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The Child Welfare Certificate is a specialty certification available to BSW and MSW students pursuing a career working in child welfare. Certificate holders possess a solid knowledge foundation and skill development in practice, policy, and program interventions that impact children and families.


About the Certificate Program

In earning the Child Welfare Certificate, students will develop practice knowledge and skills in areas of:

  • Child and Family Assessment
  • Child Development
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Trauma-informed Care
  • Family Violence
  • Child and Family Mental Health
  • Dependency Court Systems
  • Family Engagement
  • Interviewing Techniques
  • Intervention Strategies for Children and Families
  • Child Welfare Policy
  • Child Maltreatment Prevention

Furthermore, students will gain direct experience in the field and successfully complete all foundational requirements to begin a career in child welfare. Certificate program components include:

  • Completion of foundational child welfare course examining the history and structure of the child welfare system, policy and legal frameworks, maltreatment types, and models of child maltreatment prevention and practice.
  • Completion of foundational course focused on applied skills for intervention and practice with children and families involved in the child welfare system.
  • Completion of a child welfare specific field seminar.

NOTE: The FAU Child Welfare Certificate is not the same as state certification. State certification in child welfare can be obtained only through the Florida Certification Board and employment at the Department of Children and Families (DCF) or a community-based care agency.

Application Requirements

Please note that the Child Welfare Certificate is available only to students currently seeking a BSW or MSW in the Sandler School of Social Work. For MSW students, we also offer a completely online certificate option. To view application requirements, please download the Child Welfare Certificate infographic.

IMPORTANT: Applications must be submitted at least four weeks before graduation to ensure your student transcript is updated. Certificates cannot be issued to alumni who apply after they graduate.

Two-Step Application Process for Current BSW and MSW Students

  1. Complete the internal school application and follow each of the steps therein. Be sure to send your completed application to
  2. Complete the FAU Application for Certificate (which must be sent to your academic advisor) and Application for Degree (which is submitted online) – both forms are located on the University Registrar’s website.

Successful applicants should expect to receive their certificate within four to six weeks after graduation. Questions? Please email Dr. Marianna Colvin at

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