The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) recognizes the critical need to recruit and retain the best, brightest, and most committed employees to work with at-risk families.

The BSW Child Welfare Scholars Program strives to enhance the recruitment and retention of qualified employees for DCS.  The program offers students the opportunity to attend their senior year of the BSW program tuition free (limited to the in-state rate).  Students are able to learn in-depth course content about child welfare and practice working with children and families while having the support of DCS staff and MSW prepared professionals.  DCS offers students employment with a competitive salary within two months of graduation.


Students selected to participate in the BSW Child Welfare Scholars Program will receive full in-state tuition and mandatory fees for two semesters of their senior year in the BSW program.  Students must maintain a 12 credit hour minimum enrollment with a 2.5 overall GPA and a 3.0 GPA in their social work classes.


Each student will be awarded a stipend to assist with the cost of training expenses during the course of the program, for a maximum of two semesters.


Program participants will have a commitment to work for the agency for a pre-determined number of months post-graduation.

Admissions Process

Applicants are required to submit an application to the program.  Minimum requirements for admission include:

  • Overall GPA of 2.5 or better and a social work GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Interview for the program with social work faculty and representatives of the Department of Child Services.  DCS makes all final selections to the program

Applicants will be evaluated on:

  • A written application describing the students interest in the BSW Child Welfare Scholars Program
  • Three professional or academic references
  • Academic performance
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Volunteer experience

Applications for the BSW Child Welfare Scholars Program are accepted during the fall semester of the junior year.  There is a mandatory class that must be taken in the junior year before funding begins, if you have not taken that course previously.  There is a second mandatory course offered in the fall of the senior year.  Practicum placements for all participants will be in local Department of Child Services office.

For more information about the Child Welfare, contact LaDonna Wattley, Program Coordinator – Child Welfare Education and Training Program, 317-274-6789 or