Greensboro  (BSW)

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (BSW)

The University of North Carolina at Wilmington (BSW)

Western Carolina University (BSW & MSW)

The Collaborative seeks to increase the number of professionally educated social workers in public child welfare in North Carolina. The annual turnover rate for NC county child welfare workers is 44%, and only 30% of current NC child welfare staff has social work degrees. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Department of Social Work began participating in the Collaborative during fall 2002 as a “waiver” school. A “waiver school” is one which offers a specialized classroom and field instruction curriculum in public child welfare to BSW and MSW students to prepare for practice in public child welfare. During the academic year of 2008-2009, UNC Charlotte became a Collaborative Scholar Program and will continue this status during the 2013-2014 academic year.

Upper Division BSW Social Work Majors and MSW students are eligible to apply to the Collaborative as a “waiver” or a “scholar” student.   The Department of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte requires that each Child Welfare Scholar or Child Welfare Waiver student enroll and complete the UNC Charlotte Child Welfare Class, receive a final grade of a (B), and meet DSS compliance requirements for practicum placement in order to continue in the Child Welfare Collaborative Program.  The final requirement is that the student must have a field practicum in a Department of Social Services Agency- Youth and Family Services for a full academic year and receive a grade of at least a (B) for the course.   Practice skills, knowledge, and values related to Child Welfare are infused in the curriculum and all Child Welfare students must complete the Transfer of Learning Activities as a component of their field work, review with their field instructor, and a copy is kept on file in the Child Welfare student file at UNC Charlotte

Upon successful completion of the Child Welfare course and Field Placement, along with the other required classes for their degree, “waiver” and “scholar” students receive a certificate indicating they have successfully completed the Pre-service Training competencies. Waiver students may be hired at a NC county DSS with six  (6) months of experience. “Waiver” students are not obligated to work in a county DSS upon graduation.  

After getting their degree, “scholars” provide six months of employment at a North Carolina Department of social service for each semester of financial support received from the Collaborative. A minimum employment commitment of one year, in direct practice or supervision of direct practice, is required. Students completing the program receive a Scholar Completion Certificate. For a better understanding of how the program works, take a look at "The Path of a Child Welfare Scholar."