2022-2023 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Certificate in Child Homelessness Studies

Many children who have experienced homelessness have also experienced trauma. Traumatic experiences take many forms and can have a lasting impact on a child’s development. Witnessing or enduring acts of violence, living through multiple transitions in terms of residence or caregivers, and issues related to poverty and stress create conditions that require specific skill sets for professionals who work with children. The Lesley University faculty recognized this need and created a certificate program that integrates theory and practice. The curriculum addresses the structural origins of homelessness, the critical issues that support and sustain parental resiliency, the vital role of play and reading in infant and toddler development, and the neuroscience that underlies child development. This curriculum comprises the first Child Homelessness Studies Certificate offered in the United States.

The Child Homelessness Studies certificate is a 15 credit program designed to provide students with a multi-disciplinary understanding of the origins and nature of child homelessness. Students will also become knowledgeable regarding common intervention strategies for children and families in transition, from trauma-focused psychological approaches and case management, to housing and shelter initiatives, as well as policy-level advocacy.  This certificate is designed to prepare undergraduate students for future employment in settings that specifically address child homelessness, as well as work with children across settings, where homelessness may otherwise go unrecognized. The certificate also prepares students for graduate study in fields that are germane to the epidemic of child homelessness.

The Child Homelessness Studies certificate is comprised of five courses that ensure a solid grounding in topics essential to understanding and addressing child homelessness and child development in a holistic sense. It is recommended that students take CPSYC 2402 and CPSYC 2421 first as the foundational courses for the certificate.

CPSYC 2421 Introduction to Counseling

CPSYC 2402 Child Homelessness

CPSYC 3407 Critical Issues in Infancy

CPSYC 3422 Trauma and Crisis

CSOCS 3050 Parenting Resilience