SW 463 - Child Welfare Services

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to expose Social Work students to child welfare practice and help them to understand child welfare issues and services from a professional social work perspective. Topics addressed in this class include: treatment plans for children and their families, child welfare laws, child protection, foster care, adoptions, infant/toddler services, juvenile correction services, substance abuse treatment and prevention services, education services, children’s mental health services, developmental disability services, and poverty’s impact on children.

Course Outcomes

Students will:

  1. Understand the need to advocate for children and their family’s access to services (EP 2.1.1) by receiving a passing grade on the paper and presentation about a specific issue confronting children. (Relationship to program competencies 1, 3, and 5.)
  2. Integrate research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom to analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation (EP 2.1.3) as documented by a passing grade on both the paper and presentation about a specific issue confronting children. (Relationship to program competency 3.)
  3. Assess client strengths and develop appropriate goals, objectives, and interventions (EP 2.1.10b) as demonstrated by a passing score on treatment plan assignments and class presentation. (Relationship to program competencies 2 and 3.)
  4. Critically analyze and evaluate interventions with children and their families (EP 2.1.10d) as demonstrated by a passing grade on both the paper and class presentation about an issue confronting children. (Relationship to program competencies 2, 3, and 5.)
  5. Understand child welfare issues and services from a professional social work perspective (EP 2.1.7c, d) as demonstrated by a passing score on the paper, class presentation and book report.  (Relationship to program competencies 2, 3, 5, 7, and 12.)

Program Competencies

  1. Prepare students to be professional workers by learning to act rather than be acted upon as demonstrated by students:

    1. Advocating for client services.

    2. Practicing reflection and self correction while attending to professional roles and boundaries.

    3. Demonstrate good general communication skills.

    4. Demonstrate professional demeanor in behaviorand appearance. Learn to apply skills in a variety of professional situations and contexts.

    5. Demonstrate professional respect, knowledge, and skills.

    6. Demonstrate an appreciation for the historical underpinnings of the social work profession.

    7. Using consultation and supervision appropriate to social work practice. Develop professional respect, knowledge, and skills.

  1. Students will understand and apply social work professional values, ethics, and principles to social work practice as evidence by:

    1. Recognizing and managing personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice.

    2. Making ethical decisions by applying to NASW Code of Ethics.

    3. Tolerating ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts.

    4. Applying strategies of ethical decision making (reasoning) to arrive at principled

  1. Students will use critical thinking skills within the context of professional social work practice, coupled with a broad general education (Liberal Arts) foundation for developing knowledge as evidence by:

    1. Demonstrating effective oral and written communication in dealing with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues.

    2. Developing social work knowledge and competency by applying and integrating a variety of social work methods and theoretical frameworks and historically grounded purposes.

    3. Distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge—including research and practice wisdom.

  2. Students will develop an understanding and appreciation for human diversity, understand forms of discrimination, oppression, and mechanisms to advance/ advocate for social and economic justice in social work practice.
  3. Students will apply knowledge of human behavior in the social environment by:
    1. Developing knowledge of the biopsychosocial context of individual human development and behavior.
    2. Developing the ability to apply and integrate a variety of social work methods and theoretical frameworks to person-environment transitions with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, culture, and society.
    3. Developing social work knowledge and competency by applying and integrating a variety of social work methods and theoretical frameworks, to guide the process of assessment, intervention, and evaluation.
    4. Being able to critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment.
  4. Students will prepare for practice in specific areas of social work, such as child welfare and mental health, by exploring a field of social work practice in greater depth in course work and/or internship experience.  

Learning Model Architecture

This course functions upon the Learning Model, including the principles of Prepare, Teach One Another, and Ponder/Prove.


You are expected to complete your Prepare activities early in the week by study and by faith.

Teach One Another

You are expected to use charity and respect as you increase your capacity to learn by teaching one another.


You are expected to ponder ways to apply course concepts as well as prove your understanding.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Required Materials

Grading Policies

The minimum grade you can earn in this course without needing to repeat the course is a "C." Your grade will be determined by dividing the number of points you earn by the total points possible.

Grading Scale

Grade Range Score Grade Score Grade Score Grade
A 100–94% A 93–90% A-
B 89–87% B+ 86–84% B 83–80% B-
C 79–77% C+ 76–74% C 73–70% C-
D 69–67% D+ 66–64% D 63–60% D-
F <60%

The BYU-Idaho grading system describes each letter grade as follows:

Grading Components

Learning Activities Points
Prepare: Preparatory activities at the beginning of the week. 25
Teach One Another: Weekly Professional Contribution (PC) Report assessing your participation in your peer groups (worth 10 points each). 110
Ponder/Prove: In this course you will have three recurring write-ups to submit: Treatment Plan write-ups (worth 20 points each), Case write-ups (worth 10 points each), and Strengths write-ups (worth 15 points each). In addition to these recurring write-ups you will submit portions of your Child Welfare Paper throughout the semester (worth 75 total points), as well as other miscellaneous activities (worth 20 points total). Lastly, you will need to complete several major assignments, that are worth significantly more points, to demonstrate your mastery of the material. These include the Comprehensive Treatment Plan (worth 55 points), the Child Welfare Paper (worth 100 points), your Final Comprehensive Presentation (worth 100 points), and your Response Paper to the book A Child Called It (worth 50 points). All papers require the following features: Times New Roman font, a font size of 12, and double spacing. 740

Course Policies

Late Work

Note: Your instructor has the right to implement a different late work policy. He or she will notify you during the first week of the semester if their policy is different than what is stated here.

Credit Hours and Study Time

BYU-Idaho measures academic credit in credit hours. In accordance with federal regulation, a credit hour at the college is the amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that reasonably approximates not less than three hours of student work for each credit. Therefore, you can expect to spend at least nine hours per week to study and complete your coursework. This time estimate represents the average student who is appropriately prepared; more time may be required to achieve excellence.


The course materials used in this class may be protected by copyright laws. You are expected to make a good-faith effort to respect the rights of copyright holders. If you disregard the policy, you may be in violation of the Church Education System Honor Code, you may place yourself at risk for possible legal action, and you may incur personal liability.

University Policies

Refer to the University Policies site for full details regarding the BYU-Idaho Honor Code, BYU-Idaho Disability Services, sexual harassment, complaints, and grievances policies.


The instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus at any time during the semester in order to adapt to changing course needs. If there is a discrepancy between this syllabus and I-Learn, consider the I-Learn information to be correct.