Child Social Worker Classes and Courses Overview

Individuals interested in the well-being of children may wish to study child social work. Courses in the field cover various topics, such as abuse, neglect, adoption, mental health and more.

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Essential Information

Child social worker courses may be found within associate, bachelor's or master's degree programs in social work. Graduate-level certificate programs specifically in child social work are also available at many universities. Additionally, child social worker courses may be offered as electives in certain social sciences and psychology programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Prior to graduation, students typically must complete a certain number of hours in field work.

Here is an outline of common concepts explored in social work courses:

  • Various components of human behavior
  • Welfare policy and programs
  • Family violence
  • Emerging issues in social service delivery
  • Social data analysis

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  • Adult Development and Aging
  • Child Care Management
  • Child Care Services
  • Child Development
  • Community Organization and Advocacy
  • Family and Community Services
  • Family Systems
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Social Work
  • Youth Services

List of Common Courses

Child Development Course

Students in this class analyze the main theories of human development from birth through adolescence, with a focus on the clinical applications of these concepts in assessing child and family welfare services. This may be a required course within a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program.

Child Abuse and Neglect Course

This course provides students with a critical examination of the physical and sexual violence that threatens children, including emotional abuse, child abandonment and neglect. The class may include lectures presented by a multi-faceted group of industry professionals, including psychologists, physicians and attorneys. An introductory course may be offered in the middle or latter part of a BSW program, with continuing or advanced courses available within a Master of Social Work (MSW) program.

Child Welfare Course

This course focuses on the basic concepts, historical models and current theories that play a role in the current child welfare system in the United States. The topics of child abuse, day care, foster care and adoption are just a few of the themes examined in this class. Depending on the program, students may also conduct research to determine how past and contemporary social policies have affected children and their families within varying racial, class and cultural systems. This intermediate-level course may be offered as part of a BSW program with advanced child welfare courses available in MSW programs.

Family Law and Policy Course

This course focuses on the analysis of social, legal and political social work policies, as well as their impact on child and family welfare issues. Both historical and current theories are examined to determine the best methods and procedures available to provide services for families. The course emphasizes the issues and challenges presented by the juvenile justice system. This class may be offered as an elective in the latter part of BSW and MSW programs.

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