About the Program
The Chance at Childhood Program mission is to promote and protect the well-being of children and families through integrated social work and law education and advocacy.
The program, a collaboartion between Michigan State University Graduate School of Social Work and Michigan State University School of Law, is designed to protect and serve the rights of children. Lawyers and social workers collaborate to strengthen the knowledge base, practice and advocacy skills to meet the needs of children, youth, families and communities.
The Chance at Childhood Program includes four components:
- The Child and Family Advocacy Certificate Program, a curriculum for law and social work students focused on teaching practice and advocacy skills directed at serving the needs of children and families. The certificate program can be completed concurrently with the social work and law degree requirements. Students completing the program gain hands-on practice and advocacy experience through:
- Externships (law and social work students working together in the same agency)
- An integrated seminar taught by a team of social work and law faculty
- Specialized academic courses
- The Chance at Childhood Law and Social Work Clinic provides 3 primary services: 1) training of students seeking careers in child welfare, 2) legal representation to children, and 3) consultation to practitioners and community members. The clinic is staffed by MSU graduate-level social work students and MSU law students. Through this unique collaborative effort, students work in teams to bring the professional expertise of both fields to the practice of child welfare.
- Continuing education seminars and workshops aimed at providing legal and social work practitioners with the skill and knowledge to effectively advocate for at-risk children and Michigan's families. Programs are taught by legal, social work, and medical professionals with extensive experience in dealing with childrens' and families' issues.
- The Oasis Family Center, which provides supervised parenting time and a location for safe exchange.