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Certificate in Family Practice

The Tulane School of Social Work offers one of only a handful of family practice certificate programs in the United States.  Our program involves a rigorous combination of coursework, family practice-related field placements, and a family-based professional project.  This program, affiliated with and funded by the Porter-Cason Institute, was developed as a result of a large private contribution from a Tulane MSW alumnus for the purpose of training advanced family practitioners.  This gift helps us to fund lectures from local and national experts as well as advanced training of counselors in our community, many of whom will be supervising you in your field placements.   Many of these resources will represent an exciting integral part of your unique training.

Click here for the Program Curriculum

Increased Skills and Knowledge
Acquiring a Certificate in Family Practice represents an important addition to your social work education. As part of your training, you will gain state-of-the-art expertise in various types of family intervention including Structural, Narrative, Cognitive-behavioral, Multisystemic, Collaborative, Emotionally Focused and Functional Family Therapy. The Family Resiliency Approach and MECA model will help you to empower and strengthen families with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.  Role plays will represent an important tool to practice new skills and to receive guidance from instructors though careful feedback. Lectures and demonstrations by family therapy experts will present innovative practices to expand your repertoire of treatment approaches.  Most assignments require that you infuse family content.  With the addition of required coursework in family practice and family related fields, the certificate provides an intensive comprehensive and unique learning experience.

Exciting, Fun & Marketable
Last, but certainly not least, the Certificate in Family Practice offers an addition to your educational experience that is exciting, fun and marketable.  Attending special workshops or trainings in evidence-based family practice technologies will be intellectually stimulating and offer new ways to address treatment challenges.  Learning from the national experts who write the actual articles and books you read in class is not only entertaining, but can provide interesting insights and deeper understanding not offered in other educational experiences.  Tulane’s Family Practice Certificate program not only gives you unique and exciting resources for learning not offered in other certificate programs; but, it will position you for increased career opportunities and job satisfaction in a fast-growing field

Advantages of the Certificate in Family Practice
Developing skills in family practice provides a critical edge in working with all clients.  The basic building blocks of a client’s belief system and behavior come from the context of the family in which they live.  As a result, interventions involving the family not only access the core elements that may have caused or serve to maintain the client’s problems; but, provides the counselor greater resources through the involvement of family members to bring about change.   It is therefore not surprising that countless studies support the effectiveness of family practice in a variety of areas (e.g., adolescent and adult substance abuse, major mental illness, disorders of attachment, child maltreatment, developmental transitions, and many more).

Admissions Process

This certificate is earned concurrently with your MSW degree. Students must be accepted into the MSW program through the regular School of Social Work admissions process to qualify for the certificate. Below is a detail description of the admissions process or you can contact Parker Sternbergh, Assistant Director of the Porter-Cason Institute, at (504) 862-3475 at for more information.

  1. Students will check a box in the admissions material indicating interest in the program.  Those accepted to the MSW program, and expressing interest will complete a more detailed questionnaire to better match student interest with opportunities in the program.
  2. Early in the fall semester, students will be invited to attend a meeting where the program will be described.   Students will have an opportunity to ask questions and program administrators will have an opportunity to get better acquainted with interested students.   
  3. Shortly after that meeting, students will be interviewed.  That along with their admissions information and additional questions will be used to select students for the certificate program. Those accepted will begin the program early in the first semester.


Tulane School of Social Work, 127 Elk Place, New Orleans, La. 70112  1-800-631-8234