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Child Welfare


Adoption Services • After School Programs • Child Development Centers • Child Protective Services • Day Care Services • Family Preservation Services • Foster Care Services • Head Start Programs • Preschool Programs • Residential Care Services • Teacher Aide Services • Teen Parent Services • Transitional Living Services


Marygrove College offers a multidisciplinary certificate program in child welfare. This certificate is intended to provide education and career opportunities for individuals who have completed at least two years of undergraduate coursework and are employed in direct service jobs focusing on the well-being of children and their families.  It is also designed for professional practitioners with a baccalaureate or higher degree, who want to deepen their understanding of childhood development and are interested in developing specific leadership skills to work on behalf of children within the systems of child and family welfare.

To receive a certificate in child welfare, you must complete a minimum of 17 credit hours at Marygrove College. This includes 15 credit hours of required courses and two credit hours of elective courses.

The three-credit hour field experience in child welfare may be waived if at present, or in the recent past, you are participating in a supervised work experience with children, or if the field practicum experience for your major is in a child welfare setting. In such cases, you would take another three credit elective course in the program.


The number of children for whom their developmental and/or welfare needs must be provided by persons other than their birth parents/nuclear family, is rapidly increasing and will continue to expand. As family demographics in the U.S. change, the number of children being raised in single parent, two working parent, blended, foster, and/or adoptive families is growing.  These diverse types of family structure greatly increase the need for care of children by persons other than the biological parent.

Individuals who have knowledge and understanding of children and their unique needs are in high demand both in public and private child welfare agencies and programs. If you are currently working in or interested in gaining employment with one of the many programs serving children that receive federal funding, you are/will be required to have at least some professional training in children’s development and their well-being.  Completion of the child welfare certificate may reduce the number of state-mandated, pre-service training requirements.  This could positively impact your future employment opportunities.

In addition to professional preparation, Marygrove’s child welfare program will provide you with skills to better understand the developmental needs of your own children, and it will help you to prepare for additional roles, such as those of a grandparent or relative caregiver.

If your major is child development, early childhood education, special education, social work, sociology, or psychology, you can enhance and combine your career preparation with a certificate in child welfare.