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SWK 4625H – The Intersection of Policy and Practice with Children and their Families - Required

New title and description as of September 2011

This course explores the historical, political, theoretical, legal and practice dimensions of working with children and families within the context of child welfare. The  course is designed to provide social work students with a forum to critically explore the social, political and legislative changes that have transformed child welfare services. Social workers in all fields (health, school system, mediation, corrections, refugee and immigrant services, etc. ) come into contact with children and families who are seen as “at risk”. Social work practitioners need the necessary foundation, knowledge and skills to work collaboratively to help support, advocate and intervene with children and families who come into contact with child welfare services. This course attempts to move beyond longstanding divisions between traditional child welfare services and other child-related services by exploring ways in children and families can be supported regardless of their point of service contact. Students will develop a thorough understanding of child welfare services and the range of services that can be offered for children and families to promote safety, protection, permanency, well-being and positive adjustment.

(Previous title and description)

Contemporary Issues in Working with Children and their Families

This course emphasizes evidence-based practice and critical thinking to determine what programs and policies are best suited to address the needs of children, adolescents and their families and communities. The course is designed to complement the Social Work Practice with Children and Adolescents course and the Social Work Practice with Families course that together with Contemporary Issues in working with Children and their Families and Research for Practice with Children and their Families, forms the core of the Children and their Families specialization. As such, the course is guided by the specialization’s ecological developmental framework, emphasizing the multiple determinants of problem behaviour and also of resilient development across developmental phases. The course examines cross cutting issues within the ecology of children, adolescents and their families across multiple systems. From this perspective, the course emphasizes opportunities for action at all levels of children’s social ecology, from individual interventions, to prevention programs, to developing more effective policies.