Child Welfare Education and Research Programs

Child welfare is one of the oldest fields of social work specialization and practice. Public child welfare agencies exist by federal law in every state in the United States. Careers in child welfare include protective services to address child abuse and neglect; community-based family suport services; kinship and foster care; adoption; trauma-informed treatments for children and parents; and work with family courts, schools, and early intervention programs.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, Child Welfare Education and Research Programs, are designed to strengthen child welfare services in Pennsylvania by increasing the number of qualified professionals and equipping them to deal with the increasingly complex demands of public child welfare practice through advanced education, technical assistance, training and targeted organizational interventions.  Our degree education programs provide opportunities for child-and family-focused undergraduate and graduate social work education across 16 universities to address recruitment and retention within the child welfare workforce. An education and career ladder for employees of public child welfare agencies in Pennsylvania is one of many strategies aimed at improving outcomes for children and families.  

Read more about the NEW Child Welfare Workforce Excellence Fellows (CWWEF) Program

Administered by the School of Social Work, the Child Welfare Education for Baccalaureates (CWEB) and Child Welfare Education for Leadership (CWEL) programs represent a cooperative effort among the federal Administration for Children and Families, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, the Pennsylvania Children & Youth Administrators, and 16 accredited schools of social work in Pennsylvania.

Graduates of the CWEB and CWEL program are employed in a range of child welfare positions across the state as caseworkers, supervisors, program managers, policy analysts and administrators.

Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center

The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center (CWRC) provides training, technical assistance, transfer of learning, organizational effectiveness, and support for best practice to the child welfare workforce within Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.  

For more information please contact:
Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center
403 East Winding Hill Road
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Fax: 717-795-8013

Disproportionality in Child Welfare

The child welfare system has moved toward solutions to address the overrepresentation of children of color in care.  Changes in practice at specific points in the child welfare process, such as the reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect, is one of many steps in addressing racial and ethnic disproportionality.  Click below to view a video describing Pennsylvania’s efforts to reduce racial bias in child abuse reporting.

Disproportionality in Child Welfare video

Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting: Act 31 On-Line Training