Child Advocacy and Policy Certificate Program - Graduate - 2015 University Catalog

Child abuse and neglect continue to be among society’s most pressing and preventable problems. For this reason, child advocates—trained professionals committed to the well-being of children—are in high demand. However, at present, many individuals working in this capacity are self-proclaimed child advocates. That is, they are dedicated to helping improve the life quality of children but do not have specialized training in the complex dynamics of child abuse and neglect. Increasingly, child advocacy also extends beyond protection to other domains of children’s lives, spanning multiple systems, including education, mental health, and juvenile justice. To effectively advocate in these areas, it is necessary to have an understanding of the child serving systems.

The Post-BA Certificate Program in Child Advocacy is designed to provide students with a multidisciplinary understanding of the role of the child advocate as seen through the disciplines of law, social work, and psychology. This unique perspective, encompassing these three areas of learning, equips graduates with the training that will enhance their skills in a variety of settings.

Upon successful completion of the Post-BA Certificate students may transfer all 15 credits towards the Master's of Arts in Child Advocacy, in accordance with all related graduate policy.

Career Opportunities

Individuals with a Certificate in Child Advocacy will be qualified to work in a variety of settings:

  • State agencies, such as the Division of Children & Families (DCF),
  • Child Assessment Resource Teams (CART),
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA),
  • Child Placement Review offices,
  • Community mental health centers,
  • Schools,
  • and other facilities where a child's welfare is a concern.


Course Descriptions:

CHAD501: Introduction to Applied Child Advocacy (3 hours lecture)

This course will examine the maltreatment of children from both a historical and contemporary perspective. It will discuss the three major reform movements of the Progressive Era that shaped the field of child advocacy. Students will also explore recent trends in legislation that affect abused and neglected children. Emphasis will be on the historical and current role of the child advocate. Empirical and applied research will be reviewed. 3 sh.

CHAD502: Child Abuse and Neglect (3 hours lecture)

This course will take a comprehensive look at the social and psychological development of children caught in the child welfare system. It will compare normal and pathological models of child rearing. Special consideration will be given to the impact of family and social systems on the development and behavior of abused and neglected children. 3 sh.

CHAD503: Current Social Issues in Child Advocacy (3 hours lecture)

This course will focus on current social issues in the field of child advocacy. Poverty, drug abuse, illnesses and violence will be explored. Strategies for social change will be highlighted and discussed. 3 sh.

CHAD504: Children and Justice (3 hours lecture)

This course will provide students will a multisystems view of children's rights and the justice system. Advocacy protocols and practice will be examined. Confidentiality, expert-testimony, and child abuse reporting laws will be studied. 3 sh.

CHAD505: Forensic Interviewing of Children (3 hours lecture)

This course will provide students with an understanding of various theoretical and applied models for interviewing children who may have been abused. Recent research on the communication process and the significance of integrating age-appropriate interviewing strategies and child development will be explored. Appropriate models for interviewing children of diverse backgrounds will be presented. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: CHAD 501.