State of Oklahoma
Department of Human Services
To: Deputy Directors, Field Managers, District Directors, CW Supervisors and Program Staff
From: Tricia Howell, Director – Child Welfare Services
Date: September 5th, 2023
RE: PINNACLE POINT # 3, INITIATIVE 3 – CHILD WELFARE PROFESSIONAL ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM MSW SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
In support of the Oklahoma Pinnacle Plan and in partnership with the University of Oklahoma (OU), the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) provides support for employee education through the Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program (CWPEP). This program covers the cost of in-state tuition, fees, and required textbooks for participants who are interested in obtaining a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree and want to pursue a career in child welfare. Employees also may request authorization for up to 20 days of paid educational leave per calendar year through DHS. Annual leave may be approved when needed for additional classroom days. Scholarship is effective for fall courses next academic school year.
Individuals participating in this program are obligated to work after graduation in a Title IV-E reimbursable position in child welfare for fifteen (15) months per 30 credit hours of educational assistance. DHS staff that work outside of child welfare must be prepared to perform a practicum in child welfare and are under the same work obligations. Each individual signs a legally binding contract with DHS and the OU School of Social Work. If a participant does not complete the MSW program or fulfill the employment obligation to DHS, the CWPEP funds must be repaid within twelve months of the date the individual leaves the MSW program or DHS Child Welfare Services (CWS) employment.
Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for consideration:
- Must have two years of work experience with DHS by August 1, 2024.
- CWS staff must have completed CORE and all training requirements. Forty hours of training must be completed each evaluation period. Level training must not be delinquent. Training must be documented in LMS. If training is pending from 4/15/2024 to 6/30/2023, approval to the scholarship program is held until completion of pending training. Staff working outside of CWS must be current on all training requirements as outlined by their assigned division and must provide documentation.
- Must have NO rating of less than “Meets Standards” on most current HCM-111.
- All case responsibilities must be current.
- Must not have a master’s degree in a related field.
- Must meet the admission criteria to OU’s Graduate College and the Zarrow School of Social Work.
- Must have approval of the district director (DD), field manager (FM), or appropriate program administrator (PA).
- Once approved, participants must reapply for CWPEP each academic year.
Application Steps – for both new and continuing students:
- New applicant completes the application form with required information: HCM-111, 2 signed letters of recommendation from community professional, not within DHS, letter of recommendation from supervisor, LMS training report, and essay, transcript if applicant is applying for advanced standing
Essay: (1) addresses the applicant’s career goals; and (2) provides examples of applicant’s leadership skills.
Continuing students only submit: (1) the completed application form; (2) most current HCM-111; (3) recommendation letter from their supervisor; and (4) LMS training report.
- Applicant submits the application with required information to his or her immediate supervisor who completes the Scoring Matrix and submits the required materials to the DD, FM, or PA by October 13.
- The DD, FM, or PA submits the names of the individuals approved based on the Scoring Matrix to the appropriate deputy director with the required information.
- The deputy director APPROVES the application in an e-mail response to the submitting FM, DD, or PA. The approval is forwarded back to the ORIGINAL ADMINISTRATOR who forwards to the applicant. APPLICANT FORWARDS APPLICATION and Deputy Director approval e-mail to Guy Willis by November 1.
- All Staff working outside of CWS need to submit the application to his or her immediate supervisor or equivalent administrator by October 13. The administrator submits the names of the individuals approved based on the Scoring Matrix to the appropriate deputy director with required information. The approval is forwarded back to the ORIGINAL ADMINISTRATOR who forwards the email to the applicant. APPLICANT FORWARDS APPLICATION and Deputy Director approval e-mail to Guy Willis by November 1.
- Late applications are not eligible for acceptance into the Program.
Final selections will be made by November 30, 2024. Anyone approved for Advanced Standing will be eligible for summer classes, provided that all date requirements are met.
- To utilize the scholarship, applicants must be admitted to OU’s Graduate College and accepted to the Zarrow School of Social Work.
- See http://socialwork.ou.edu/admissions-msw.
- Application window is November 1 to February 1 each academic year.
All staff with a commitment to professional growth is encouraged to consider the opportunities and support available through CWPEP. Please make sure each of your staff receives a copy of this memorandum. For additional information, contact Guy Willis, Child Welfare Training Unit, at (firstname.lastname@example.org), or at 405-325-1902.
Tricia Howell, Director of Child Welfare Services
cc: Misty Standberry, OU School of Social Work
Scoring Matrix (graphic)
Scoring Matrix (tabular)
|Undergraduate GPA (Must be documented)
|Does Not Meet Standards
|Poor, lacks content and is disorganized
|2.4 and under
|2.5 to 2.9
|One Point per Full year of CW Experience
|Acceptable Organized and discusses applicant’s career goals and examples of leadership skills and content
|3.0 to 3.4
|3.5 to 4.0
|Continuing or Advanced Standing