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Public Child Welfare Certification Program

The Public Child Welfare Certification Program (PCWCP) has been implemented by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and eleven university undergraduate social work programs in order to better serve the children and families in this state. The goal of this program is to fill the ranks of Child Welfare Workers with the most competent and well trained workers who can provide high quality services immediately following employment.

The Cabinet has partnered with the Universities to offer Bachelor Social Work juniors and seniors their academic program in conjunction with participating in the Cabinet’s child welfare training curricula prior to graduation. These students are provided in-state tuition, a stipend and must complete a two year employment commitment with the Cabinet upon successful completion of this program.


Summary of PCWCP Benefits

  • Three to four semesters of free tuition
  • A semester stipend-$1,300 per semester ($650 in the summer)
  • Specialized course work-examining child abuse and neglect
  • An intensive internship-with the Office of Protection and Permanency
  • A job after graduation (competetive salary an outstanding benefits)!!! 


What are the benefits?

 There are numerous benefits to this program:

  • Your in-state tuition will be paid through this project for up to four semesters (PCWCP tuition benefits are earmarked and can only be applied to tuition).

  • You will be given a $1300 per semester stipend ($650.00 in summer) for your books , living expenses and travel related to this program forup to four semesters.

  • Once you have completed this program and have graduated with at least a 2.5 overall GPA and a 3.0 GPA or a “B” average in your social work courses, you will be certified as having successfully completed the Public Child Welfare Certification Program and will be assisted in acquiring employment with the Department for Community Based Services consistent with state personnel requirements.


What would my obligations be?

  • As a participant in this program you will be obligated, by contract, to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. You will be expected to apply for employment 30 days prior to graduation and accept apposition with the Department for Community Based Services, in the Social Service Worker series, and remain employed there for two (2) years. If a participant does not meet these obligations or does not successfully complete the program, this may result in the forfeiture of all funds received and the reimbursement to the Cabinet for its costs.

  • A participant must complete a minimum of three semesters in the PCWCP prior to graduating; however, cannot receive any more than four semesters of benefits.

  • Students are required to complete two PCWCP courses (SWRK 450 and 451), attend two retreats per year, participate in mandatory trainings, and complete their social work internships with the Office of Protection and Permanency.

  • It is the responsibility of the PCWCP student to notify their instructors at the beginning of each semester of their upcoming PCWCP obligations to ensure that these obligations are compatible with the instructor’s course guidelines and expectations.

  • Graduates may have to relocate based on job availability (will list 20 counties on employment application).


Who is eligible?

 To be eligible for this program, you:

  • Must be a full-time social work major (No pre-majors).
  • Must have an overall cumulative GPA of 2.5, a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in social work courses, and receive no less than a “B” in the required PCWCP and field courses.
  • Must be enrolled in either SWRK 330/375 or SWRK 331/375 or 379 this current semester.
  • Must participate in an intensive screening process.

  **An application selection process is used to choose full-time students twice each academic year. The PCWCP program is exclusively for students who are not Cabinet for Health and Family Services employees.**


Should I Apply?

  • If you are interested in being a part of this exciting, unique program, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do I have the necessary GPA?
  • Do I have at least three semesters and no more than four semesters remaining before graduation?
  • Will I graduate within two years?
  • Am I willing to work for the Department for Community Based Services in the Social Service Worker series for two (2) years after I graduate?
  • Do I have a positive, optimistic attitude toward working with families and children in crisis?




Kentucky Public Child Welfare Certification Preparation Program


Learn More About This Opportunity

Contact our PCWCP Coordinator.

Photograph of Dr. Dean May

Dr. Dean May, Ed.D., MSW




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 Last Modified 4/16/18