Social Service Courses and Certificate Programs

Social service courses prepare students for employment in human services, juvenile justice and family counseling, to name a few. Read more about the courses that social service students can take when studying for a certificate or degree program in this field.

Essential Information

Social service courses are included in certificate, associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in social services, criminal justice and social work. Students learn about the social service system and the roles of different types of social service workers. Courses in this field include lectures, analysis of case studies and sometimes clinical practice.

Classes that make up a certificate program in social service might include case management and documentation, crisis intervention, juvenile justice and counseling techniques. An undergraduate certificate program could lead to an entry-level career, whereas advanced certificate programs could lead to employment as a social worker or counselor.

Social Service Course List

Keep reading for more detailed information about social service classes.

Introduction to Social Services

In an introductory social services course, students learn how social work can help individuals and communities. They discuss the responsibilities of social workers and the skills, values and attitudes necessary to succeed in the field. Lessons may cover the theory of social work and the way the social work profession has developed over time. This class may also cover other areas of social services, such as juvenile probation and welfare.

Juvenile Justice Systems

Students examine how the juvenile justice system operates. This lecture-based course examines ways abuse, violent behavior and neglect can influence children and cause them to misbehave. Students read case studies and examine ways to help children and adolescents who enter the juvenile justice system. Class discussions often focus on whether the juvenile justice system is responding correctly to delinquent behavior.

Crisis Intervention

In a crisis intervention class, students learn ways to react to a crisis without worsening the situation. They also learn how to assess a situation and identify appropriate responses. Class discussion includes examining the legal and ethical issues social services workers face when they get involved in different situations.

Case Management and Documentation

The basics of record keeping are examined in this course. Students learn about the documents that social workers use to keep track of clients. These documents include face sheets, information release forms, referral forms, discharge summaries and social histories.

Counseling Techniques

Students practice using basic counseling techniques in this class. Class lessons include mock counseling sessions, which allow students to practice counseling techniques. Students take turns interacting with simulated clients and receive feedback and suggestions from their instructor.

Social Service Certificate Programs

Certificate programs in social services are offered at the undergraduate, graduate and post-master's level. Undergraduate certificates provide a background in the field, while advanced certificates can be completed by individuals who already have a degree and want to go into social services. Social service certificate programs include courses in human services, social work and criminal justice.

Undergraduate certificates can lead to careers as case managers, program aides and childcare workers. Depending on the undergraduate major, graduate and post-master's certificates can lead to careers as social workers or counselors.

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