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Standard 2

Laws Pertaining to Child Welfare and Attendance

Candidates demonstrate knowledge and application of laws related to child welfare and attendance as found in the California Education Code, California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Welfare & Institutions Code, Penal Code, local and civil ordinances and relevant federal and state laws relating to pupil records, confidentiality, the custody, registration, attendance and education of minors, including suspension, expulsion and due process.


PPS credential candidates seeking the additional specialization in Child Welfare and Attendance must demonstrate knowledge and application of the laws governing child welfare and attendance. All of the specialized knowledge and skills to meet this requirement are provided through course work in the MSW and PPS program. Matrix 2-1 illustrates the specific content and the MSW courses which provide it.

Knowledge of laws related to child welfare and attendance

The foundation knowledge base regarding social and educational policies, including compulsory attendance and the rights of minors, is provided in the policy sequence of the MSW and PPS program. Social Welfare Policy I (S Wrk 200) introduces students to the philosophical and historical foundations of the social work profession and promotes knowledge and understanding of the policies, programs, services and processes within social welfare, including public education. Social Welfare Policy II (S Wrk 203) emphasizes the analysis of major social welfare policies and programs with attention to social, political, economic, cultural and ideological factors. For example, see course content on Policy Analysis.

The specialized knowledge base for practice in the schools regarding attendance laws, child welfare, and the rights of minors, is provided in S Wrk 274, Advanced Social Work Practice in Schools I. There is a thorough examination of the laws that govern compulsory school attendance (see week 9 on Attendance).Candidates develop understanding of enrollment policies and the management of situations such as foster care, child custody and institutional placements (i.e. hospitals, group homes). State education codes for compulsory attendance are presented with attention to the range of alternatives which are available: exemptions; exclusions; tutoring; private school; suspension and expulsion. Legal parameters which impact attendance are also addressed. These include state and federal laws pertaining to student discipline proceedings, the right to due process, child labor, child abuse reporting and protection, child custody and pupil records, including confidentiality, access to and transfer of those records.

Another aspect of the knowledge base for Child Welfare and Attendance services is an understanding of the state requirements for promotion and retention as well as high school graduation requirements. In S Wrk 274, candidates are provided with handouts of the California Education Code for each of these topics as well as the website for further research of state education policy. Promotion, retention and high school graduation requirements are all addressed in class lectures and discussion. There is a focus on recent policy changes in these areas, such as the high school exit exam, and the practice implications of these changes.

Similarly, the laws which govern due process and discipline are also addressed in S Wrk 274 as part of the unit on Student Rights and Issues.

A pupil’s right to due process as established in Goss v. Lopez is presented in readings and class discussion. State education codes for suspension and expulsion are also presented and discussed, including special circumstances such as students who are categorized as 504 and/or special education.

The laws pertaining to child welfare and attendance are extensive and complex. They are thoroughly reviewed in S Wrk 274 with various opportunities for candidates to demonstrate their understanding and ability to apply the laws. In S Wrk 274, students complete an Attendance Assessment paper based on a pupil from their internship. This assignment requires an understanding of attendance policies in order to accurately identify the problems to be addressed in the provision of CWA services. Students also take a SWrk 274 Final Examwhich demonstrates their understanding of CWA laws. Candidates are also oriented to their responsibility to maintain currency with the law through membership in professional associations and continuing education. S Wrk 203, Advanced Social Welfare Policy II, provides content on the legislative process and involves candidates in policy analysis, lobbying and advocacy. PPS candidates can also enroll in SWrk 204, Social Welfare Policy Advocacy I. This one unit elective course involves active participation in NASW Lobby Days in Sacramento and provides further educational opportunity to practice legislative advocacy. S Wrk 274 also provides information on staying current with CWA policy and understanding the impact of policy changes and the process of implementation. The professional responsibility of monitoring school site and district level compliance with CWA policy is also presented as part of the role of the CWA provider.

Application of laws related to child welfare and attendance

Application of the laws related to child welfare and attendance occurs in the classroom and in the field internship in the schools. Both S Wrk 274 and S Wrk 275 include assignments that demonstrate the application of CWA laws to practice. In S Wrk 274, the Attendance Assessment paper and the final exam require the application of a variety of CWA laws to practice as described above. In S Wrk 275, candidates complete an Integration of PPS Competencies paper which requires the application of CWA law to practice. Students also complete class presentations on at-risk pupil groups and learn about the range of CWA policies and laws that pertain to effective CWA practice with these groups.

The field practicum in the schools, S Wrk 282/283, provides candidates with the opportunity to both learn and to apply knowledge and understanding of the laws governing child welfare and attendance. Candidates complete a learning agreement and a PPS learning agreement addendum each semester. Both outline the minimum assignments to be completed to meet the requirements of the MSW and PPS program. Child Welfare and Attendance requirements are included in the learning agreement addendum and candidates specify the assignments that will be completed to gain proficiency with these requirements. For example, see PPS competency 3, Candidate demonstrates skill in the interpretation and application oflaws and pupil/parent rights which influence education and attendance, including attendance, child labor,child custody, and child abuse reporting.

The practicum experience is supervised by the MSW/PPS field instructor at the school and monitored by the faculty liaison. Typical assignments involve assessment of attendance problems, intervention with pupils, consultation and collaboration regarding attendance problems, participation in multidisciplinary teams such as student study, IEP, 504, and SARB, and advocacy regarding student discipline proceedings. The provision of all of these interventions requires understanding and application of relevant Child Welfare and Attendance laws. Many PPS candidates complete part of their field practicum hours at alternative educational settings such as continuation or community day schools. Thus, they gain first-hand experience with the appropriate use of alternatives to regular school attendance. Candidates are evaluated at the end of each semester of the fieldwork experience on their knowledge and application of policy to practice.

Department of Social Work Education PPS Credential Program








School Social Work


Knowledge of the laws pertaining to California Child Welfare and Attendance

200, 203 204

212, 213

220, 221 224, 225 227,246 247

280,281 282, 283

260, 261 292 298/299

274 275

274 275

Factors to consider:








Knowledge of Child Welfare Attendance laws

200, 203



282, 283




Application of laws related to Child Welfare and Attendance




282, 283



274 275

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