To be an effective advocate for children and families, students must understand that context matters and be committed to team-based, inter-professional advocacy. This project is working toward creating a multidisciplinary child advocacy certificate program that will teach students—among them future social workers, pediatricians, lawyers, nurses, and teachers—the role of education, health care, and legal systems in the lives of their clients.

This program also highlights the importance of understanding the impact of trauma, mental health, and child and adolescent development on care. As professionals across disciplines traditionally work in silos, the Child Advocacy and Welfare project works to cross-train and better connect professionals to serve the “whole child.” Additionally, the project is in the process of developing a template for creating other cross-school certificates at the University to inspire further multidisciplinary collaboration in the future.