Photo of student talking with two young children.

Child Advocacy and Policy

There is an increasing demand for trained professionals who understand the complex challenges faced by today’s children and their families, many of whom lack adequate access to education, healthcare, and other basic services. Child advocacy professionals are prepared to help. They draw on an interdisciplinary knowledge base to represent the rights of children and families. A child advocacy professional can hold many different job titles. Our graduates pursue careers in non-profit management, mental health, social work, and other helping professions. Graduates work with state agencies, legal organizations, school systems, non-profit agencies, and other community-based organizations.

Career Opportunities

  • Child Welfare Agencies
  • Child Behavioral Health Services (case management organizations, youth case management programs, and mobile response and stabilization units)
  • Prevention and Community Organizations
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
  • Education Advocacy Groups
  • Victim-Witness Offices/Agencies
  • Disability Advocacy Groups
  • Domestic Violence Programs
  • Youth Mentoring and Development Programs
  • Supervised Visitation Programs

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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Minor in Child Advocacy and Policy

The Minor in Child Advocacy and Policy offers students an interdisciplinary study of the field of child advocacy.  This course of study is relevant to students who intend to pursue careers working with children and families. The curriculum compliments many majors including psychology, sociology, family science and human development, justice studies, and medical humanities. Through the perspectives of social work, psychology, and law, students gain foundational knowledge of child advocacy and child protection, with a particular focus on policy and practice issues relevant to vulnerable children and families. This minor may be helpful when seeking employment with social services agencies and other helping organizations.  The minor consists of 6 courses (18 credit hours).

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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. Students enrolled in the online MA in Child Advocacy and Policy attend class year-round (fall, spring, summer) taking two 8-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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Graduate Certificate in Child Advocacy and Policy

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 Graduate Certificate in Child Advocacy and Policy is available in both campus and online formats.

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