Facebook Pixel Public Child Welfare Certification Program | Western Kentucky University

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

  • Four semesters of free tuition
  • A semester stipend-$1,300 per semester
  • Specialized course work-examining child abuse and neglect
  • An intensive internship-with the Office of Protection and Permanency
  • A job after graduation (competitive salary and 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 for your books , living expenses and travel related to this program for up 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 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 10 counties on employment application).


Who is eligible?

 To be eligible for this program, you:

  • Must be a full-time social work major by fall (Premajors must submit BSW application by April 1st).
  • 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 participate in an intensive screening process.

  ** 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 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?
  • See PCWCP application link for complete eligibility guidelines and instructions.


Spring Semester Applications due March 30

Fall Semester Applications due September 30

PCWCP Application



Kentucky Public Child Welfare Certification Preparation Program


Learn More About This Opportunity

Contact our PCWCP Coordinator.

Photograph of Dana Sullivan

Dr. Dana Sullivan, Ph.D., MSW





Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 2/24/23