Child Welfare Curriculum

The Child Welfare curriculum provides a comprehensive overview of child welfare policy and practice in the U.S. As federal, state and local policies change, the curriculum evolves. For example, the child welfare practice course provides a general overview of child welfare services and best practices as outlined and informed by the U.S. Children's Bureau and mandated by legislation. To see a full list of course descriptions, view the GSSW bulletin.

The minimum credits required for the MSW degree are 81 for two-year students and 54 for advanced-standing students. The concentration curriculum is made up of 45 credits, and the rest is comprised of the foundation curriculum. The table below shows a list of required and elective class offerings for the Child Welfare concentration.

Curriculum plans are subject to change year over year.

Area Requirements Course Offerings
Theory for Practice (3 credits required) Causes & Consequences of Child Maltreatment
Methods/Skills (9 credits required) Assessment of Mental Health in Children and Adolescents
Leadership and Supervision Skills
Practice Elements in Interventions With Children & Youth
Substance Use Interventions
Child and Adolescent Trauma
Mental Health Interventions With Children
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
Forensic Orientation and Social Work
Domestic Violence
Interdisciplinary Approaches to School, Family & Community
Cognitive Behavioral Therapies
Grief and Loss Across the Life Span
Trauma-Informed Assessment and Intervention
Policy & Program Advocacy (3 credits required)

Child Welfare Policies & Services

Research (3 credits required) Methods for Evaluating Practice & Programs
Values for Practice (3 credits required) Critical Race Praxis
Disproportionality & Disparity Across Systems
Intergenerational Justice
Restorative Approaches in Social Work
Social Work Practice With LGBTQIA Communities
Spirituality & Social Work Practice
Disrupting Privilege and Anti-Oppressive Practice
Disability Studies
Social Work Interventions With Latinos/as
Global Relations & Poverty in Mexico
Social Development in Latin America
Conservation SW in Kenya: Context, Empowerment, Sustainability
Global Cultural Perspectives: Consensus & Conundrums
Bosnia in Transition: The Social Work Response
Historical Trauma
Feminisms in Social Work Practice
Human Trafficking: Prevention, Intervention, and Support of Its Victims
Human Sexuality
Contemporary Global Issues
Cultural Connectedness: A Journey Into Native American Country
Electives (12 credits required)

Building Resilience: Healthy Development in Childhood & Adolescence
Family Systems Theories for Social Work Practice
Intersections of Mental Health, Substance Use & Trauma
Policies and Programs for Children and Youth
Immigration Policy and Services
Mental Health & Substance Use Policies
Health Care Policy
Law of Family and Child
Assessment of Mental Health in Adults
Positive and Community Youth Development
Advanced Skills for Working With Military Families
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
School Social Work Interventions
Existential Social Work
Experiential Therapy
Interpersonal Approaches to Counseling
Suicide Assessment & Interventions

Students may take elective courses in any of the concentrations. Students may take up to 10 elective credits from other DU graduate programs with approval of advisor & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Certificate students will use elective slots to fulfill certificate requirements.   

Internship (12-15 credits)

Community internship at an organization that specializes in Child Welfare. Learn more about field education.

Capstone (0 credits)  Capstone Project
University of Denver Campus

Are you interested in a career helping children and families to thrive?