A Certificate in Child Welfare will reflect the state-of-the art knowledge and skills essential for practice in child welfare and will provide knowledge, skills and professional expertise that are easily transferrable to other fields of practice today. It will reflect instruction from expert faculty and a focused curriculum on social work practice in child welfare. Having a credential such as Certificate in Child Welfare from the University of Michigan's School of Social Work will greatly enhance a student's employability in their chosen field upon graduation.
Certificate students may be 16 month, 20 month, advanced standing, or extended degree students.
Certificate students may choose any of the methods concentrations: Interpersonal practice, Management of human services, Community organization, or Social policy and evaluation.
Certificate students choose a practice area concentration in Children and Youth in Families and Society, but with their advisor's permission, may substitute SW 612 for SW601 or 605.
Certificate students must take the specially developed seminars that focus on child welfare assessment and treatment as well as an integrative capstone course linking macro to micro social work practice in child welfare. These seminars are described as follows:
SW730: Social Work Practice in child welfare and child maltreatment (6 hours; two terms)
This is a methods course intended to develop skills for child welfare practice, with special attention to child maltreatment. Students learn about the various contexts in which child welfare practice takes place and the skills and modalities that are used with children, youth, and families who are the focus of child welfare intervention. This course will prepare students to work with diverse client populations and will help them appreciate the imbalance of power between client and professional. Understanding the needs and responses of involuntary clients is an integral part of the course. Relevant evidence-based practices are taught and child welfare policies and practices are subjected to critical review. The first term will focus on assessment and the second on treatment.
SW739: Integrative seminar in child welfare (3 hours)
This capstone course and will integrate micro and macro levels of practice; research in child welfare and related fields, as the research relates to all levels of practice; the relationship of child maltreatment and other social problems; and perspectives from several disciplines, specifically social work, other mental health professions, law, and medicine, as these disciplines address problems of child maltreatment and child welfare. The seminar will highlight issues of social justice, disproportionality - particularly the over-representation of children and families of color in the child welfare system, and disadvantaged populations, including children in general and poor children in particular.
Certificate students will do their internships in field placements that offer opportunities for cutting edge practice in child welfare. Agencies include, but are not limited to the University of Michigan Family Assessment Clinic, Department of Human Services Central Office and County Offices, the Guidance Center, Children's Advocacy Centers, University Health Systems Child Protection Team.
Members of the Child Welfare Learning Community will serve as advisors to Child Welfare Certificate students. Although the general expectation is that the students will follow the Certificate curriculum, advisors will endeavor to assure that each student's courses take into account their specific educational and career goals. For example, a student may want to substitute 3 mini-courses for a three hour course, or a student might substitute a course from another department or school for one of their requirements. Advisors will also work with the Office of Field Instruction to make sure the students' field placement(s) takes into account their educational and career goals.