CWEB FAQ

student standing next to poster

For which degrees may students enroll?

Which schools are accredited and approved?

What is the application process?

What if more applicants apply from one university than can be funded?

What are the degree requirements?

What is the child welfare caseworker hiring process?

What is the State Civil Service process?

What if I intern in a non-Civil Service county?

What if I intern in a Civil Service County and want to be hired in a Merit County?

What if I intern in a Merit County and want to be hired in a Civil Service County?

Are there other exceptions to the county hiring process?

What financial support is available?

May a student be paid by a county in addition to receiving a CWEB stipend while completing their child welfare internship?

What responsibilities does a student have after graduation?

What commitment do students have to the CWEB program?

What are the employing agency's responsibilities?

Who administers the CWEB Program?

Who should I contact for information about CWEB?

How can I contact the participating schools?

Do I have to claim my fellowship payments on my taxes?

For which degrees may students enroll?

Eligible students may enroll for a bachelor's degree in social work (BASW, BSW) at any of the undergraduate schools or departments of social work in Pennsylvania accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and approved to participate in the CWEB program. The school's offering must include child welfare specific course work and public child welfare field instruction (internship) opportunities.

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Which schools are accredited and approved?

The 15 programs approved in Pennsylvania are located at Bloomsburg University, California University, East Stroudsburg University, Edinboro University, Kutztown University, Lock Haven University, Mansfield University, Marywood University, Millersville University, Shippensburg University, Slippery Rock University, Temple University, the University of Pittsburgh, West Chester University and Widener University. The number of openings at each school is limited and may vary from year to year. Applicants may be enrolled in any of these 15 schools.

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What is the application process?

  • The application process includes three distinct components:
  • Official acceptance as a social work major at one of the approved schools with status of at least a junior
  • A recommendation from the designated social work faculty of the school in which the applicant is enrolled; and
  • Online application to the CWEB program

Persons who meet the basic qualifications must discuss their application with their social work faculty. It is important that applicants clearly advise their school of their interest in a child welfare career and the CWEB program. CWEB applications may be filed any time after the beginning of the applicant's junior year. The deadlines for submitting the online CWEB application are April 30 for Fall entry and November 15 for Spring entry. The selection of students is based upon criteria which include interest in a child welfare career, caliber of personal statement, grade point average, availability of field placements (internships), faculty recommendations, date of application, geographic distribution, space availability in the approved programs, and available funding. Submit an Online CWEB Application.

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What if more applicants apply from one university than can be funded?

The purpose of the CWEB program is to strengthen public child welfare services in Pennsylvania. Thus, an attempt will be made to distribute the available fellowship support as broadly as possible across the state. If more students apply from any one university than can be offered fellowship support, any student may nevertheless pursue child welfare courses, field placements (internships), and employment opportunities. 

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What are the degree requirements?

Students admitted to the CWEB program for study at the undergraduate level are required to satisfy all academic requirements for the degree program to which they are admitted. These requirements include credit hours, satisfactory grades, and field instruction (internship).

In addition, there are several specific academic requirements:

  • At least one child welfare course
  • A field work assignment (internship) of at least 400 clock hours in a public child welfare agency
  • Course content in cultural diversity
  • Completion of selected Pennsylvania competency and skills-based training certification modules (known as Foundations of Pennsylvania Child Welfare Practice), usually as part of field work (internship)

Normal progress toward completion of the degree as defined by the school is expected. While students may enroll on either a full-time or part-time basis, full-time enrollment is encouraged and is most typical.

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What is the child welfare caseworker hiring process?

Pennsylvania operates two hiring systems for county child welfare caseworkers: Civil Service and Merit Hire. Approximately 72% (48) of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties currently operate under the State Civil Service System, while the other 27% (18) have established their own county-based merit hire system. Philadelphia county operates its own hiring system. Please note that CWEB students must complete their internship at the Philadelphia Department of Human Services in order to be considered for employment at Philadelphia DHS after graduation. 

In summary, Pennsylvania has some counties which participate in the State Civil Service System and some which do not. A map outlining the county hiring systems is available here. Because Pennsylvania has both Civil Service and Merit Hire systems in place across its 67 counties, CWEB students can complete an internship in one type of county child welfare hire system and then obtain employment in another type of county child welfare hire system. Each scenario has implications for the hiring process and require different actions to be taken by the CWEB graduate to secure county child welfare agency employment.

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What is the State Civil Service process?

