DCF Child Welfare Stipend Program


The UConn School of Social Work has a longstanding partnership with the Connecticut State Department of Children and Families to increase a more diverse, professionally trained, master’s level public child welfare workforce. The development of this program is influenced by the NCWWI CT Partnership for Child Welfare Excellence from 2014. The selection process is competitive with up to five positions for students who are non-DCF employees and will work at CT DCF upon graduation.

The program is open to eligible students, Spanish speakers preferred. Interested students are highly encouraged to attend the information session during the spring semester prior to the start of the academic year.

Student Eligibility:

  • Interest in child welfare social work practice
  • Advanced year or advanced standing status in the fall
  • Individuals, Groups, and Families (IGFP) concentration
  • Minimum cumulative GPA 3.0 and maintain good academic standing
  • Meet UConn and DCF internship requirements

Application Process

To apply, you must complete the following steps and submit materials to the SSW Field Education Office at sswfielded@uconn.edu by February 28.

  • Completed online application form
  • Written essay outlining your interest and/or experience in child welfare (minimum four pages). Please include your experience working with diverse populations, particularly the Latinx community.
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Resume or CV

Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Eligible applicants will be selected for an interview with the program leadership team to determine acceptance into the program.

    Key Elements of the Program

    Students agree to:

    • Complete a background screening – CPS, fingerprinting & driver’s license check
    • Conduct home visits with children & families in diverse neighborhoods and successfully complete the internship at DCF
    • Enroll in one selected child welfare course
    • Accept a position for employment at DCF in Connecticut, if offered, and remain employed at DCF for two years
    • If DCF employment is not offered/available within 3 months after graduation, graduates are not obligated to wait for a DCF position
    • Return or repay the DCF portion ($2,000) of the full $4,000 stipend, if the requirements of this program and the conferral of the MSW degree are not met

    Students will receive a $4,000 stipend after successful completion of coursework and field at the end of the fall ($2,000) and spring ($2,000) semesters.

    Please note that some of the required courses for this program may be offered on Saturdays. If you are unable to attend classes on Saturday for religious/spiritual reasons, please let us know so that alternative arrangements can be made in the event that you are accepted into the program.

    For more information, contact Liane Lussier-Smith, LCSW, Field Coordinator at liane.lussier-smith@uconn.edu