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Child Welfare Concentration Courses

S632 Child Welfare Practice I: Working with Children Impacted by Violence in the Family

This course is designed to build individual and group practice skills for work with children and families impacted by child physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and/or family violence. Emphasis will be placed on practice skills with children. Students will practice assessment and intervention skills guided by theories of child development, attachment and bonding, grief, and trauma. The goals of safety, permanency and well- being will be emphasized when assessing risk and trauma and intervening within the child welfare and school systems. Students will explore cultural differences and issues impacting particular oppressed and underserved populations.

S633 Child Welfare Practice II: Working with Diverse and Transitioning Families

This course will focus on the experiences of children and families in the child welfare system. Content will include interventions with families through all stages of change including preparation for change, separation and loss, the changed family system, reintegration as children transition into a family, and adolescents transitioning into independent living. Content will include the impact on families when the natural cycle of family development is disrupted. Special consideration will be given to various family types including adoptive, foster care, kinship, extended, single parent, multi-generational, and homosexual families. Practice content will emphasize strengths based and family- centered approaches and include knowledge and skill development to help children and families work through their family and personal crisis and grief in a timely manner to achieve permanency for children in safe and nurturing environments within 12 months after separation.

S634 Group and Community Based Practice with Children and Families

This course will examine the development of and build skills for the implementation of a wide range of prevention and intervention strategies to support child well-being provided at the community level. Special attention will be given to the philosophy of empowerment-oriented and client-driven service models. This course will provide content to build skills in developing and implementing mutual aid and self-help groups to support and educate children and families on issues such as parenting, domestic violence, grief/loss, conflict mediation and child abuse issues. The course will explore the community as a resource and discuss strategies of collaboration and advocacy services for families and children to prevent out-of-home placement or involvement in other formal child protection/juvenile justice services, such as models of community-building, youth development and family group conferencing/restorative justice. The course also provides frameworks for identifying and analyzing best practices in group and community-based services for children and families.

S636 Special Topics in Social Work Practice with Children and Families:
Involuntary Populations, Addictions and Domestic Violence

This course is designed to teach strategies and skills for working with families impacted by the challenges of addictions, domestic violence and mental illness. Building upon knowledge of assessment and intervention with diagnosed mental illnesses, students will analyze the relationships between and among the social problems of addictions, mental illness and domestic violence in relation to socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical and mental ability, and other socio- environmental factors of vulnerability. The class will provide students with the opportunities to describe and demonstrate a theoretical understanding of both the dynamics of being an involuntary client and the legal and ethical dilemmas that abound for social work practitioners working with them. The class will provide students with the opportunities to describe and analyze power differentials between the client and worker, as well as, devise, assess and implement strategies to minimize the behaviors that have been identified as “resistance”. The class will provide students with the opportunities to demonstrate knowledge, skills, judgment, sensitivity, and self-awareness necessary to resolve the challenges of social work practice with involuntary populations when utilizing strengths-based, empowerment and eco-systems perspectives.

S651/652 Practicum II/III (9 credits – variable concentrations)

S651 (Practicum II) and S652 (Practicum III) together provide an in-depth advanced practicum experience for MSW students in a designated concentration. Students complete both of these practicum courses in the same community agency/organization under practice supervision of an approved agency field instructor and academic guidance of a faculty field liaison.

Practicum II and III build upon the more generalist-focused Intermediate Practicum I and deepen the integration and application of social work knowledge, values, and skills for advanced practice. Students engage in these advanced practicum courses while enrolled in the required concentration courses. Students spend a minimum of 640 hours in a setting that provides services and allows students an opportunity to engage in experiences that support mastery of all ten core competencies as operationalized by advanced practice behaviors.