Child Welfare Certificate

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Core Course Requirements

  • Child Welfare (SW 471) and
  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment (SW 310)

Select one Supporting Course

  • Substance Abuse and Human Services (SW 474)
  • School Violence (SW 475)
  • Developmental Psychology (PSY 244)
  • Substance Abuse (CEP 261)
  • Children, Youth and Family (HDFS 212)
  • Child and family psychopathology (PSY 442)
  • Child and Domestic Violence (PSY 316)
  • Sexual Violence Against Women and Children (WS 301)
  • Special Topics in SW as Approved by Director (SW 491)

Field Placement Ideas

  • Child Protective Services, Foster Care or Adoption with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Community Child Welfare Agencies and residential foster care agencies such as Saint Vincents Catholic Charities, Samaritas, WellSpring, Bethany and Child and Family.


  • Child Protective Services Worker
  • Foster Care Worker
  • Adoption Specialist
  • Foster Care Licensing


  • Home visits
  • investigation
  • intake assessment
  • case management
  • court testimony and appearance
  • child transportation
  • supervised parenting time
  • placement services

Helps to Prepare

Participation in this certificate will enable students who would like to work for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Services Division (child protective services, foster care, or adoption) or a private Michigan child welfare agency to waive a portion of the mandated DHHS pre-service trainings for new child welfare employees. This would increase the desirability to hire a social work graduate with the child welfare certificate and enable the new employee to begin with a higher degree of competency.

Additional Requirements for this certificate include:

  1. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in order to qualify for the certificate.
  2. Students must successfully complete both semesters of their senior year field placement in a child welfare setting approved by the School and meeting the requirements of the certificate program. Additional field paperwork and learning addendum required.
  3. Students complete SW 471 Child Welfare and SW 310 Human Behavior and the Social Environment with at least a 2.0 in each course.
  4. Students must take one elective course from list of approved course options.