NYS Child Welfare Worker Incentive Scholarship FAQs


NYS Child Welfare Worker Incentive Scholarship Program FAQs

Do I need to currently be employed at a child welfare agency to receive the scholarship?
Yes. An applicant must be currently employed at a voluntary not-for-profit child welfare agency in NYS licensed by the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) with at least two years of full-time or part-time experience providing either (a) direct-care services to children and families or (b) non-direct care services, such as administrative and operational support services.
Do I need to currently be working as a direct-care worker to receive the scholarship?
No. An applicant could have provided two years of non-direct care services, including administrative or operational support services with an OCFS-licensed voluntary not-for-profit child welfare agency in NYS, but must pursue a degree that would allow for the provision direct care services upon the completion of his or her degree.
What are direct care and non-direct care services?
Direct care services include those which require some degree of interaction between the child/family and the child welfare worker, such performing assessments, home visits, direct implementation of care plans and other similar functions.

Non-direct care services are administrative and operational services.
Do I have to continue working full time if I receive the scholarship?
No. You have the choice to attend full time or part time and to continue to work or stop working while you receive the scholarship.
Can I get an award if I’m currently attending college?
Yes. Individuals who are currently employed at an OCFS-licensed voluntary not-for-profit child welfare agency and who are currently attending college, as well as those who are enrolled but have not yet attended, are eligible to receive an award.
Can I get the scholarship for both my undergraduate and graduate degree programs?
No. A recipient may receive an award for either an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or graduate degree.
Can I major in any program while in college?
No, an applicant must be pursuing one of the following eligible undergraduate or graduate degree programs at a college or university located in NYS:
  • Criminal Justice
  • Human Services
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Social Services
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
Can I receive an award if I’m going to school part-time?
Yes. Recipients may attend school on either a full-time or part-time basis.
Can I attend either a public or a private college in New York State?
Yes. A scholarship recipient may attend either a public or private college or university located in New York State.
How long can I get the award?
Recipients pursuing an associate’s degree are eligible to receive an award for up to two years. Recipients pursuing a bachelor’s degree are eligible to receive an award for up to four years, or five years for programs normally requiring five years of study. Recipients pursuing a master’s degree are eligible to receive an award for up to two years.
How long do I have to find a job after I complete my degree?
You must begin working as a full-time child welfare worker providing direct care services at a voluntary not-for-profit child welfare agency in New York State licensed by the Office of Children and Family Services on a full-time basis within one year of graduation. You must work for at least five continuous years after you receive your degree, and maintain residency in New York State during that time. Failure to meet this requirement will result in the conversion of your award to a loan.
Can I still receive an award for the 2017-18 academic year?
Yes. Applicants who would have been eligible to apply for a 2017-18 academic award may apply now for a 2017-18 award. If you are selected for a 2017-18 award and you remain eligible for subsequent awards, you will receive payment of the scholarship for the number of years for which you are eligible.