Child Welfare Fellows


The Mandel School is committed to building highly-trained child welfare staffs in Northeast Ohio. The scholarships offered through the Child Welfare Fellows program help increase the number of public child welfare workers with master-level social work training.


Child Welfare Fellows must be full-time public child welfare staff of Cuyahoga, Summit, Lorain, Lake, Medina, Stark, Ashtabula, Geauga, Richfield, Huron or Trumbull counties.


  • Applications due: May 1, 2018
  • Every application must also include a Leadership Essay

    (5-10 pages)  Answer all questions and send to Admissions.

    1. Define leadership in your own words
    2. Tell us your history as a leader, in your professional or personal life
    3. What are the leadership needs in child welfare over the next decade
    4. What areas of leadership interest you
    5. Plan for what you will do as a leader in child welfare or the profession 3 to 5 years after graduation
    6. Identify the leadership skills you would like to develop
    7. Tell us how the MSSA will enhance the development of your leadership skills
  • To qualify for the Child Welfare Fellows program, candidates must have at least a bachelor’s degree and be employed by a public child welfare agency in one of the 10 Northeast Ohio counties.
  • The program takes three years to complete. However, social workers with a Bachelor’s of Social Work (BSW) earned in the past seven years can complete the curriculum in two years.
  • Fellows must meet admission criteria for the On-Campus MSSA Intensive Weekend Format. Fellows receive 75% tuition remission. For every year of funded graduate education, Fellows must return a year of public child welfare employment after they complete their degree.

Intensive Weekend Format

The intensive weekend courses allow students to continue working fulltime, while incorporating what they learn in their jobs. In addition to weekend courses, the social workers will have a field placement experience (the hallmark of the Mandel School’s program) within their agencies, but in a department different from where they work. All students will receive courses in leadership and supervision.


Victor K. Groza
Grace F. Brody Professor of Parent-Child Studies


In March, 2015, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University received a four-year, $588,000 grant from the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute to continue and expand the Child Welfare Fellows program. The Mandel School also will provide an additional $969,538 to offset tuition costs not covered by the grant. It is one of just 13 such programs funded nationally by the institute, which is housed at the Research Foundation for the State University of New York.

Support for these programs is through the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children Bureau (grant #90CT7002-02-00).

Since 2009, the Mandel School has received $1.13 million from the institute to help build highly trained child welfare staffs that bring new practices and leadership to social service agencies after earning a Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) degree, Groza said.

To date, the Child Welfare Fellows program has trained 25 social workers from Cuyahoga, Lake and Summit counties. Twenty-four are still working in their child welfare agencies—two of whom were promoted after completing the program.