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Master of Social Work Program

Direct Practice with Children and Families

The Direct Practice with Children & Families specialty provides advanced social work students with information, skills, and expertise relevant to social work practice with children and their families in a variety of settings including schools, foster care and adoption, child protective services, family crisis intervention, among others. 

The Direct Practice with Children & Families specialty is offered on-campus, in an online cohort (full and part-time), and through our Fort Worth cohort program.

Direct Practice - Children and Families
Advanced Macro Practice SOCW 5311
(Formerly 6325)
Builds on the generalist perspective and the basic familiarity with social work processes (such as problem identification, assessment, contracting, plan implementation, and outcome evaluation) in the context of (1) existing psychosocial intervention modalities, and (2) the particular client characteristics that lend themselves to specific change modalities. Required of all Direct Practice students. Prerequisite: SOCW 5304, SOCW 5310, and SOCW 5551.
Direct Practice with Children & Families SOCW 5362
(Formerly 6326)
Focuses on the characteristics, strengths, and service needs of children and their families. Addresses assessment and intervention skills to work effectively with a variety of child, parent(s), and family problems. Specific techniques considered include child therapy, play therapy, behavioral contracting, cognitive-behavioral interventions, and crisis intervention. Co-requisite: SOCW 5311.
Social Policy & Child Welfare SOCW 5363
(Formerly 6304)
Examination of current policies, programs, and practices. Attention given to new perspectives on the delivery system and staffing in child welfare. Through analysis and research, students are provided knowledge for more effective practice in the field of child welfare. Prerequisite: SOCW 5303.
Suggested Electives
Personal Relationships SOCW 6354
(Formerly 6320)
Explores theoretical and empirical data on diverse personal relationships at the follow stages of relationship: initiation, maintenance, and termination. Identifies areas for intervention. This course is also offered as SOCW 4320 in the BSW Program. Prerequisite: SOCW 5301 and SOCW 5317.
Clinical Assessment of Child Maltreatment SOCW 5365
(Formerly 6360)
Examines knowledge/technique in child physical/emotional/sexual abuse, physical/emotional neglect, and exploitation interventions. Includes interviewing, identification, legal issues, assessment/evaluation, case management, intervention, follow-up. Prerequisite: SOCW 5311; Co-requisite: SOCW 5362 OR SOCW 5352 OR SOCW 5342.
Seminar in Gender Issues SOCW 5366
(Formerly 6310)
This course is a second-year human behavior elective in the Children and Family Specialization. As such, this course focuses on gender issues from the perspective of human behavior theory, practice theory (as it relates to human behavior), and policy. Additionally, students must understand the historical, political, and socioeconomic forces that maintain sexism in society and in the practice of social work. The implications of environmental influences will be examined in terms of social justice, social work values, knowledge, and skills, as well as in terms of the structural and systematic arrangement and delivery of social welfare services at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
Treating Parent and Child Relationships SOCW 5367
(Formerly 6370)
Treatment strategies and evaluation methods and research findings relevant to the treatment of parent-child relationships; review of existing parent training literature and commercially available parenting programs. Co-requisite: SOCW 5311.
Seminar in Direct Methods in Couples Counseling SOCW 5368
(Formerly 6311)
Examination of various psychological, social, and cognitive-behavioral treatment approaches to problems in intimate coupling. Emphasis is placed on the assessment of the sources and patterns of dissatisfaction and conflict, the selection and ordering of treatment strategies, and application of treatment techniques consistent with determined goals. Co-requisite: SOCW 5311.
Seminar in Family Therapy SOCW 5369
(Formerly 6353)
Comparison of various approaches to working with the family as a total system; enhancement of cognitive understanding of similarities and differences in theory and goals of family treatment in many fields of practice; integration of strategies and techniques of each method into an individual style of therapy. Prerequisite: SOCW 5311.
Social Work in Schools SOCW 5370
(Formerly 6359)
The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the various social work related theoretical perspectives, models, and programs for intervention with children and their families in the school setting. This includes skills in assessment, prevention, and intervention in providing services to "high risk" students, such as students in poverty and students with disabilities, and addressing issues such as teen parenting, drug and alcohol abuse, and conflict management in the school setting. Co-requisite: SOCW 5311.
Forensic Social Work SOCW 4371/5371
(Formerly SOCW 4329/SOCW 6329)
This course develops the understanding of the role of social workers with clients within the criminal justice system and the legal system. This course will focus on theory, intervention, and advocacy with diverse forensic populations including juveniles, adults, people accused of crimes, victims of crimes, and related systems. Forensic practice in family and social services, juvenile justice and criminal justice, child welfare, and mental health and substance abuse will be explored. This course assumes a justice oriented multisystems and interdisciplinary approach. Prerequisites: For 4329 – SOCW 3301, 3302, 3317, 2313, and 3304. For 6329 – SOCW 5301, 5317, and 5304.

PDF Download: Advanced Year Degree Plan for Direct Practice in Children and Families

Direct Practice Children and Families