Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program stipend awarded to two social work majors

October 11, 2017

Northwestern-Enid junior Denise Tyrell (left) and Northwestern-Woodward junior Marsellia Rael (right) are the stipend recipients of the Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program (CWPEP) for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Department of Social Work announces Northwestern-Woodward junior Marsellia Rael and Northwestern-Enid junior Denise Tyrell are the stipend recipients of the Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program (CWPEP) for the 2017-2018 academic year.

CWPEP provides funds for students who plan careers in child welfare services in Oklahoma. The stipends are awarded to full-time students majoring in social work and provide money toward educational expenses to participating students. Students who receive the stipends complete educational internships in child welfare agencies within the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS). Upon graduation, students are assured employment in the participating DHS programs.

“I am majoring in social work because there is nothing better than helping children who are going to be the future of tomorrow,” Rael said. “I'm lucky enough to be a recipient of the CWPEP and plan on utilizing my education to help families and children improve their lifestyles and bring opportunities to them.”

Denise Tyrell said, “My reason for choosing a social work degree, and more specifically Child Welfare, is because I want to make a difference in someone's life. I want my career to have purpose, and I feel like Social Work is the best way to fulfill that.  As a Child Welfare specialist, I hope to be an advocate for children and families. I intend to use what I learn during my studies at Northwestern to further this goal.”

“The social work program is proud to administer the CWPEP program and play an essential role in securing and retaining quality social workers in the public child welfare system,” Dr. Kylene Rehder, Department of Social Work Chair, CWPEP coordinator, and associate professor of social work said. “CWPEP at Northwestern has graduated 15 students, resulting in more than $115,000 being awarded in educational assistance.”

CWPEP is a Title IV-E partnership between the University of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, the US Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families Council, and Social Work Education (CSWE) in accredited social work programs in Oklahoma. The University of Oklahoma manages the child welfare consortium. Other partners along with Northwestern include East Central University and Oral Roberts University.

Funding for the educational program is provided by Title IV-E of the social security act, called the Child Welfare Training program.

The CWPEP program at Northwestern is administered by Rehder. For more information on Northwestern’s Department of Social Work, contact Rehder at (580) 327-8135 or


Ali Gavitt, University Relations Specialist, 580-327-8480

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