Tear Down Those Walls: The Future of Graduate Education in Child and Family Advocacy

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The future of graduate education in child welfare requires specialized advanced degrees that are defined by interprofessional training and education. Disrupting the current silos in graduate education will result in a workforce able to integrate knowledge across disciplines with the ultimate goals of ending child abuse and neglect and improving outcomes for families. Although there are numerous challenges to implementing interprofessional education (IPE) in this context, research and existing programs highlight the potential for comprehensive reform of current practice and education. The authors describe a university-community partnership model for a master’s degree program in child and family advocacy that exemplifies the opportunities and value of IPE. In so doing, they articulate an approach for addressing historical barriers from academia and professional disciplines to disrupt traditional structures and move towards a twenty-first century model of workforce development that best serves the needs of vulnerable, high-risk families.

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International Journal of Child Maltreatment Research Policy and Practice