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Child welfare in Social Work

6 core (required) credit hours  


  • Understand and address the impact of trauma on children and families, the resulting changes in behavior, on a developmental continuum, and on key relationships.
  • Help children make alternative and new meaning of their trauma history on their current experiences.
  • Coordinate, collaborate and provide assistance/guidance to agencies in the system to: maximize child’s safety; maximize the child’s sense of safety (both physical and psychological); understand and deal with the concept of trauma triggers; understand and assist children in reducing the overwhelming emotions associated with trauma; utilize comprehensive assessments in order to assess the child’s traumatic experience; and use the assessment to guide services.
  • Assure strategic partnerships to: transform child serving systems to deal effectively with traumatized children; provide sustainability in approach and subsequent outcomes of trauma-informed systems; improve the awareness, knowledge, and skills of professionals dealing with trauma; raise public awareness about child trauma; influence public policy and funding for agencies in system dealing with trauma; and, evaluate assessment and intervention strategies and provide feedback for change if necessary.


Fall Semester

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
SW 6220 Diversity and Social Justice: Reflexive and Ethical Social WorkPractice II 3.0
SW 6301

Child Welfare Practice I: Evidenced-based Practice & Intervention for Trauma in Children/Adolescents

SW 6521 Advanced Field Practicum I 4.0

Spring Semester

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
SW 6302 Child Welfare Practice II: Trauma Focused Intervention Across Ages, Cultures
and Settings
SW 6522 Advanced Field Practicum II 4.0

Note on electives for Area of Focus and proposed semester:

  • All students must take one practice class outside their Area of Focus as an elective.
  • Students may take up to 16 credit hours in any one semester, without requiring pre-approval from the MSW Program Director.
  • Students in the Advanced Standing program must complete a minimum of 45 credit hours.
  • Students in the 2-Year Program must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours.
  • Students must earn a passing grade of C+ or better.
  • Students must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA in order to be in good academic standing.

Types of Practicum Placements: Inpatient, residential and outpatient mental health programs serving children, adults and/or older adults and their families. Examples are in the areas of behavioral health, domestic violence, substance use, etc.



Required Course Descriptions:


Child Welfare Practice I: Evidenced-based Practice & Intervention for Trauma in Children/Adolescents

Semester: Fall
SW#: SW 6301
Credit Hours: 3.0

Through this course, students learn to understand the developmental impact of trauma
and adverse childhood events on children and families and the evidence base for
protective factors and developmental resilience. Students also learn to recognize the
pervasive symptomatology of complex developmental trauma that includes physiological,
behavioral and emotional dysregulation – which may result in various DSM diagnoses,
including failure to thrive, insecure attachment, problems with attention and focusing,
depression, anxiety, speech and learning delays, disruptive or oppositional behavior and
vulnerability to substance abuse and addiction. Students learn the Attachment, SelfRegulation and Competency Treatment Framework (ARC) and how to translate these
evidence-based practice principles into clinical skills across community practice settings
with children, youth and families.



Child Welfare Practice II: Trauma Focused Intervention AcrossAges, Cultures and Settings

Semester: Spring
SW#: SW 6302
Credit Hours: 3.0

Using an inquiry-based approach to learning, course engages students in analysis of case
vignettes, which reflect circumstances, cultures and exposure to trauma. Students apply
advanced trauma assessment, intervention and evaluation of practice skills with children,
youth and families in their communities and develop knowledge and skills in using the
Trauma Systems Treatment approach.


For more information, please contact:

Chad McDonald, LCSW
Chair, Child Welfare in Social Work Area of Focus
UT Title IV-E Principal Investigator
801-581-6155 SW 122

Last Updated: 9/19/19