Child Welfare

Nurturing families and permanent connections are critical to a child’s well-being. While most parents want to do what is best for their families, they cannot always do it alone. Child welfare social workers specialize in building upon the strengths within a family and their community to help provide a safe and loving environment for their children. However, in some instances, social workers must intervene to protect children from harm.

For more information on specializing in Child Welfare, consult with your School of Social Work advisor.

Juvenile Justice

Social workers assist juveniles in the criminal justice system in myriad ways. They may serve as youth justice non-profit leaders, advocates, juvenile justice agency leaders, facility and community counselors, crisis responders, victim advocates, researchers, and direct support to youth in public defender offices. Juvenile justice social workers may assist youth who have been charged with a crime, who are at risk of entering the criminal justice system, or who have been a victim of a crime. 

For more information on specializing in Child Welfare, consult with your School of Social Work advisor.

School Social Work

School social workers are an integral link between school, home, and community in helping students meet their needs and overcome barriers to academic success. They work directly with school administrators as well as students and their families, providing leadership in forming school discipline policies, mental health intervention, crisis management, and support services. As part of an interdisciplinary team to help students succeed, school social workers also facilitate community involvement in the schools while advocating for student success.

Social workers must be licensed by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners to practice in schools. The Educational Examiners Board has two licensing options for social workers:

  • Option 1: School Social Work Endorsement. The individual applying for this endorsement must be nominated by the University to the Iowa Department of Education for the School Social Work Endorsement. The curriculum required for this endorsement is detailed below. 
  • Option 2: Statement of Professional Recognition (SPR). The special education director (or designee) of an area education agency or an administrator in a local school district can submit a letter to the Board of Education Examiners requesting that an SPR (statement of professional recognition) be issued.

For more information on specializing in School Social Work, contact Kate Kemp, Program Administrator.