Provide Excellence in Child Welfare
The Child Welfare Practice Certificate program trains graduates with the foundational skills and knowledge necessary to support and intervene on behalf of neglected and abused children and their families.
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total certificate credit hours
Apply Specialized Skills to Your Practice
The Child Welfare Practice Certificate prepares graduates for advanced practice with children and families affected by abuse, maltreatment, and neglect. This certificate is taught by experts in child welfare law and policy who possess diverse experiences in social work.
In addition to online coursework, you will complete practicum hours in a public or private agency to gain specialized skills through real-world experience. You will graduate highly qualified to practice in the field of child welfare social work.
Students may apply for the certificate after being accepted to the online MSW program.
Please note, Federal Title IV financial aid is only available for certificate courses when they are taken as a part of a degree-seeking program.
Fulfill the Growing Need for Child Welfare Practitioners
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for social workers is expected to increase 12% by 2030,1 indicating that employment in this field is growing faster than average. Specifically, social workers serving children, families, and schools make up the largest group of individuals employed in this field, and these positions are projected to increase accordingly.2
A professional licensure or certification may be required to practice, advance, or specialize in social work. However, educational requirements for licensure vary by state. View more information on social work licensure here.
For more information on our program’s SARA compliance please see here.Careers and Salaries
Gain Essential Knowledge for Child Protection
The Child Welfare Practice Certificate utilizes a curriculum designed to prepare students with a comprehensive understanding of the law, history, and current practices of child abuse and neglect. Students will build expertise through advanced coursework and real-world training.
Child Welfare Practice Certificate (9 credit hours)
- SW 505 Introduction to Child Welfare Services (2-3)
- SW 550 Child Sexual Abuse Assessment and Intervention (3)
- Choose one of these courses:
- SW 640 Foundation Practicum (3)
- SW 740 Advanced Practicum I (3)
- SW 741 Advanced Practicum II (3)
The courses within the certificate replace elective course options and do not increase the credits required to complete your MSW curriculum.
Learn more about the courses required for this certificate on our courses page.
Choose An Area of Focus
As a student, you’ll choose either a certificate or an individualized plan of study to complete within the MSW. These certificates are designed to enhance your learning experience and ensure you graduate with the career-ready skills necessary for professional success.
Gain an advanced level of clinical knowledge and skills including application of social work practice in a variety of clinical settings. Students may apply for the certificate after being accepted to the online MSW program.View Certificate
Gain a deeper understanding of the unique experiences of military members, veterans, and their families, and explore effective and culturally-sensitive behavioral healthcare services for this population. Students may apply for the certificate after being accepted to the online MSW program.View Certificate
Develop critical skills through study and experience to assess and intervene on behalf of children and adolescents in a school setting. Students may apply for the certificate after being accepted to the online MSW program.View Certificate
Learn treatment and prevention approaches related to substance use disorders and develop essential intervention skills through a curriculum founded on evidence-based practice. Students may apply for the certificate after being accepted to the online MSW program.View Certificate
Create your plan of study based on your specific career goals through a selection of social work elective courses designed for your professional success. Students may apply for the certificate after being accepted to the online MSW program.View IPS
Learn how to help individuals in their healing journeys and promote post-traumatic growth and healing. Students may apply for the certificate after being accepted to the online MSW program. Students who have a conferred MSW from a regionally accredited institution may also apply.View Certificate
Why Choose UK Online?
Join the Big Blue Nation
Joining the online MSW at UK means joining a tradition of excellence where you can build your career with confidence—all while learning online at your own pace. With experienced faculty, thoughtfully designed curriculum, and high licensure exam pass rates, we make sure you graduate exceptionally prepared for real-world practice.
How to Apply
Submit an application to UK in three simple steps:
- Create an online account.
- Submit your application and supporting documents.
- Pay the $65 application fee.
You can expect to receive a decision 2–3 weeks after you apply.Get Started
Frequently Asked Questions
Earning your degree online with the University of Kentucky College of Social Work is a big step — and we’re here to support you along the way. Below, you’ll find frequently asked questions about the College and the online Master of Social Work program. If you have additional questions, call 833-358-1721 to speak with an Admissions Counselor.
Yes, all certificate programs require an application. Students must apply for the certificate by creating an additional account within the Graduate School’s ApplyYourself application. Contact us for more information.
The certificates are completed as a part of the Master of Social Work program. Full-time students can complete the Advanced Standing program in two semesters and the Regular Standing program in 4 semesters in an accelerated format. Part-time students can complete the Advanced Standing program in two years and the Regular Standing program in three years. Accelerated completion options are available with program director approval.
The certificate programs provide a versatile credential that allows you to qualify for a myriad of roles in a variety of settings through career-ready skills that immediately apply to your chosen area of focus.
All certificate programs are offered online and through a hybrid format.
To see full curriculum details, please visit the MSW courses page.