Child and Family Placements

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Child and Family Placements

These following list represents placements the CalSWEC program has used in the past, although agencies may change from year to year. Students are placed in their first year placement by a field education team. The second year placement is chosen by the student and field liaison after an interview process.

Return to main CalSWEC Public Child Welfare page.

Nonprofit Agencies

Public Child Welfare Agencies

About Agency Placements

The Department of Social Welfare typically places first-year CalSWEC students in the nonprofit agencies listed below.  Typically, the second-year placement is used for the public child welfare agency placement. Sometimes the Department reverses this typical plan -- for good cause. An example will illustrate this point. Second year students are able to select a concentration: social work with individuals, families, and groups (aka micro-practice), or social work with organizations, communities, and policies (aka macro-practice). The field placement must companion the concentration choice. Thus, we have a range of micro and macro field placements available.

When we have experienced a shortage of second year students who choose a micro concentration, we have selected two or three first year students to fill the micro placement slots at the public child welfare agency’s CalSWEC student/unit. Essentially, this reverses the typical process, so it warrants explanation. Whenever we select first year students for this reversal, we attempt to select the most experienced students. All first year placements are considered to be generic; the emphasis is on direct (micro) practice. Students are required to complete a macro (advocacy, administrative, etc.) project in the first year. It appears that all of our placements would qualify for the snapshots examples of direct service. In the description below the acronym, DCFS, is used to describe the local public child welfare agency.  Back to top.

Nonprofit Agencies

El Nido (Carson) - This satellite program of the El Nido Family Service Network is a strong example of a small community counseling program that has a significant impact on the area in which services are provided. In addition to providing child, adolescent and family out-patient services, this program has been a leader and innovator in developing specialized groups that operate in the local schools.  Back to top.

Aviva Center Counseling Services - This program provides in-home support, parenting, and counseling services to children, adolescents, parents and foster parents of kids being provided with intervention through the LA County Department of Children and Family Services. In addition, services are provided at the schools for certain children and/or at vocational sites for teens in after-school programs for high risk youth. Aviva Center spent a considerable period of time developing a model for preparing the first year student to eventually deliver services in the homes and schools of child welfare children and families provided with support, educational, and counseling services. This model involved teaming students with assessment, case-management and therapeutic staff of cases and eventually providing students with primary case-management and therapy roles. Students also participated in developing a group for high risk adolescents as a part of their job corps program. In addition, the students interacted with DCFS case workers and other providers on each case and did several reports with recommendations about visitation, therapy, and custody for the DCFS workers to use as documentation for their own comprehensive recommendations in their court reports.  Back to top.

San Fernando Child Guidance Center
- This is a full service child guidance clinic that provides a variety of out-patient and day-treatment assessment and intervention services to children, adolescents, and their families in the clinic and in the surrounding local schools. Our students have participated in the provision of services both in the clinic and in the schools. They have participated in the development of specialized groups for children in the school that are designed to meet the needs of the SED children referred for services. Our students have also participated in the development of an innovative model for delivering specific case management services to the children and adolescents being seen at the clinic. Often these kids and their families need education, support, and linkage to resources that exceed the treating clinician’s ability to provide in a timely manner.


Domestic Abuse Center - Located in the San Fernando Valley, this program has received many accolades from local legislators and citizen organizations. The center provides advocacy, therapeutic intervention services, and parenting classes for victims of domestic violence and their children. Students placed here will also carry a few cases at an affiliated residential domestic violence shelter. This placement calls for a mature student who can manage a flexible schedule. Students are offered the opportunity to "ride along" with LAPD officers who respond to domestic violence calls. The officer is responsible for "secuing the scene" and once that is achieved, students are able to interact with the domestic violence victim and children offering them crisis intervention services and referrals to additional services. The field instructor operates as a clinician/activist/advocate and teaches the student all of those roles.  Back to top.

