Traineeship Application Process


BSW and MSW students who are enrolled in a participating NC social work program are eligible to apply to become Collaborative Scholars or Waivers.

Collaborative Waiver Students and Collaborative Scholars:

  • Graduate ready to work. Collaborative programs have integrated the mandatory child welfare preservice training requirement into their social work education programs. Graduates enter the workforce without needing to attend that intensive training.
  • Commit to working in child welfare upon graduation. Students who receive educational support funds through the Collaborative commit to working in child welfare in North Carolina upon graduation from their social work program. The length of the work commitment varies, with a minimum of 1 year of employment in direct child welfare practice in North Carolina required.
  • Stay longer in their jobs and/or receive promotions. Many Scholars have chosen to make a career out of child welfare, some remaining in direct service to families and children and others moving into supervision or other management positions.

Collaborative Waivers complete the same child welfare curriculum requirements as Scholars, but do not receive funding, and therefore are not required to work in child welfare upon graduation.

Collaborative Scholars:

  • Receive financial support during their education process. Amounts of financial support may vary each semester, depending on funding availability which is determined each year by the NC General Assembly and NC Division of Social Services.

Student Application

Students who are already enrolled in a participating NC social work education program may apply to be considered for the Collaborative. Ideal candidates are interested in pursuing a career in public child welfare.
The Collaborative student application process is competitive. Successful candidates complete the following steps:

  1. Contact their own university’s social work program for details about the current application cycle. Each university’s  social work program contacts will determine the student’s eligibility, and provide the student with information about the formal application process.
  2. Follow the instructions from their university contact about how and when to complete the application.
  3. If selected to be a Waiver Student or a Scholar, participate in an orientation session.

Scholar Selection

Funds for Scholars are limited and some years not all students who are recommended by the interview panels for Scholar slots will be able to receive funds. Those students are strongly encouraged to become Waiver students—they will complete the same education process as Scholars, but without receive funds or making a work commitment. Waiver students are often prioritized when new funds become available.