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College of Social Work

SC DSS Announces New COSW Partnership

The College of Social Work is pleased to announce an additional partnership with the South Carolina Department of Social Services (SC DSS) in their continued commitment to serving children and families. With the launch of the MSW Scholar Program, the SC DSS aims to build a well-educated and skilled team of professionals dedicated to enhancing the lives of those served by the state's child welfare system. 

In recognition of the invaluable contributions made by current SC DSS child welfare professionals, the agency is inviting applications for the newly introduced program. This initiative offers financial tuition assistance to selected SC DSS professionals who wish to pursue a Master's in Social Work. Participants in the MSW Scholar Program will be required to commit to a minimum of two years of service with children and families under the care of SC DSS in Child Welfare Services upon graduation in exchange for tuition assistance. 

College of Social Work Dean Teri Browne says the program will make a significant impact on the state.  

“The SC Department of Social Services program's commitment to nurturing well-educated social work professionals will create a profound impact in South Carolina,” said Browne. “We are honored to stand alongside SC DSS as a proud partner in this ground-breaking initiative.” 

Michael Leach, South Carolina DSS State Director, expressed his enthusiasm for the program. 

"The Department of Social Services is always looking toward the future. We want to make sure our DSS professionals have the support they need to further their education and sharpen their skills in order to better serve the children and families of South Carolina." 

Participants admitted to the SC DSS program will enjoy several benefits in return for their commitment to employment with SC DSS for two years post-graduation, including: 

  • Full tuition coverage each semester 
  • Reimbursement for required books and course materials  
  • Eligibility for a salary increase upon graduation, following the published Child Welfare Salary Plan Schedule 

In addition to the MSW Scholar Program, SC DSS introduced the BSW Scholars Tuition Assistance Program in August, 2022. During the fall semester, social work scholars from partner institutions received tuition assistance to support their education Including up to $5,000 of relevant social work courses for the final three semesters needed to complete their BSW program. In return, the students committed to completing an internship with the agency and working with SC DSS Child Welfare Services for at least two years upon graduation with a BSW degree. 

The College of Social Work is excited to partner with SC DSS in their mission to provide excellent care and support to the children and families of South Carolina. For more information, application requirements, deadlines and how to apply, please visit the Department of Social Services scholarship site.   

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