Course Syllabus

Welcome to Social Work 463: Child Welfare Services

Course Description

This course will expose you to child welfare practices and help you understand child welfare issues and services from a professional social work perspective. Topics addressed in this class include the following:

  • treatment plans for children and their families
  • juvenile correction services
  • child abuse
  • substance abuse treatment and prevention services
  • child neglect
  • school social work
  • foster care
  • children’s mental health services
  • adoption
  • developmental disability services
  • infant/toddler services
  • poverty’s impact on children

Course Outcomes

The course's main activities include a research paper and a presentation about a specific issues confronting children.

Receiving a passing grade on these assignments will demonstrate your ability to:

  1. Understand the need to advocate for children and their family’s access to services. 
    • Relates to program competencies 3.1, 3.2, 4.1 and 6.1.
  2. Integrate research-based knowledge and practice wisdom to analyze:
    • models of assessment
    • prevention
    • intervention
    • evaluation 
      • Relates to program competency 6.1, 7.2.
  3. Assess client strengths and develop appropriate goals, objectives, and interventions. 
    • Relates to program competencies 1.1, 4.1 6.1 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 8.1, 8.2.
  4. Critically analyze and evaluate interventions with children and their families.
    • Relates to program competencies 1.3, 1.5, 4.1, 6.1, 3.1, 3.2.
  5. Understand child welfare issues and services from a professional social work perspective. 
    • This is also demonstrated with a book report.
      • Relates to program competencies 1.3, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 6.1, 7.1, 7.2, 8.2, 9.2, 9.4, 11.1, 11.2, 11.3.

Learning Model Architecture

This course is organized according to the principles of the BYU-Idaho Learning Model. To succeed in this course you will be expected to:


Complete your Prepare activities early in the week by study and by faith.

  • Review all of the preparation activities (introductions, readings, etc.).

Teach One Another 

Use charity and respect as you increase your capacity to learn by teaching one another.

  • In this course there are two types of Teach One Another activities:
    • 1) Class Discussions (which will mostly happen in Weeks 01 and 02).
      • W01-W13 Discussion: Skills Practice Consultation - This is a non-graded semester-long discussion board.
        • Think of it as a "practice clinic" where you can interact to resolve problems and concerns you are having as you build your professional skills. 
      • Icebreaker - allowing you to become acquainted with your classmates.
      • Review Your Cases - this offers the opportunity to share takeaways, strategies, and impressions as you begin looking at case studies.
    • 2) Peer Consultations (group discussions and peer review which will begin in Week 03). 
      • The majority of Teach One Another activities will be in groups.
      • These meetings will be conducted via Zoom.  
        • Peer Consultations are designed to build upon assigned concepts from the Prepare readings as well as apply the skills you are learning in the Treatment Plan and Assessment assignments.
          • Please studiously review the Prepare readings so that you can actively participate in teaching and learning from others. 
      • Your comments and responses to the weekly Peer Consultations will also help those in your peer groups to incorporate any useful and relevant feedback into their treatment plans or client assessments.
        • You account for your efforts in these consultations in the Professional Contribution (PC) Reports.

For the Peer Consultations beginning in Week 03 you will have two resources to interact with each other:

  • 1) I-Learn discussion boards. - Where you can post your assignments and offer comments as feedback.
    • Each group will have its own dedicated board.
    • Use your board to post your treatment plans, assessment assignments, and other work for your group to review in the Zoom meeting.
      • Posting to this discussion board is a preliminary step to prepare to meet together.
      • It is not a substitute for attending the Peer Consultation Meetings.
  • 2) Zoom video conference groups.
    • Where you will meet synchronously together as a group and give feedback in real time. 
    • These meetings will be great learning opportunities; attendance is required.
      • Missing them will negatively affect your grade.
    • For more information about Zoom—what it is, and how to use it in this course—go to the Student Help Guide: Getting Started with Zoom tutorial.
    • Note: There are several Zoom tutorials that you can access in the Student Resources folder of this course.


Apply course concepts as well as prove your understanding.

  • You will be asked to prove your understanding of the concepts of this course by creating a treatment plan (on even-numbered weeks) for a fictitious client from one of the populations that we study.
  • In addition, you will be asked to fill out and discuss a client assessment form (on odd-numbered weeks) for a fictitious client from one of the populations that we study.
  • In this class we learn about and apply the strengths perspective.
    • You will be asked to ponder at various times throughout the course by evaluating your own strengths in working with a particular population.
    • As you do so you will also be asked to consider some gospel perspectives in working with and empathizing with members of a particular population.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Required Materials

  • A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive by Dave Pelzer (ISBN: 9780757396076).
  • All other materials are available in the course.

Proctored Exams and Assessments

This course will use an online proctoring software called Proctorio. This makes it possible for students to take assessments and exams without a human proctor present. Proctored exams can be accessed like any other exam, once the software has been installed. Exams will be recorded by Proctorio and reviewed by the BYUI Testing Center. Any questionable exams will be forwarded to the instructor for further review.

