Free Online Writing Course Available for Social Work Students, Professionals

The online course Writing Skills for Child Welfare Social Workers, piloted last fall, is now available free to anyone interested in improving his or her writing skills as a student of social work or as a social work professional. 

To access the course (powered by Canvas), go to:

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The course goals are:

  1. to further knowledge and skill in writing and conducting research as an undergraduate or graduate student of a social work degree program; and
  2. to enable social workers to write effectively as professional child welfare social workers. 

Writing Skills for Child Welfare Social Workers is split into two sections paralleling its goals; one addresses academic writing and the other addresses professional writing:

  1. The first section focuses on college-level writing skills—English writing and grammar in Module A, and academic writing processes and skills in Module B.  
  2. The second series of modules focuses on the types of documents child welfare social workers produce and the skills required to write effectively write those documents:

Module 1—Professional Writing for Child Welfare: Overview and Approach
Module 2—Writing Effective Case Notes
Module 3—Writing Investigation Narratives
Module 4—Writing Case Plans
Module 5—Writing Court Reports

Learners may move through the content at their own pace and non-sequentially. NOTE: Because this version is free and open to any user, the assignment/discussion/assessment features are not functioning, but the course still offers ample opportunity for learners to improve professional writing skills.     

The course was developed by CalSWEC, together with staff from the Title IV-E universities, public child welfare agencies throughout California, and the Regional Training Academies.

It was piloted in Fall 2014 by about 100 at the California State Universities at FresnoHumboldtSan BernardinoSan Jose, and Stanislaus. The students represented a mix of undergraduate and graduate students, part-time and full-time students, Title IV-E and non-title IV-E students, and current child welfare workers.  

For more information, please contact