Undergraduate Certificate in Social Work and Child Welfare

Undergraduate certificates are awarded by departments and colleges to recognize accomplishment in a cluster of related courses on a topic, skill, theme, or method. In the School of Social Work, an undergraduate certificate in social work and child welfare can be completed by students who wish to focus in on specialized knowledge related to the child welfare system.  The requirements are in addition to their BSW program requirements.

The Undergraduate Certificate Program in Social Work and Child Welfare is designed to provide specialized knowledge and skills in this area for bachelor’s level students planning to enter the workforce or enter graduate school after graduation. The courses within this certificate program include the specific requirement of an eight credit hour practicum to be in a pre-selected, pre-approved work setting, and nine credit hours of additional coursework. The program can offer students the opportunity to explore the needs of children and families from a social work perspective.

Certificate Requirements:

Students must be social work majors, and first be accepted into the Bachelor of Social Work program. Students must have a WSU GPA of 2.500, and in their social work courses of at least 3.000. Eligible students must apply to the program coordinator upon completion, or during current enrollment, of ScWk 201. No grades below a “C” are allowed in the certificate program courses.  You may not use a class for both your undergraduate social work degree requirements and your certificate requirements.

Students who have previously completed a Bachelor of Social Work degree from an accredited social work program, who, for academic, personal, or professional reasons, desire additional education in this area of specialized knowledge, are also invited to apply.

Courses to be completed, in their preferred sequence by year:

Junior Year
ScWk 407       Generalist Practice with Children and Families (3 credit hours)
ScWk 521       Forensic Social Work (3 credit hours)

Senior Year
ScWk 402       Practicum I (4 credit hours)
ScWk 404       Practicum II (4 credit hours)

ScWk              Elective (3 credit hours)

 Students may take a social work elective from the following list to complete their course elective for the certificate.  There may be additional course offerings by the department that could serve as a certificate elective, but this must be approved by your social work faculty advisor.

Approved elective courses:
ScWk 531       Practice in Addictions
ScWk 532       Pharmacology and Drug Classification in Social Work Practice
ScWk 572       Families of Diverse Cultures
ScWk 590       Domestic Violence
ScWk 610G    Policy and Practice with Aging
ScWk 611C     Domestic Human Trafficking

 You may not use the same courses for your certificate program as you may use for another certificate program or for the Major Courses A and B in the BSW program.

 All courses are letter graded. Students may not transfer any courses from another institution as part of this certificate program. Successful completion of the certificate requirements will be determined by the School of Social Work. If you complete the program you will graduate with an undergraduate “Certificate in Social Work and Child Welfare,” which will appear on your diploma.

Certificate students are required to meet with the Social Work and Child Welfare certificate coordinator one time per semester until they have completed the requirements for the certificate.


Practicums are primarily located with the Kansas Department of Children and Families, and preapproved community-based organizations around the state.  All practicums must meet the following guidelines:

  1. The agency must have a child welfare focus.
  2. Students must have opportunity to work directly with clients.
  3. Students must have the opportunity to work in multiple phases of the child welfare process.
  4. A minimum of 50% of the internship must have direct client contact.
  5. Students must have the opportunity to meet the nine competencies set out by the Council on Social Work Education.
  6. The agency can provide a BSW or MSW supervisor possessing child welfare practice skills acquired through a minimum of two year’s practice experience.

 To Apply for the Undergraduate Certificate in Social Work and Child Welfare:

  1. Complete a program application (available on the School of Social Work website at wichita.edu/socialwork)*
  2. Submit your application by the deadlines (March 15th or October 15th) either online or to the WSU School of Social Work office, 5th floor, Lindquist Hall

Students will be notified of their acceptance into the certificate program within thirty days of the deadline date.

All requirements must be completed within four (4) years from the date of acceptance into the certificate program.

For More Information:

Rheanna Pierce, LMSW, CA
Associate Director of Practicum, UCSWC Certificate Coordinator
Lindquist Hall, Room 534
Phone: 316-978-5852
Email: Rheanna.pierce@wichita.edu.