For step-by-step instructions on Proctorio installation, please refer to this help guide article (Links to an external site.).

Grading Policies

The minimum grade you can earn in this course without needing to repeat the course is a "C." Your grade will be determined by dividing the number of points you earn by the total points possible.

Grading Scale

Letter Grade Percentage Range
A 94 – 100%
A- 90 – 93%
B+ 87 – 89%
B 84 – 86%
B- 80 – 83%
C+ 77 – 79%
C 74 – 76%
C- 70 – 73%
D+ 67 – 69%
D 64 – 66%
D- 60 – 63%
F <60%

The BYU-Idaho grading system describes each letter grade as follows:

  • "A" represents outstanding understanding, application, and integration of subject material and extensive evidence of original thinking, skillful use of concepts, and ability to analyze and solve complex problems. It demonstrates diligent application of Learning Model principles, including initiative in serving other students.
  • "B" represents considerable/significant understanding, application, and incorporation of the material that would prepare a student to be successful in next level courses, graduate school, or employment. The student participates in the Learning Model as applied in the course.
  • "C" represents sufficient understanding of subject matter. The student demonstrates minimal initiative to be prepared for class. Sequenced courses could be attempted, but mastering new materials might prove challenging. The student participates only marginally in the Learning Model.
  • "D" represents poor performance and initiative to learn, understand, and apply course materials. Retaking a course or remediation may be necessary to prepare for additional instruction in this subject matter.
  • "F" represents failure in the course.

Grading Components

Learning Activities Points
Prepare: Preparatory activities at the beginning of the semester. 25
Teach One Another: Weekly Professional Contribution (PC) Report assessing your participation in your peer groups (worth 10 points each). 110
Ponder/Prove: In this course you will have three recurring write-ups to submit:
  • Treatment Plan write-ups (worth 20 points each).
  • Case write-ups (worth 10 points each).
  • Strengths write-ups (worth 15 points each).
In addition to these recurring write-ups you will submit the following:
  • Portions of your Child Welfare Paper throughout the semester (worth 75 total points).
  • Other miscellaneous activities (worth 20 points total).
Lastly, you will need to complete several major assignments, that are worth significantly more points, to demonstrate your mastery of the material. These include the following:
  • Comprehensive Assessment (worth 45 points).
  • Comprehensive Treatment Plans (worth 55 points).
  • Child Welfare Paper (worth 100 points).
  • Final Comprehensive Presentation (worth 50 points).
  • Response Paper to the book A Child Called "It" (worth 50 points).
All papers you submit must be written with the following features:
  • 12-point font in Times New Roman
  • Double-spacing

Course Policies

Late Work

  • You are expected to submit your work on time as a student just as your employer will expect your professional duties to be completed on time.
    • In the rare occurrence that you are unable to submit work by the deadline due to a natural disaster, birth or death of a family member, hospitalization, or serious accident, you should contact your instructor no more than 24 hours after the deadline to see what options you might have. 10% will automatically be deducted from your score for each day an assignment is late.
  • There is no extra credit or make-up assignments.

Note: Your instructor has the right to implement a different late work policy for your class. He or she will notify you during the first week of the semester if their policy is different than what is stated here.

Credit Hours and Study Time

In accordance with federal regulation, BYU-Idaho's credit hours approximate the amount of work necessary to master the course's learning outcomes as verified by evidence of student achievement. Each credit hour represents no less than three hours of student work. Therefore, because this is a 3-credit course, you can expect to spend at least nine hours per week to study and complete your coursework.

This time estimate represents the average student who is appropriately prepared; you may need to dedicate more time to this course in order to achieve excellence.


It is expected that all work other than your own will be documented as such.  Failure to do so will result in complete loss of credit for the assignment and the incident will be reported to the student honor office for review. 


The course materials used in this class may be protected by copyright laws. You are expected to make a good-faith effort to respect the rights of copyright holders. If you disregard the policy, you may be in violation of the Church Education System Honor Code, you may place yourself at risk for possible legal action, and you may incur personal liability.

University Policies

Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office at (208) 496-9210 or visit their website and follow the Steps for Receiving Accommodations. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with students and instructors by the Disability Services Office.

This course may require synchronous meetings. If you are currently registered with the Disability Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber for these meetings, please contact the deaf and hard of hearing coordinator at (208) 496-9219.

Other University Policies

Student Honor and Other Policies

Please read through the document called University Policies. It gives important information about the following topics:

  • Student Honor
    • Academic Honesty
    • Student Conduct
      • Sexual Harassment
  • Student with Disabilities
  • Complaints and Grievances
  • Copyright Notice

Go to the Student Resources module to review further resources and information.


If you need assistance, visit the I-learn help tab located on the left-hand side of your screen to contact the appropriate support center.


The instructor reserves the right to change any part of this Syllabus at any time during the semester in order to adapt to changing course needs. If there is a discrepancy between this Syllabus and BYU-I policies, consider the BYU-I policy information to be correct.

Copyright 2018 Brigham Young University-Idaho.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due