Child Advocacy Studies (Undergraduate Micro-Credential)

heart in mother and child's hands.

The Child Advocacy Studies is a three-course micro-credential designed to prepare undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines to recognize and respond to child abuse and neglect. 

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Program Overview

Skills you need. Proof you have them.

This program is open to anyone that is interested in pursuing a career involving work with families and children, including education, nursing, public health, law, sociology, and others. The skills that you obtain through this program will be beneficial in any setting that requires interaction with children and families, such as schools, hospitals, doctors’ offices, human service organizations, and many others.

These courses are open to current undergraduate students from any major, or non-degree students, and may be taken as a set or as stand-alone courses (except for SW 235). These courses will not fulfill graduate-level social work requirements.

Upon completion of the courses and portfolio, students will earn a notation on their academic transcript as well as a digital badge that may be used on their digital resume or social media sites.

Courses and Descriptions

SW 225 Perspectives on Child Maltreatment and Advocacy

This course provides the foundational knowledge to understand and recognize child maltreatment in diverse settings. The course covers the historical and comparative perspectives, including a trauma-informed and human rights perspective, on child maltreatment, with an emphasis on improving outcomes for children and families. This course is designed for, but not limited to, students who are interested in public health, social work, human services, nursing and other health professions, sociology, psychology, law, and education.

SW 235 Professional and System Responses to Child Maltreatment*

This course focuses on interdisciplinary system responses to child maltreatment, including trauma-informed and human rights-based approaches. The purpose of this course is to expand the students’ knowledge of and skills in responding to child maltreatment. The course explores responses across multiple community systems, including child welfare agencies, health care systems, law enforcement, and schools. This course is designed for, but not limited to, students who are interested in public health, social work, human services, nursing and other health professions, sociology, psychology, law, and education.

*Requires completion of SW 225

SW 245 Global Child Advocacy Issues

The course is designed to increase student understanding of the adverse experiences of children growing up in various countries. The purpose of this course is to expose students to considerations of socioeconomics, health, culture, religion, and politics and how these affect the welfare and well-being of children across the world. This course examines advocacy efforts using a trauma-informed, human rights framework.

How to Enroll

Portfolio and Reflection Paper Instructions

After completing the three-course sequence, you should submit (electronically) to the director a portfolio that contains the following items:

  1. Controversial issues paper (Paper from SW 225).
  2. Interview with a professional (Paper from SW 235).
  3. Global child welfare research paper (Paper from SW 245).
  4. A copy of your unofficial transcript verifying a B or better in all courses.
  5. A reflection paper as described below.

The reflection paper should be 3-5 pages long (double spaced, in APA 6th edition formatting) that should address the following points, though the order and organization is up to you:

  1. Why did you initially enroll in this course sequence? How is what you have learned similar to or different from your expectations?
  2. What issues/problems/topics do you understand differently as a result of the content/assignments in these courses? (Be specific)
  3. How has this course sequence prepared you for your future career? Have your goals changed because of what you learned?
  4. How has this course sequence prepared you to work in interdisciplinary teams on behalf of children and families?
  5. In conclusion, what are the most important things you have learned from this course sequence?

CAST Curriculum Information

The CAST curriculum was originally developed by the Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center in Minnesota in order to improve responses to child maltreatment. It has been implemented in dozens of colleges and universities across the country.

What is a Micro-Credential?

Smaller that a minor, a certificate or a degree program, micro-credentials allow you to meet your personalized learning needs by gaining knowledge and skills in areas that are relevant to your academic or professional goals. Micro-credentials equip you with digital badges that showcase your achievements and all it took to get there.

What is a Digital Badge?

When you complete a micro-credential program you will earn a digital badge, or a series of digital badges. A digital badge is an icon, (but it is not a static image in that is is click-able), that houses information including the issuing institution, the date earned, the criteria required to earn the badge and the evidence that shows that you have met the required criteria. Digital badges are dynamic credentials that you own, so you can decide how you want to use them. Digital badges can be put on social media sites, added as a link on your digital résumé, embedded in your e-portfolio and more!

UB digital badges are issued through the platform Acclaim. With Acclaim, you will be able to display your skills and accomplishments to employers, colleagues and peers. With questions about using Acclaim, please contact the Office of MicroCredentials: or (716) 645-1357

To learn more about micro-credentials and digital badges please visit


Questions about the CAST micro-credential? Please contact Associate Professor Patricia Logan-Greene at (716) 645-1533 or