Social Work Education Consortium

Mary McCarthy, Ph.D., Director


The Social Work Education Consortium was established in 2000 as a formal partnership between the Office of Children and Family Services, Bureau of Training, the New York State Dean’s Association, the social work education community and local social services designed to impact the child welfare workforce. Sixteen graduate and 28 undergraduate social work programs participate in the Consortium, along with 57 county social service districts and NYC’s Administration for Children’s Services.


The primary goal of the consortium is the identification and implementation of programs and activities, which promote a forward-looking approach to training and education, emphasizing workforce stabilization and professionalization. This goal is achieved through a wide array of activities including:

  • Raising awareness about the importance of recruitment, selection and retention of a professionally trained workforce
  • Regional collaborations between local social service districts and social work education programs across New York State which implement programs to achieve our goal. There are seven active regional groups operating currently, which are open to all local social service districts.
  • Research and evaluation activities designed to develop knowledge about approaches that facilitate retention and support workforce professionalization and implement effective strategies to achieve the goal.


The Social Work Education Consortium promotes:

  • Public sector-university collaborations that support the education and training of child welfare staff.
  • Research driven practice and policy innovations in workforce recruitment and retention.
  • Policy and program partnerships with OCFS, the legislature and local district leaders in child welfare.
  • Professionalization activities and workforce development for child welfare workers and those interested in a child welfare career.


  • Seven Regional Groups develop region-specific programs designed to promote workforce professionalization and stabilization activities appropriate to their area.
  • The BSW Scholarship Program funds students interested in pursuing a career in child welfare. This program operates across New York State. Graduates must work for 2 years in public child welfare in exchange for the scholarship funding.
  • The Program Evaluation staff design and implement program specific evaluations to provide evidence of program effectiveness, identify areas for program modification and test promising practices for future development.
  • Tuition Support provides tuition funding to cover tuition and fees for MSW and BSW courses for current employees in Child Welfare Services.
  • 2016 Priorities are a Level 3 Evaluation of two different Forensic Interviewing trainings, a Race Equity project examining three learning communities in New York State, and a Needs Assessment for the Office of Children and Family Services.