The State Civil Service Commission is a system of employment that recruits, refers and promotes individuals based on their qualifications and ability to perform the job.  At the start of the internship, a two-part application process must be made to the State Civil Service Commission.  The first part, known as the civil service “exam” is an online application (not a test) submitted by the CWEB student in order to measure knowledge, skills and abilities needed to successfully perform the duties of a caseworker position.  A score is obtained which the student must provide to the internship agency.  The internship county agency then appoints the student as a County Social Casework Intern. The County Social Casework Intern online application is available here.

CWEB students who are appointed as County Social Casework Interns occupy an official Civil Service position and must complete 975 hours of internship.  They are then eligible for hire in any PA Civil Service public child welfare agency and do not have to take any additional Civil Service examinations.  Upon hire, the CWEB graduate is promoted from a County Social Casework Intern position to either a Caseworker I or Caseworker II position. 

CWEB students who complete less than 975 hours in a PA Civil Service county and do not participate in the State Civil Service Social Casework Internship program must take the Civil Service Exam for employment as either a County Caseworker 1 C&Y or County Caseworker 2 C&Y in one of the civil service counties in Pennsylvania.  This online examination posting is available here and may be completed up to seven months prior to graduation.

After receiving an examination score, those CWEB students who have completed less than 975 hours of internship must apply for open caseworker positions in Civil Service counties by going to this employment site.

A tutorial for Civil Service employment procedures is available here.

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What if I intern in a non-Civil Service county?

CWEB students who complete their internship in a Merit County (non-Civil Service) agency must apply for Caseworker openings through the county’s website.  Counties are under no obligation to hire a CWEB intern and there may be no open positions in the county where the internship was completed.  Because of this, all CWEB students should take the Civil Service examinations for Caseworker 1 C&Y and Caseworker 2 C&Y and obtain a score for each UNLESS they have already completed the two-part application process to the State Civil Service Commission, have been appointed as a County Social Casework Intern and will complete a 975-hour internship.  

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What if I intern in a Civil Service County and want to be hired in a Merit County?

CWEB students who complete their internship in a Civil Service County and wish to pursue employment in a Merit County must apply for open caseworker positions through the county website.

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What if I intern in a Merit County and want to be hired in a Civil Service County?

Up to seven months prior to graduation, CWEB students interning in Merit Counties must apply to the online exam postings for County Caseworker 1 C&Y exam AND County Caseworker 2 C&Y exam.  These are separate postings and a score is obtained for each. 

Once your scores are received, you must go to this site to apply for open Caseworker positions in Civil Service counties and search Open Jobs, then Social Services 

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Are there other exceptions to the county hiring process?

Philadelphia operates its own unique internship and employment system.  CWEB participants who wish to work at the Children and Youth Division of the Philadelphia Department of Human Services after graduation must complete an internship at Philadelphia DHS Children and Youth Division in order to be considered for employment.

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What financial support is available?

Persons admitted to the CWEB program for full-time study will receive full tuition and fees at the in-state rate for their senior year at the school in which they are enrolled, a fellowship, and a book allowance. Out-of-state students enrolled in Pennsylvania state or state-related universities will receive tuition at the Pennsylvania resident level only. Part-time students will receive the tuition and fees incurred in their senior year enrollment, a fellowship, and a book allowance not to exceed what they would have received had they been enrolled full-time.

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May a student be paid by a county in addition to receiving a CWEB fellowship while completing their child welfare internship?

No, a student may not receive both payments.  Those students completing an internship within a county that places interns on payroll will receive their CWEB fellowship payment through the county.

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What responsibilities does a student have after graduation?

Persons enrolled in the CWEB program are required to sign a legally binding contract agreeing to employment in a Pennsylvania public child welfare agency immediately upon graduation. This provision is a strict requirement in compliance with federal regulations and may not be waived for graduate study or delayed for any other purpose. There are 67 county child welfare agencies throughout the state. The student may fulfill the commitment in any of these agencies where vacancies exist. The CWEB faculty and staff provide support to students in the placement process. The contractual period of employment is one calendar year for each academic year (or fraction of a year) for which the student receives financial support. This rarely exceeds one calendar year. Persons who do not secure employment and/or complete the contractual work commitment will be required to repay in cash the value of all funds paid to them or on their behalf. The work commitment for part-time students is prorated so that it does not exceed the commitment of full-time students enrolled in the same degree program in the same university.

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What commitment do students have to the CWEB program?

The CWEB faculty maintain close contact with CWEB students and graduates. Students are required to provide the details of their course and internship activities each academic term, submit reimbursement requests on a regular and timely basis, and attend a meeting with CWEB faculty held in their geographic region at least annually. Graduates are required to keep the CWEB program advised of any changes of address or employment during the period of their CWEB work commitment. Both students and graduates are expected to participate in CWEB's annual program evaluation.

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What are the employing agency's responsibilities?

