Strengthening Children, Youth and Families

Promoting physical, social and emotional wellness for children, youth and their families.

Students in the Strengthening Children, Youth and Families ("SCYF") specialization area are prepared for leadership to support families in raising healthy children.

Curriculum

SCYF students acquire a full range of individual, family, group, and community intervention strategies and practice skills used with and on behalf of children and families. Specialized training provides state-of-the-art knowledge for effective multilevel practice with vulnerable children, adolescents, and families.

For current class schedules, course descriptions and complete degree requirements, please see the Berkeley Academic Guide to Social Welfare.

Sample Plans of Study in the SCYF Specialization

Full-time MSW, SCYF Specialization

Full-time MSW students typically complete their 54-unit degree plan in four semesters, over two academic years (fall-spring).

Students are typically in field placement two days per week in the first year (foundation field), and three days per week in the second year (advanced field).

First Semester - Fall (15-17 units)

  • SOC WEL 212: Child Development from Infancy to Adolescence in Its Social Context (2 units) **See note below
  • SOC WEL 200: Theories for Multilevel Practice (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 220: Introduction to Social Welfare Policy (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 240: Historical, Philosophical, and Intellectual Foundations of Social Work (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 241: Foundations of Multilevel Practice (3 units)
  • SOC WEL 290A: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 410A: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)

Second Semester - Spring (13-15 units)

  • SOC WEL 210B: Infant Development (2 units) **See note below
  • SOC WEL 230: Social Policy - Children and Families (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 243: Direct Practice with Children and Families (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 282A: Seminar in Social Research (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 290B: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 410B: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)

**NOTE: SCYF students are required to take only one of these courses; students choosing to take both courses may apply one of them towards required elective units.

Third Semester - Fall (12-13 units)

  • Diversity and/or Elective Courses (3-4 units total)
  • SOC WEL 292A: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412A: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)

Fourth Semester - Spring (12-13 units)

  • SOC WEL 282B: Seminar in Social Research (2 units)
  • Diversity and/or Elective Courses (3-4 units total)
  • SOC WEL 292B: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412B: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)

Concurrent MSW/MPH: MSW SCYF Specialization + MPH Health and Social Behavior (HSB)

First Semester - Fall

  • PB HLTH 142: Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health (4 units)1
  • PB HLTH 200J: Health Policy and Management Breadth Course (2 units)
  • PB HLTH 203A: Theories of Health and Social Behavior (3 units)
  • PB HLTH 250A: Epidemiologic Methods I (3 units)1
  • PB HLTH 292: Health & Social Behavior Seminar (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 220: Introduction to Social Welfare Policy (2 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Second Semester - Spring

  • PB HLTH 200K: Environmental Health Sciences Breadth Course (2 units)
  • PB HLTH 205: Program Planning and Needs Assessment (4 units)
  • MPH Research Methods Course - chosen from approved list (2+ units)2
  • MPH Health, Race, and Social Equity Course - chosen from approved list (2+ units)2
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Intervening Summer Session

  • Public Health Field Placement

Third Semester - Fall

  • PB HLTH 297: Public Health Field Placement (3 units)
  • SOC WEL 200: Theories for Multilevel Practice (2 units)3
  • SOC WEL 212: Child Development from Infancy to Adolescence in its Social Context (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 240: Historical, Philosophical, and Intellectual Foundations of Social Work (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 241: Foundations of Multilevel Practice (3 units)
  • SOC WEL 290A: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 410A: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Fourth Semester - Spring

  • SOC WEL 210B: Infant Development (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 230: Social Policy - Children & Families (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 243: Direct Practice in Child and Family Settings (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 290B: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 410B: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Fifth Semester - Fall

  • PB HLTH 218B: Evaluation of Health and Social Programs (4 units)
  • PB HLTH 292: Health & Social Behavior Seminar - Fall Capstone (2-3 units)
  • SOC WEL 275: Diversity-sensitive and Competent Social Work (or approved alternate)
  • SOC WEL 292A: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412A: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Sixth Semester - Spring

  • PB HLTH 292.2: MPH Capstone Seminar (units vary)
  • PB HLTH 299: Independent Study - with PH Capstone Adviser (1 unit)
  • SOCWEL 296: Independent Study - with SW Capstone Advisor (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 292B: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412B: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

1. PB HLTH 142 & PB HLTH 250A may be taken in the preceding summer. These requirements may also be fulfilled by passing an exemption exam or by completing an SPH-approved higher-level alternative course (see SPH Student Handbook for a complete list of approved alternatives.)

2. Students must choose at least one option from an approved list for each of these required MPH courses; multiple options may be offered in both fall and spring semesters. See the SPH Student Handbook for a complete list of approved options.

3. SOC WEL 200 & SOC WEL 238C may be waived with previously-taken course work; see "Approved Course Waivers and Substitutions" below.

