Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Children & Families Specialization

The Children and Families specialization prepares students for advanced practice with children and families coping with developmental needs at different stages of their lifecycle; that is, in the children, families, and social institutional domains (child welfare, schools, and community services). Using family as the organizing concept of this cluster, goals include differential clinical intervention with a broad range of family forms and structure in varying organizational arrangements, as well as development of and consistent application of a practice philosophy regarding families and children including use of self.

Advanced practice in the child domain reflects mastery of the central concepts of child development, direct social work treatment of children, research and law related to child issues, service delivery, and social work macro roles in child and family-oriented settings.

Designation of an advanced practice track focusing on children and families reflects the clinical significance of these two major client groups without limiting the particular theoretical practice framework. The curriculum of the Children and Families specialization is as follows:

  • All students choosing this specialization will take the section of SOWK 610F (Social Policy in Practice) that is designed for Children and Families.
  • All students in the Children and Families track will be required to take SOWK 612 (Family Diagnosis and Treatment) since it is necessary for all students to have knowledge and skills related to work with families even if their specialization is primarily in direct work with children and/or adolescents.
  • Students wanting to work specifically with children and adolescents will be required to take either SOWK 620 (Clinical Social Work with Children) or SOWK 615 (The Adolescent Client: Diagnosis and Treatment). Students only need to take one of these courses in order to fulfill the specialization requirement. 
  • Other electives can either be taken within this track.
  • Students who would like to pursue a track within the Children and Families specialization can take additional courses from the Advanced Family Treatment track (see below). These students will be required to take SOWK 613 (Advance Family Therapy) and SOWK 611 (Treatment of Couples). SOWK 612 (Family Diagnosis and Treatment) is a prerequisite to these courses and can be taken in the Summer or Fall terms. SOWK 611 and SOWK 613 are only offered in the Spring terms. This track is ideal for students interested in family therapy, marital counseling, divorce mediation, and working with blended family.
  • Students in this track will have appropriate fieldwork second-year internships in particular areas of work with children and families, such as school social work, social work with couples and families, and social work with children. The second-year internship is specifically matched to the student’s area of focus and is an essential part of the student’s development of an advanced level of skill in the chosen area.

For more information, please see the Children & Families Specialization course plan.

Elective Recommendations

  • SOWK 603: Seminar in Brief Treatment
  • SOWK 605: Human Sexuality and Sexual Dysfunction
  • SOWK 608: Social Work and the Law
  • SOWK 617: Interventions in Clinical Social Work
  • SOWK 632: Clinical Social Work with Older Adults
  • SOWK 645: Crisis Intervention
  • SOWK 656: Social Work Practice with LGBTQ Populations
  • SOWK 670: Bridging Psychodynamic Theory and Cognitive Behavioral Practice
  • SOWK 722: Introduction to Alcohol and Other Drug Disorders
  • SOWK 735: Loss, Grief, and Dying
  • SOWK 745: Child Welfare Foundation Training

Sub-specialization