Advocacy, Education, & Community Outreach


Child & Advocacy Certification

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The Child and Family Advocacy Certificate Program is a joint program at Michigan State University offered by the MSU Graduate School of Social Work and MSU College of Law. The certificate program is open only to students already admitted to either of these schools. The certificate program can be completed concurrently with the social work and law degree requirements. It is designed to strengthen the knowledge base, practice and advocacy skills of masters-level social work students and law students interested in working with abused, neglected, and at-risk children and families. Students must apply for admittance to this program.

Obtaining the certificate is an internal process within the MSU School of Social Work, provided as a means of demonstrating specialization and competence particular to working in child and family advocacy. The certificate does not appear on your official transcript.

For more information, please call 517-336-8088


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The certificate program is comprised of three components:

  1. Core Curriculum: Students take a course in general Child Welfare or Abuse/Neglect, offered by the School of Social Work. In addition, students take the Seminar in Law and Social Work. This integrative seminar is comprised of law students and graduate social work students enrolled together and is offered in the fall semester. The seminar's emphasis is on select issues related to child abuse and neglect from a multi-disciplinary perspective.
  2. Elective Course: Additionally, law students and social work students select courses from a menu of courses offered by MSU College of Law. Please visit the College of Law web site at for a listing of current courses offerings.
  1. Clinical Experience: Students must complete an externship/field placement in the Chance at Childhood Law and Social Work clinic. Both social work students and law students have the opportunity to work as advocates for children on a variety of cases, including abuse/neglect and guardianship issues.

Students successfully completing the certificate program receive a certificate and notation on their transcripts.


Download Application PDF | DOC


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Last Updated: March 21, 2016

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