Long Beach Child and Adolescent DMH
- This program provides crisis intervention and on-going therapeutic services to children and adolescents who are identified as struggling with serious emotional problems, often emotional problems that will be a part of their experience throughout their lives. In addition, these children and adolescents are growing up in an ethnically diverse and impoverished area of Long Beach, frequently in homes where substance abuse, unemployment, and complicated immigration and naturalization issues are present. Our students have an opportunity to develop assessment and intervention skills with these children and families that involve a full range of out-patient options, day-treatment services, and case-management and multi-disciplinary team collaboration. Students have also participated in the development of specialized groups and resource materials for the clinic population.  Back to top.

Foothill Family Service - This program maintains a child, adolescent, adult, marital and family outpatient program. In addition, this Family Service agency realized many years ago that it was critical to continue to evaluate and to develop programs relevant to the changing community. The CalSWEC students participate in developing and providing different individual and group services to children in the local schools. Our students have been critical to developing specialized community outreach to the mono-lingual Hispanic community and they have contributed to the development and implementation of a ‘Family Safe’ and ‘Dinners on the Table’ programs to assist both parents and children at risk of future difficulties and placement. This is accomplished through a supportive model of intervention which combines education, communication and problem solving skills, learning from peers, mentoring, and preventive services for multiple family groups that often involve families with three or more generations participating at one time.  Back to top.

Edelman Community Mental Health Clinic, Los Angeles County DMH; Harbor/UCLA Department of Psychiatry, Los Angeles County DMH - This program contains services for Adults with persistent and chronic mental illness, those with dual diagnosis, parents and children who are a part of the CALWORKS intervention programs in Los Angeles County, and children and teens with serious acute and chronic mental illnesses. Interns within this program develop many important assessment and interventions skills with both adults and children who are at risk for or who have been in placements of various kinds and who struggle with mental illness, substance abuse, and are exposed to and suffer from the effects of family violence. Students develop clinical practice skills, case management, collaboration, program development and evaluation skills in addition to doing community outreach.  Back to top.

Long Beach Asian Clinic Services, Los Angeles County DMH; Coastal Asian Community Mental Health Center, LA County DMH - This clinic serves a number of Asian immigrant and non-immigrant groups that live and work in the surrounding community. It is a facility that was developed by the county to house a number of professional and community workers with specialized knowledge and language skills. There are workers who speak Lao, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese and share other language and cultural experiences with the clients served. In addition to having a family member with a severe and persistent chronic mental illness, the families that attend the clinic are often from war-tom countries and a part of refugee groups who have been subjected to torture, witness to mass murders, and who have lost their connections to family, work, and homeland that is core to their self identity and sense of community. Our students become involved in all aspects of traditional and innovative community outreach services.  Back to top.

Kaiser Permanente Watts Counseling and Learning Center
- At Kaiser Watts, students are able to become immersed in the provision of traditional and innovative services to children, adolescents, emancipating minors, adults, and families. At the same time, our students are able to see and participate in the many challenges that lie in maintaining a relevant community service under the umbrella of a large HMO administration. Students have participated in developing community outreach services and in providing resource guides and information that supports the centers attempts to define itself within the parent organization.  Back to top.

Options for Recovery Harbor UCLA - Rehabilitative Substance Abusing Mothers Program that began as a Pilot-Demonstration Project through the state. The success of this program in helping mothers reach and attain sobriety so that their children can remain in their care has lead to the county continuing to fund this and other such programs. Our students provide individual counseling to several mothers, and develop and participate in the full range of educational, supportive, and rehabilitative substance abuse groups that occur in this day-long habilitative program. Students are also able to observe and intervene with the children who are on the same site in day care.  Back to top.