Concurrent MSW/MPH: MSW SCYF Specialization + MPH Maternal, Child & Adolescent Health (MCAH)

First Semester - Fall

  • PB HLTH 142: Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health (4 units)1
  • PB HLTH 200J: Health Policy and Management Breadth Course (2 units)
  • PB HLTH 200L: Health and Social Behavior Breadth (2 units)
  • PB HLTH 210: Foundations of Maternal and Child Health Policy, Practice and Science (3 units)
  • PB HLTH 210J: Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Journal Club (2 units)
  • PB HLTH 250A: Epidemiologic Methods I (3 units)1
  • SOC WEL 220: Introduction to Social Welfare Policy (2 units)

Second Semester - Spring

  • PB HLTH 200K: Environmental Health Sciences Breadth Course (2 units)
  • PB HLTH 210K: Foundations of MCAH Leadership Seminar (2 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed to meet minimum unit enrollment requirements

Intervening Summer Session

  • Public Health Field Placement

Third Semester - Fall

  • PB HLTH 297: Public Health Field Placement (3 units)
  • SOC WEL 200: Theories for Multilevel Practice (2 units)2
  • SOC WEL 212: Child Development from Infancy to Adolescence in its Social Context (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 240: Historical, Philosophical, and Intellectual Foundations of Social Work (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 241: Foundations of Multilevel Practice (3 units)
  • SOC WEL 290A: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 410A: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Fourth Semester - Spring

  • SOC WEL 210B: Infant Development (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 230: Social Policy - Children and Families (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 243: Direct Practice in Child and Family Settings (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 290B: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 410B: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Fifth Semester - Fall

  • PB HLTH 210E: Practicum in MCH Data Analysis I (3 units)
  • Choose ONE of the following:
    1. MPH Methods of Measurement and Analysis Course - chosen from approve list3 (at least 2 units)
    2. MPH Applied Programmatic Skills Course - chosen from approved list3 (at least 2 units)
  • SOC WEL 275: Diversity-sensitive and Competent Social Work (or approved alternate)
  • SOC WEL 292A: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412A: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Sixth Semester - Spring

  • PBHLTH 210F: Practicum in MCH Data Analysis II (3 units)
  • Choose ONE of the following:
    1. MPH Methods of Measurement and Analysis Course - chosen from approve list3 (at least 2 units)
    2. MPH Applied Programmatic Skills Course - chosen from approved list3 (at least 2 units)
  • PB HLTH 299: Independent Study - with Capstone Adviser (1 unit)
  • SOCWEL 296: Independent Study - with SW Capstone Advisor (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 292B: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412B: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

1. PB HLTH 142 & PB HLTH 250A may be taken in the preceding summer. These requirements may also be fulfilled by passing an exemption exam or by completing an SPH-approved higher-level alternative course (see SPH Student Handbook for a complete list of approved alternatives.)

2. SOC WEL 200 may be waived with previously-taken course work; see "Approved Course Waivers and Substitutions" below.

3. Students must choose at least one option from an approved list for each of these required MPH courses; multiple options may be offered in both fall and spring semesters. See the SPH Student Handbook for a complete list of approved options.

Field Placements

SCYF students develop advanced practice and leadership skills through 1,100+ hours of hands-on experiential learning available at over 40 agencies in the highly diverse San Francisco Bay Area.

Field placement settings include foster care and adoption; protective services; day care; family preservation; juvenile justice; special education; child health and nutrition; income maintenance; public and private agencies that provide services through referral by child welfare agencies; schools; and nonprofit family service agencies.

Sample SCYF Field Placements

  • Alameda County Family Justice Center
  • Alameda County Social Services Agency
  • Alternative Family Services
  • Berkeley Unified School District
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco
  • Brighter Beginnings
  • Casey Family Programs
  • East Bay Agency for Children
  • East Bay Children's Law Office
  • Fred Finch Youth Center
  • Huckleberry Youth Programs
  • Oakland Unified School District
  • San Francisco Unified School District
  • Seneca Family of Agencies
  • Superior Court of California, Alameda County
  • UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals
  • UCSF Department of Psychiatry
  • University Health Service
  • Youth & Family Services of Solano County
  • Youth Engagement Advocacy Housing (YEAH)

Careers

Employment of child, family, and school social workers is projected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Child and family social workers will be needed to work with families to strengthen parenting skills, prevent child abuse, and identify alternative homes for children who are unable to live with their biological families. In schools, more social workers will be needed as student enrollments rise (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018).

80% of Berkeley Social Welfare graduates find full-time employment within six months of graduation, and over 90% are currently working in social welfare or related careers. Challenging and rewarding leadership positions are available to SCYF MSW graduates in a wide variety of settings for social work with children and families.

Sample SCYF Careers

Sample Career Possibilities

  • Adoption Specialist
  • Child Welfare Social Worker
  • Clinical Social Worker
  • Early Intervention Specialist
  • Family Assessment Social Worker
  • Family Support Specialist
  • Foster Care Social Worker
  • Juvenile Officer
  • School Social Worker
  • Youth Advocate
  • Youth Services Specialist

Sample Job Settings

  • Community-based Organizations
  • Community Health Centers
  • County Child Welfare or Social Services Agencies
  • Domestic Violence Programs & Shelters
  • Family Service Agencies
  • Group Homes
  • Health Care Systems
  • Military Bases & Hospitals
  • Residential Treatment Programs & Facilities
  • Schools
  • State & Local Government Agencies

Learn more:

Berkeley Social Welfare Career Guide
BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook: Social Workers
Career Center
National Association of Social Workers: Child Welfare Practice
National Association of Social Workers: School Social Work Practice