County child welfare agencies are eager to employ social work graduates with child welfare preparation. Using their normal employment and personnel procedures, they recruit and employ CWEB graduates. Once employed, CWEB graduates are eligible for the normal and usual salaries and benefits, including educational benefits for graduate education through the CWEL program and other opportunities. Suitable employment is an assignment providing services to Title IV-E-eligible children and their families and commensurate with the employee's abilities and training.

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Who administers the CWEB Program?

Under contract with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh administers the CWEB program for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The University of Pittsburgh assists each student, school, and county participating in the program to make all the necessary arrangements prior to, during and following the student's enrollment and employment. Questions, technical assistance, contract monitoring, student employment and commitment obligations, financial administration, curriculum, and related matters are handled by the University of Pittsburgh.

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Who should I contact for information about CWEB?

Principal Investigator
Helen Cahalane, Ph.D., ACSW, LCSW
University of Pittsburgh
School of Social Work
2033 Cathedral of Learning
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 624-6386
E-mail: hcupgh@pitt.edu

CWEB Academic Coordinator
Cynthia Bradley-King, PhD, MSW
University of Pittsburgh
School of Social Work
2030 Cathedral of Learning
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 624-2830
E-mail: ckb11@pitt.edu

Child Welfare Agency Coordinator
Laura Borish, MSW, LSW
School of Social Work University of Pittsburgh 
2010 Cathedral of Learning
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Email: lbb14@pitt.edu

Program Administrator
Joseph DiPasqua II, MA
2009 Cathedral of Learning
Pittsburgh, PA  15260
(412) 624-6310
Jfd28@pitt.edu

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How can I contact the participating schools?

Listed below are the addresses and phone numbers of the participating social work programs. All applicants must apply to the school(s) of their choice by the admission deadline specified by the school(s).

Bloomsburg University
Social Work Program
Department of Sociology, Social Welfare, and Criminal Justice
College of Arts and Sciences
2105 McCormick Center for Human Services
Bloomsburg, PA 17815-1301
(570) 389-4237
Fax: (570) 389-2019

California University of Pennsylvania
Department of Social Work and Gerontology
250 University Avenue
California, PA 15419-1394
(724) 938-5910
Fax: (724) 938-5977

East Stroudsburg University
Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice
101 Stroud Hall
200 Prospect Street
East Stroudsburg, PA  18301-2999
(570) 422-3453
Fax: (570) 422-3198

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Social Work Department
Hendricks Hall  G49
235 Scotland Road
Edinboro, PA 16444
(814) 732-2013
Fax: (814) 732-1108

Kutztown University
Social Work Program
339 Old Main
B Wing, 3rd Floor
Kutztown, PA 19530
(610) 683-4235
Fax: (610) 683-4383

Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania
Social Work Department
116 Akeley Hall
Lock Haven, PA 17745
(570) 484-3078
Fax: (570) 484-2823

Mansfield University of Pennsylvania
Social Work Program
31 South Academy Street
Retan Hall
Mansfield, PA 16933
(570) 662-4661
Fax: (570) 662-4113

Marywood University
School of Social Work 
2300 Adams Avenue
2nd floor, Immaculata Hall
Scranton, PA 18509
(570) 348-6282 ext. 2398
Fax: (570) 961-4742

Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Social Work Department
Stayer Hall, Room 301
P.O. Box 1002
Millersville, PA  17551-0302
(717) 871-7206
Fax: (717) 871-7941

Shippensburg University
Department of Social Work and Gerontology
331 Shippen Hall
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1717
Fax: (717) 477-4051

Slippery Rock University
College of Health, Environment and Science
Department of Social Work
Jack Dinger Building
1 Morrow Way
Slippery Rock, PA 16057
(724) 738-2705
Fax: (724) 738-4822

Temple University
College of Public Health
School of Social Work
Ritter Annex, 5th floor
1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215) 204-5806
Fax: (215) 204-9606

University of Pittsburgh
School of Social Work
2101 Cathedral of Learning
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 624-6300
Fax: (412) 624-6323

West Chester University
Department of Social Work 
114 West Rosedale Avenue
West Chester, PA 19383
(610) 436-2527
Fax: (610) 436-2135

Widener University
Center for Social Work Education
Bruce Hall
1604 Walnut Street
Chester, PA 19013-5792
(610) 499-1153
Fax: (610) 499-4617

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Do I have to claim my fellowship payments on my taxes?

No taxes are withheld from fellowship payments nor does the University issue W2’s for these payments.
All students receiving a fellowship do need to review Publication 970 on the IRS website to determine whether any or all of the fellowship payment is taxable depending on how the payments were used. The student should consult with a tax professional if they have any further questions. More information is available on the University of Pittsburgh Payroll Department webpage.

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