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Child Welfare in Social Work

6 core (required) credit hours

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  • Understand and address the impact of trauma on children and families and 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 achieve the following:
    • Maximize the child’s safety and 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
    • 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 the system dealing with trauma.
  • Evaluate assessment and intervention strategies and provide feedback for change if necessary.


  • Students must take one additional Practice class outside their primary Area of Focus (AOF) to meet graduation requirements. For example, if Child Welfare is the student’s primary AOF, they would be required to take an additional Practice course in another AOF such as Aging in Social Work, Forensic Social Work, Global Social Work, Health in Social Work, Mental Health in Social Work, or Substance Use in Social Work.
  • The Child Welfare AOF is not available to students in the Three-Year or Online Programs except for students in the Title IV-E Programs.
  • 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 two-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 in the areas of behavioral health, domestic violence, substance use, etc.

Last Updated: 7/18/22