The Child Welfare BSW Scholar Tuition Assistance Program (CWBSTAP) provides financial tuition assistance to selected undergraduate-level social work majors who will commit to working with the children and families served by SCDSS for a minimum of two years after graduation. The CWBSTAP accepts students from the three South Carolina public universities: South Carolina State University (SCSU), the University of South Carolina (USC), or Winthrop University (WU).
BSW Scholars accepted into the program receive tuition assistance from DSS in the amount of up to $5,000 per semester for their final three semesters of school for qualifying social work courses. BSW Scholars also complete their senior year internship at DSS. In return, BSW Scholars agree to obtain employment with DSS within 90 days of graduation and will maintain employment for a minimum of two years.
During the internship, DSS provides mentoring from credentialed staff, such that the BSW Scholar is the primary beneficiary of the experiential learning. The goal for each BSW Scholar is to conclude their experience in the program “career ready.”
To be eligible to apply for the DSS Child Welfare Employee BSW Scholars Tuition Assistance Program, students must:
Be a U.S. Citizen or otherwise eligible to work in the United States
Be able to pass a background check, including criminal history, child protection history, and screening of records of the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles
Obtain acceptance into the Bachelor of Social Work program at the University of South Carolina
Must have a 3.0 GPA or higher in all Social Work coursework and a 2.5 GPA or higher in all coursework
Apply during the first semester junior year for admission in program for the remaining
three semesters for the BSW program
Program Guidelines and Employee Commitment
To maintain good standing, employee program participants must:
Must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher in all coursework.
Satisfactorily complete a DSS Child Welfare internship.
Maintain employment with DSS Child Welfare for at least two years post-graduation.
Application Requirements and Deadline
Note: All applicants must be admitted into both the University and School of Social Work
To apply to the Child Welfare BSW Scholars Tuition Assistance Program, students must complete the following steps:
1. Go to www.dss.sc.gov/about/careers
2. Click on Internships
3. Click on Child Welfare BSW Scholars Tuition Assistance Program
4. Click on the DSS Portal
5. Create an account
6. Once the account is created, scroll down, and click on Internship Portal
*Deadline for Application
· September 15, 2023
1. Student submits application via the DSS Portal – Internship Application
2. Applications will be reviewed by the DSS Workforce Developer and the University Program Administrator.
3. The applications will be reviewed and screened by the DSS Workforce Developer, Child Welfare Program Leadership staff, and University Program Administrator to determine which applicants will go forward to the Interview process.
1. Interview panels will consist of the
a. DSS Workforce Developer
b. University Program Administrator or designee
c. At least one person from DSS Child Welfare Leadership Team
d. DSS Child Welfare Training Director
2. Interviews will be held virtually or in person in the DSS central office or at the university.
3. After all interviews for all applicants from each university are complete, the interview team will meet to discuss applicant pool and make final selections.
*The interview panel’s considerations when selecting candidates for the program include, but are not limited to:
· The student’s motivation for application to the program.
· The student’s academic performance.
· The student’s ambition for a long-term career in child welfare.
1. The DSS Workforce Developer will request for the student to complete background checks.
2. Application information for selected scholars will be shared with the HR Analyst to coordinate necessary paperwork and fingerprint arrangements with the student.
3. Upon receipt of a clear background check, the DSS Workforce Developer will extend a formal offer of acceptance into the program and work with the student to obtain signatures on the Student Agreement for formal admission into the program.
4. The DSS Workforce developer liaises with Office of General Counsel (OGC) point of contact for gaining signatures for the DSS Internship Site Affiliation Agreement. (Standard for Social Work Majors)
5. The DSS Workforce Developer will work with the County Internship Liaison to identify and hold an internship spot for the internship start semester.