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IBHE Certificate in Evidence-Based Mental Health Practice with Children

The Jane Addams College of Social Work offers a Certificate in Evidence-Based Mental Health Practice with Children approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). Only students admitted to the MSW program and enrolled in the mental health concentration are eligible to apply for admission to this certificate program. The program, designed for students in their concentration year who have a career interest in working with children with mental health issues, offers advanced training in evidence-based practice with children with mental health problems.

Evidence-based practice, as defined by the Illinois Division of Mental Health Evidence-Based Practice Committee, emphasizes a collaborative effort by children, families and practitioners to identify and implement practices that are appropriate to the needs of the child and family. The selected practices reflect the use of available research and, when implemented, are measured to ensure that they lead to improved meaningful outcomes.

Application Procedure

Applicants are selected for the certificate program in the year before beginning their concentration year based on a written statement included in the application for the certificate program, the extent that their personal statement for admission to JACSW reflects an interest in working with children or adolescents, their fall semester field evaluation, grades from their fall semester, and a brief in-person interview. Applicants are rated in each of these areas and decisions about admission are based on these areas and the fit of the applicant with available field placements in child mental health. In addition, applicants are required to be enrolled in the mental health concentration for their concentration year.

Plan of Study

Students admitted into the certificate program complete the following coursework required in the Mental Health concentration:

SocW586 Practice III: Mental Health 3
SocW554 Policy II: Mental Health 3

SocW539 Mental Health Issues with Children and Adolescents*

SocW572, Field Instruction in concentration 8


SocW587, Practice IV: Mental Health 3
Research II: 3
Elective* 3
SocW573, Field Instruction in concentration 8



*A minimum of six credits of electives is required; students are free to take more with advisor approval. SocW539 fulfills one of the required elective courses and is required for students in the certificate program. Students may also—with advisor approval—take independent studies and non-social work courses at UIC (provided they are graduate level and approved by an advisor as relevant to social work). Such classes may also count toward MSW elective credit.

In addition to the Mental Health concentration coursework, students in the certificate program have a field placement in one of several specially selected mental health agencies committed to using evidence-based practice to treat children with mental health issues. Along with their agency-based field supervisors, these students also participate in a series of specialized integrative seminars.

MSW Program