Social Service Courses and Certificate Programs

Social service courses are available through certificate, associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in social services, criminal justice and social work. Students learn about the social services system as a whole and the roles of different types of social services workers.

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Social Service Courses

Introduction to Social Services

In an introductory social services course, students learn how social work can help individuals and communities. They discuss the responsibilities of social workers and the skills, values and attitudes necessary to succeed in the field. Lessons may cover the theory of social work and the way the social work profession has developed over time. This class may also cover other areas of social services, such as juvenile probation and welfare.

Juvenile Justice Systems

Students examine how the juvenile justice system operates. This lecture-based course examines ways abuse, violent behavior and neglect can influence children and cause them to misbehave. Students read case studies and examine ways to help children and adolescents who enter the juvenile justice system. Class discussions often focus on whether the juvenile justice system is responding correctly to delinquent behavior.

Crisis Intervention

In a crisis intervention class, students learn ways to react to a crisis without worsening the situation. They also learn how to assess a situation and identify appropriate responses. Class discussion includes examining the legal and ethical issues social services workers face when they get involved in different situations.

Case Management and Documentation

The basics of record keeping are examined in this course. Students learn about the documents that social workers use to keep track of clients. These documents include face sheets, information release forms, referral forms, discharge summaries and social histories.

Counseling Techniques

Students practice using basic counseling techniques in this class. Class lessons include mock counseling sessions, which allow students to practice counseling techniques. Students take turns interacting with simulated clients and receive feedback and suggestions from their instructor.

Social Service Certificate Programs

Certificate programs in social services are offered at the undergraduate, graduate and post-master's level. Undergraduate certificates provide a background in the field, while advanced certificates can be completed by individuals who already have a degree and want to go into social services. Social service certificate programs include courses in human services, social work and criminal justice.

Undergraduate certificates can lead to careers as case managers, program aides and childcare workers. Depending on the undergraduate major, graduate and post-master's certificates can lead to careers as social workers or counselors.

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    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
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      • Geography and Cartography
      • Human and Social Services
        • Social Work
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
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