University-agency partnerships are an important strategy in preparing the current and future child welfare workforce. There is evidence that professionally educated social workers are better prepared for child welfare work, stay longer, and influence organizations to support best practices. University-Agency partnerships include BSW and MSW traineeship programs, local child welfare agency engagement strategies and specialized child welfare curriculum that are evidence-based and trauma informed. Together these components increase the knowledge and skills of individual stipend recipients, address the workforce challenges of local child welfare systems, and build the capacity of college and university social work programs to prepare students for positive, culturally competent, and productive careers in child welfare.

In 2009, twelve programs were selected to receive federal funds for each of five years to support professional education for current or prospective child welfare practitioners either enrolled or planning to enroll in accredited social work programs. Please click here for a summary of those 12 traineeships, or explore these projects' curricular resources, legacies and lessons learned in the menu on the right.






In 2014, thirteen new university-agency partnerships were selected to prepare the current and future child welfare workforce to strengthen child welfare practice through traineeship programs, local agency engagement strategies, and specialized child welfare curricula.







REGIONS 9 & 10

  • Arizona State University (MSW program), in partnership with Navajo Nation, Ft. McDowell Yavapai Nation, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and Gila River Indian Community
  • University of California-Berkeley (MSW program), in partnership with the San Francisco County Human Services Agency
  • University of Alaska-Anchorage (combined BSW/MSW program), in partnership with the Alaska Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Children's Services 


These NCWWI University Partnership (UP) programs are:

  1. Identifying, selecting and administering BSW & MSW stipend programs that will increase recipients’ child welfare knowledge and practice skills enabling them to address the challenges facing children, families and the child welfare system through dedicated field education, specialized coursework, and program supports that include an attentiveness to the transition to careers and agency settings;

  2. Ensuring the meaningful engagement of each university with a local child welfare agency to collaboratively address specific systems challenges that hinder the transition to work, specialized practice, and retention of traineeship graduates; and,

  3. Building the capacity of college and university social work programs to prepare students for the unique demands of serving in public child welfare through the development and delivery of a specialized social work child welfare curriculum with an emphasis on evidence-based and trauma-informed practices.


For more information, please contact Gary Anderson, University Partnerships Team Leader:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.