Child Welfare (Graduate Certificate)

Child Welfare (Graduate Certificate)
Students in master of social work class

Why get a graduate certificate in Child Welfare?

Whether you’re an experienced social worker or are looking to work toward a graduate-level degree, our child welfare certificate program will help you advance your career while also giving you tools to improve the quality of life for children and families vulnerable to abuse and neglect. You’ll receive an introduction to the history, research and practice of child welfare services and will choose an area of focus, such as school social work, addiction, partner violence, family therapy, mental health, research or law. Online courses cover topics such as mental health, spirituality and suicide.

Why study Child Welfare at UNH?

This certificate program will allow you to acquire expertise in child welfare efficiently and affordably. You may complete the program in as little as one year, and it costs less than a two-year master's degree. Many courses are offered at times that give working students flexibility in scheduling. If you’re considering continuing your studies, credits may be applied toward a graduate degree at UNH. Mentorship is provided by nationally recognized faculty, and we offer opportunities for teaching and research through the Child Study and Development Center.

Potential Career Areas

  • Case management
  • Child welfare advocacy
  • Education
  • Guidance counseling
  • Juvenile court liaison
  • Research
  • Social work

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Curriculum & Requirements

About the Program

The Child Welfare Graduate Certificate Program is designed to educate individuals interested in improving the quality of life for children and families vulnerable to abuse and neglect. In addition, the certificate will provide additional pathways of preparation for students interested in careers in public child welfare and will aid in increasing valuable resources toward supporting children and families vulnerable to child abuse and neglect.

Who should apply?

  • Individuals interested in improving the quality of life for children and families vulnerable to abuse and neglect
  • Individuals receiving the Title IV-E grant
  • Individuals interested in taking graduate courses at UNH with the option of applying credit toward a graduate degree in social work
  • Individuals interested in advancing their career options or in developing a new career focus

Contact Information

Email Christie Davis or call 603-862-2704.

Certificate Requirements

Students complete four courses for a total of 12 credits.

Select two required courses from the following:6
SW 805
Child and Adolescent Risks and Resiliency: Program, Policy and Practice
SW 807
Child Maltreatment
SW 897
Special Topics in Social Work and Social Welfare (Leadership in Child Welfare)
SW 897
Special Topics in Social Work and Social Welfare (Trauma Informed Child Welfare Practice)
Select two elective courses from the following:6
SW 803
Social Work and Spirituality
SW 804
Adolescents with Emotional and Behavioral Challenges
SW 808
Mental Health Aspects of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities
SW 813
School Social Work
SW 817
Understanding Suicide
SW 860
Research Methods in Social Work (Current students are able to substitute SW 965 if they’ve already completed SW 860) 1
SW 870
Intimate Partner Violence
SW 897
Special Topics in Social Work and Social Welfare (Forensic Mental Health)
SW 974
Social Work Supervision
SW 975
Theory and Practice of Family Therapy
SW 979
Social Work and the Law
Total Credits12

Students who use either SW 860 Research Methods in Social Work or SW 965 Program and Practice Evaluation for the certificate have to focus their assignments on CW topics and they have to complete a course designation form outlining those assignments.

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Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: August 1
  • Spring: December 1
  • Summer: April 15
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $25

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence Form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH or Granite State College (GSC) after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester, UNH Non-Degree work and GSC. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload a copy (PDF) of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted, you must then request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

Letters of Recommendation: 2 Required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives.
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program-specific application questions.

Courses are offered in Durham, Manchester, and online but the program itself is out of Durham.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

Explore Program Details

    Associate Professor
    Coordinator, Graduate Certificate Program in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
    Department Chair
    Department Chair
    Phone: (603) 862-5016

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Thompson Hall
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