Venice Family Clinic - In this facility, our students become a part of the social service program of a family health center. As a result, they participate in evaluation, brief treatment, longer term interventions, and in the development and implementation of educational and support groups. Students see a range of child, adolescent, and adult living and emotional stressors often related to a primary health concern. Our students often work with bi-lingual or mono-lingual pregnant Hispanic mothers-to-be. As a result of some of the needs that have arisen in this work, over the last several years our students have participated with another staff member in the development of literature and services for Spanish speaking women who are the victims of spousal battery.


Project Impact - This agency contains a juvenile diversion program which provides an opportunity for students to run prevention groups at schools and the agency. Project Impact is also a "hub" for the Family Preservation Program, hence students placed here come to understand how this large community treatment program is administered. Students participate in providing services to the juvenile diversion teens and their families, they also work with the parents and children in the Family Preservation program. In addition the students assist with the development of program services and grant applications for both programs.  Back to top.

Public Child Welfare Agencies
(Typically students are placed in their public child welfare placement in their second year.)


Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services

CalSWEC Student Unit: This unit is specially designed to give our students a variety of learning experiences with all the "generic" services offered: ER, FM, FR and PP. Students work with children’s social workers who become their preceptors. They receive individual supervision from the unit supervisor. They provide direct case management services and complete a macro project. Students are expected to provide advocacy and referral services to/for clients. Efforts are made to provide a range of ethnicities and age levels in client assignments.

Foster Family Agency Management: The student placed here learns macro practice skills in managing the issues that present when a public agency contracts with nonprofit community agencies to run their own foster homes. Student reviews contract compliance, proposal, outreach and training issues.

IV-E Waiver/Compliance Unit: The student placed here becomes acquainted with the process the agency uses to secure a waiver from IV-E regulations as well as how the agency insures compliance with IV-E requirements. Student is also involved in research (e.g., recent time study on caseload issues).

Region IV Headquarters: The student(s) placed with this administrator learn a variety of macro and micro skills ranging from accompanying the administrator to high-level community meetings (e.g., child death review) and studying various management styles and practices to providing direct FM or FR case management services.

Training: This unit provides experienced students with an opportunity to conduct a needs assessment and develop and deliver a training to a segment of public child welfare workers. Students are also required to make recommendations to training managers about modifying current in-service trainings offered experienced workers. Some trainers have a specific interest in areas such as domestic violence; students placed with these trainers have a unique opportunity to prepare and deliver curriculum for this specialized area.

Adoptions: This unit prepares a student for all phases of direct practice adoption work. Student manages several types of cases and follows an adoption from inception to the final hearing.

Policy Bureau: This unit prepares students for understanding the agency’s process for writing and revising policies. Students conduct research, analyze legislation and evaluate options. They are required to draft a policy bulletin.  Back to top.


Orange County Social Service Agency

Adoptions: This unit prepares a student to understand all phases of direct practice adoption work. Students follow an adoption for the length of their placement, performing all direct and indirect services required of a case-caring worker.

Medical Placement Unit: Students in this unit carry cases of medically fragile children who understandably have special needs.

Healthy Start Unit: Student in this unit provide largely prevention work, diverting children from the public child welfare system while providing direct and referral services. For this reason, cases from Emergency Response, Family Maintenance, Family Reunification, and Permanency Planning (these are the four main services provided by any public child welfare agency in the state of California) are selectively added to this experience.

Program Development Unit: Students in this unit work on assignments to develop new programs/responses for organizational needs. They are responsible for searching out and following legislation that might provide additional resources to the agency. Once a program is developed, they collaborate with a team on implementation and marketing. As with the above placement, students here must also carry a few client cases to enable them to understand the issues associated with carrying a caseload as an entry-level child social worker.

CWS-CMS Compliance: A student in this function conducts research on how workers are utilizing this statewide computerized information system. The student also provides feedback to the manager, recommending modifications and conducts, additional one-to-one training, etc. Students placed here have also had a preceptorship in another unit in order to have the direct case management experience.  Back to top.

Note: Placements are made available in San Bernardino and Ventura Counties when students request them.

Return to main CalSWEC Public Child Welfare page.