Students who are interested in working with children (up to age 18) and their families will find this specialization most suited to their needs. Students will specialize in agency-based practice with and on behalf of children and families at risk. It emphasizes the development, delivery, and management of services to meet the specific needs of children and families. The curriculum prepares graduates for advanced practice across an array of settings including mental health centers and institutions, public and private child welfare agencies, substance abuse programs, youth centers, prevention agencies, hospitals, homeless programs, domestic violence centers, courts, and community centers. This specialization gives special emphasis to four key social problems affecting children and families: poverty, mental illness, domestic violence, and substance abuse. Understanding these social problems is central to serving at-risk clients.
Student experience and specialized knowledge are expanded through the selection of practicum sites and electives concerning special populations and specific social problems, and the related practice methodologies. These include, but are not limited to: foster care and special needs adoption, substance abuse, family violence, sexual abuse, physical and mental illness, agency administration and program planning, and supervision.
The Child and Family Practice Specialized Curriculum can be completed as a full-time program over 1 year or part-time program over 2 years.