Child Advocacy and Policy, Public Child Welfare Concentration (M.A.)

This Master of Arts will offer students an applied course of study in child advocacy. As an emerging field, child advocacy includes an understanding of parts of several disciplines:

  • psychology,
  • sociology,
  • law.

However, it is a field where the whole is equal to more than the sum of its parts. Briefly stated, this program aims to provide:

  • A comprehensive view of the field of child advocacy that includes both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary components.
  • A particular understanding of the intricacies of the public child welfare system.
  • Competencies in knowledge, methods, and applications needed for careers and professional development in the field of child advocacy.
  • Field work experience in occupational settings such as the offices of the Division of Children & Families (DCF), Child Advocacy Centers, Residential Treatment facilities, the Juvenile Justice System among others.
  • Access to the program to individuals living in the central and southern regions of the state through a distance-learning component.


In order to gain admission into the program students must meet the following criteria:

  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in their undergraduate major
  • Complete an interview by a committee of faculty teaching in the program
  • Include a writing sample to be completed at the time of the interview

In addition, students must meet all standards set by The Graduate School for admission to a graduate program.

Program Requirements

Required Core Courses
CHAD 501Introduction to Applied Child Advocacy3
CHAD 502Child Abuse and Neglect3
CHAD 503Current Social Issues in Child Advocacy3
CHAD 504Children and Justice3
CHAD 505Forensic Interviewing of Children3
Required Concentration Sequence
CHAD 620Practicum in Public Child Welfare3
CHAD 680Seminar in Child Advocacy 13
Concentration Electives
Select 12 credits from the following:12
Culturally Competent Practice in Child Advocacy
The Bullying Spectrum
Introduction to Adolescent Advocacy
Development and Trauma in Adolescence
Adolescents and the System
Substance Abuse and Family Crisis
Family Empowerment Models for Child Advocates
Child Protective Service Investigation
Permanency Planning
Child Welfare Policy
Advocacy in Child Behavioral Health
Engaging the Adolescent
Child Advocacy Policy and Practice
Research and Evaluation
Seminar: Selected Topics in Child Advocacy
Seminar in Adolescent Advocacy
Master's Thesis
Total Credits33

This course is the culminating experience for this program.