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Child Advocacy and Policy

There is an increasing demand for trained professionals who understand the complex challenges faced by today’s children and families. Child advocacy professionals are prepared to help. They draw on a multidisciplinary knowledge base to represent the rights of children and families. A child advocacy professional can hold many different job titles. Our graduates are social workers, nonprofit managers and mental health professionals. They work in state agencies, legal settings, schools, nonprofits and other community-based organizations. What all of these helping professionals have in common is they are employed in service or policy settings where they apply their training to advocate for the legal, social, psychological and physical needs of children.

We host the nation’s largest academic child advocacy and policy program. As a leader in the discipline, our degree prepares students for a challenging and rewarding career as a child advocacy professional. The multidisciplinary curriculum brings together many of New Jersey’s leaders in the fields of law, public child welfare, mental health, public policy and psychology to deliver a unique education not found anywhere else. Our programs provide students with the practical skills, conceptual tools and discipline-specific training necessary to become an accomplished child advocacy professional.

Career Opportunities

  • Social Services/Social Worker
  • Non-Profit Worker
  • Non-Governmental and Community Organizer
  • Public Child Welfare Specialist

Undergraduate Programs

BA in Child Advocacy and Policy

A 39 credit, 13 course major for those students who wish to work with or on behalf of vulnerable children, youth, and families, particularly, but not limited to, those residing in the public child welfare system and the nation’s broader social support networks (non-profits and NGOs). In their senior year, students must take a practicum (internship) in child advocacy and a senior seminar course. No minimum GPA required.

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Child Advocacy and Policy Certificate Program

The undergraduate child advocacy and policy certificate is a 15-credit hour program consisting of five core courses in child advocacy curriculum. These courses serve as the foundation of the BA in child advocacy and policy. The certificate is programmatically similar to an undergraduate minor (it is an academic certificate, not a certification or license) and is open to any undergraduate student.

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Graduate Programs

MA in Child Advocacy and Policy (Campus Track)

An 11 course, 33 credit hour master’s program that provides a comprehensive view of the interdisciplinary field of child advocacy and the skills and knowledge needed to succeed as a child advocacy professional. Those students enrolled full time will take 3 courses per semester (fall and spring) and must complete a field placement (Practicum in Public Child Welfare – CHAD 620) and culminating program experience (Seminar in Child Advocacy – CHAD 680).

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MA in Child Advocacy and Policy (Online Track)

An 11 course, 33 credit hour master’s program that provides a comprehensive view of the interdisciplinary field of child advocacy and policy and the skills and knowledge needed to succeed as a child advocacy professional. Those students enrolled full time students attend class year around (fall, spring, summer) taking two, 7.5 week courses per semester. Students take one course at a time. Courses are taken entirely online. Career advising available.

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MA in Child Advocacy and Policy, Public Child Welfare Concentration

The MA with a concentration in public child welfare consists of the campus MA curriculum (11 courses, 33 credit hours) with no option for external electives. The concentration is only available to students enrolled in the campus MA program.

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Child Advocacy and Policy Certificate Program

This 5 course, 15 credit graduate program provides a multi-disciplinary understanding of the role of the child advocate as seen through the disciplines of law, social work and psychology. Students who have earned a 3.0 GPA or higher in the certificate may apply all 15 credits toward the MA in child advocacy upon acceptance to the MA program. The Post-BA certificate is available in both campus and online formats.

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