If you are an MSW candidate with a strong interest in pursuing a career in public child welfare, then CalSWEC is an opportunity to subsidize your education. CalSWEC is a two year stipend program that offers $18,500 per year. Students who receive this assistance "payback" the stipend with two years of employment at any public child welfare (PCW) agency in the State of California. Students interested in working with Native American populations have more payback options.
CalSWEC attempts to recruit students who reflect the needs and ethnic makeup of the public child welfare client base. A preference is given to candidates who are current public social services and public child welfare employees. Return to top.
First, candidates must be admitted into the UCLA MSW program. Candidates who indicate an interest in the Children and Youth Services specialization are sent an application. Return to top.
There is a two part application process which involves a written interview and an oral interview. Generally, this is a rolling process, in which applications are processed as they are received, that begins in March and ends in June.
Written: The application includes questions about your understanding of CalSWEC requirements and public child welfare goals.
Oral: The interview will explore your interest and experience working with this population. The oral interview panelists are CalSWEC faculty and a public child welfare supervisor.
The preliminary selections are confirmed by the CalSWEC Awards Committee. Official CalSWEC award notifications are determined in July. Return to top.
CalSWEC students can choose to be either in the Social Work with Individuals, Families and Groups (SWIFG) or Social Work with Organizations, Communities and Planning (SWOCP) concentration.
Many elective courses are available to enhance your education. One law-related choice is required:
These other requirements prepare you for working in the child welfare field:
CalSWEC has taken traditional second year placements and modified them for first year CalSWEC students.
Students are introduced to service delivery by a cadre of carefully selected field instructors. Together with the CalSWEC field liaison and the student, an individualized instruction program that parallels classroom learning is developed. These agencies emphasize direct clinical services to children and families at risk for PCW intervention. They include:
Generally, in the second year, students choose in which public child welfare agency they want to be placed. The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) operates a special UCLA CalSWEC student unit at a convenient Westside location for SWIFG students. For students in the SWOCP concentration, DCFS offers placements with managers in the following settings:
In addition, a wide variety of placements are available in Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura County Public Child Welfare agencies. Return to top.
No. At this time, we only offer a full-time program. Return to top.
Jesse Marez, M.S.W. ’97, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, Adoptions: "Everyone tells you, ‘this is a hard job.’ Yes, that is true, but the key to doing it well is good organization. I love my job and my clinical skills have grown enormously here. My CalSWEC placements and classes made a difference for me."
Tuin Bui, M.S.W. ’97, Santa Clara County Department of Children’s Services: "I think I received a great education in the UCLA CalSWEC program. I understand the big picture and I am confident in my direct practice work with clients."
Brian Reems, M.S.W. ’98, San Francisco Department of Social Services: "CalSWEC really prepared me to be a professional practitioner in a PCW agency. It helped me deal with court and understand what happens on a daily basis. CalSWEC taught me how to balance the clients’ needs and the agency’s needs. I feel confident about decision-making." Return to top.