The Child Welfare and Protection Track is designed to prepare Spanish-speaking students in the Bachelor of Social Work program with specialized knowledge and experience in child welfare and protection services to meet the needs of Connecticut’s Latino/a/x families served by the state Department of Children and Families (DCF). This partnership serves as a pipeline for students who have an interest in working for DCF after completing their BSW program. The Child Welfare and Protection Track is a stipend-based program. Upon successful completion of the Spring and Fall semesters, students will be awarded a financial stipend of $750, $250 provided at the mid-way point, and $500 at the end of the last spring semester.
This is a voluntary, non-credit bearing program. However, students who are selected will complete their senior field internship at DCF which will satisfy their field internship requirements and credits.
Application and Selection Process
The selection process is competitive, as the program is capped at five students.
Applicants will need to complete and submit the following no later than December 9, prior to the spring semester during which they will begin the program:
- The BSW Child Welfare and Protection Track Application Form
- Written essay outlining your interest and/or experience in child welfare; please be sure to include your experience working with diverse populations, particularly the Latino/a/x community (2 to 3 pages)
- Unofficial transcript
- Current resume
Applicants will be expected to check their UConn email regularly and respond to communications related to the program in a timely manner. Eligible students will be required to participate in an interview which will be scheduled for December 16th.
Notifications of program acceptance will be made by early January of the year of program entry.
To be eligible for the program, students must:
- Have the ability to speak Spanish fluently (Fluency is defined as the ability to converse with another person in a language other than English on a variety of subjects without much strain.)
- Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 and remain in good academic standing
- Have junior standing of a minimum of 54 credits by end of the fall semester during which they apply
- Meet UConn and DCF’s internship requirements
To complete the program, students must:
- Have an interest in child welfare
- Participate in program track series of eight sessions (Spring, Fall, and Spring)
- Enroll in senior year field placement and complete internship at the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF)
- Apply to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) upon graduation
- Students will sign a contract provided by DCF agreeing to work for DCF for two years upon successful completion of their degree and DCF hiring process.
- If the student is not hired within three (3) months of completion of their degree, the student's commitment to work at DCF shall be void and there shall be no request to repay the stipend; however, students who do not complete their BSW programs or do not remain employed with DCF for the stated two (2) years shall reimburse DCF for the full amount of the stipend within ninety (90) days of a demand for reimbursement by DCF.
- DCF shall hire, within three (3) months, the stipend students who have successfully completed the internship program at DCF, obtained a BSW or MSW degree, and undergone all necessary steps within the normal DCF hiring process; should the student defer applying for a DCF position, DCF shall offer the student an opportunity to apply three (3) months after completion of the Advanced Standing MSW program.
Students will need to:
- Repay the DCF portion ($250) of the full $750 stipend if the two-year employment commitment (e.g. termination of employment by DCF or voluntarily leaving) is not fulfilled.
- Return or repay the DCF portion ($250) of the full $750 stipend, if the student does not graduate and/or complete all requirements of this program.
- Notify the DCF Academy in writing within five (5) calendar days of any change in name or address, until the work commitment or stipend is fulfilled.
Student Commitment and Program Schedule
The Child Welfare and Protection Track will require a total of 21 to 22 hours of work outside of the field internship: 17 hours of in-person sessions and 4 to 5 hours of preparation, reflection, and presentation.
Students will take notes during and after the different sessions and shadowing experience that will contribute to their final poster presentation, which will highlight what they learned while participating in the Child Welfare and Protection Track. If students wish, they can apply for a three-credit independent study in the spring of their senior year, which will count towards their elective credits. The independent study will consist of a portfolio of their work, including the final poster presentation.
- Kick-Off Opening Reception (1 hour)
- To be held in February, Date TBD
- Workshop on Social Work History of Child Welfare and Protection Services (1.5 hours)
- To be held in March, Date TBD
- Workshop on DCF as the Largest Child Welfare Organization in the State of Connecticut (1.5 hours)
- To be held in April, Date: TBD
- Experiential Shadowing of a DCF Spanish-Speaking Social Worker Working with Latinx Families (up to 7 hours)
- To be held in early May
- Workshop on Understanding the Latino/a/x Population; Connecticut Demographics; Diversity of Culture, Beliefs, and Values (1.5 hours)
- To be held in October, Date TBD
- Workshop on Understanding the initial DCF intake assessment - conducted in Spanish (1.5 hours)
- To be held in early December, Date TBD
- Evaluation Wrap-Up Session (1.5 hours)
- To be held in February of final semester
- Poster Presentation Session Conducted by Student Participants and Celebration of Graduating Cohort (1.5 hours)
- To be held in April of final semester
Schedule and dates are subject to change.