Social Work

adults and children at table

Title IV-E University Partnership Program (UPP)

The Title IV-E University Partnership Program (UPP) is a unique collaboration among the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, eight of Ohio’s public schools of social work, Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO), Ohio’s public children services agencies (PCSAs), and the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program.

Do you want to be…

  • Considered among the best-trained and best-educated child welfare workers in the nation?
  • A competent, satisfied career professional who continues to be enthusiastic, creative, and respected for your work?
  • An advocate empowered to coach and mentor children and families based on best practice standards?

The University Partnership Program may be right for you

The University Partnership Program (UPP) seeks to develop creative child welfare caseworkers who are capable of critical thinking and promoting best practices and highest-quality service to children, families, and communities.  The program accomplishes this by providing coordinated, integrated, and high quality social work education and training. 

Key benefits for social work students and professionals

  • Specialized education and waiver of core training.
  • Beneficial networking with child welfare professionals across Ohio
  • Child Welfare Employment  Incentive Payment: $5,000-$10,000 upon obtaining full-time employment and fulfilling program requirements

Making a Positive Difference in Public Child Welfare

The purpose of the Child Welfare University Partnership Program is to positively influence recruitment and retention in public child welfare while increasing new staff’s readiness to provide quality services to children and their families. Social workers who participate in a program such as UPP stay longer and more satisfied with their employment than those who did not complete such a program.

Unique and beneficial partnership

The University Partnership Program is a partnership among the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO), the Institute for Human Services (IHS), Ohio’s public schools of social work, and Public Children Services Agencies (PCSAs).

Students in Bachelor or Master of Social Work degree programs take special child welfare courses, complete a field placement in a PCSA, and receive an employment monetary incentive after being hired full-time as a PCSA caseworker within 180 days after graduation.  Juniors/two year MSW students in UPP must work a minimum of two years and seniors/one year MSW students a minimum of one year in a PCSA after graduation.  Students can choose to fulfill the work requirement in any of the 85 county PCSAs throughout Ohio.

Those who complete the program may not have to take the required core training all other new child welfare workers must complete the first year of employment.

Significant financial assistance

UPP provides financial assistance — $5,000-$10,000 in employment incentive — to social work students at selected universities who are interested in pursuing careers in child welfare.  The program includes eight universities in Ohio: University Of Akron, University of Cincinnati, Cleveland State University, The Ohio State University, Ohio University, The University of Toledo, Wright State University and Youngstown State University.


Email Kristen Williams, UPP Campus Coordinator

Last Updated: 2/24/23