Counseling Children, Adolescents, and Their Families – CEFS 620

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 05/20/2022

Course Description

This course examines the developmental and psychological needs and problems of children, to include the transition to adolescence. Coursework emphasizes parenting, family, social, spiritual/moral, and physical issues. Counseling theories and evidence-based interventions provide foundational skills for working with children, adolescents, parents, and their families. This course will also address the impact of crisis and trauma events on children and families.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The purpose of this course is to help the student develop an awareness of theories about adolescence and ways in which individual and family counseling can be helpful during the developmental process.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

A. Describe and discuss risk and protective factors related to development of risk for children and adolescents, using the Ecological Model.

B. Assess the needs of children and adolescents from a developmental perspective and in a manner that considers all systems within the Ecological Model.

C. Demonstrate competence in legal and ethical issues related to counseling children and adolescents.

D. Develop a framework of effective interventions from which the most appropriate application for specific issues related to at-risk children and adolescents can be made.

E. Describe and apply counseling processes, techniques, and resources available to the counselor working with at-risk children and adolescents.

F. Analyze the efficacy of specific interventions, based on individual and group needs.

This course presents a model for understanding at-risk child and adolescent counseling issues, through a framework of interrelated systems of influence on the individual. The Ecological Model considers both risk and protective factors present from birth, through childhood, and during the transition to adolescence, including family, social, cognitive, spiritual/moral, and physical issues. Empirically supported educational, psychological, and counseling interventions will be presented to best serve children, adolescents, and their families.

CEFS 620 Course Syllabus Outcomes

The student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ecology of problems for at-risk children and adolescents.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the influence of family, schools, and skills on risk for children and adolescents.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of at-risk categories.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of prevention, intervention, and treatment approaches for at-risk children and adolescents.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the process of counseling children and adolescents.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of crisis intervention, mandated reporting, and ethical issues when working with children and adolescents.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview. 

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be at least 400 words. Each thread must also be supported with at least 3 peer-reviewed, scholarly sources cited in current APA format. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to at least 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words. Each reply must also be supported with at least 1 peer-reviewed, scholarly source cited in current APA format. Sources must be no older than 5 years.

Analysis Paper Assignments (2)

The student is required to complete 2 analysis papers. Each paper must be 3–5 pages and must be supported by at least 4 peer-reviewed scholarly sources (no older than 5 years) in current APA format.

Integrative Project Paper Assignment

Integrative Project Paper: Part 1 – Topic Approval Assignment

The student will provide a 1-paragraph summary of the topic chosen from the list provided.

Integrative Project Paper: Part 2 – Annotated Bibliography Assignment

The student will provide at least 10 annotated references (less than 5 years old) for the approved topic. Each reference must be written in current APA format and include a summary paragraph.

Integrative Project Paper: Part 3 – First Draft Assignment

The first draft will contain an outline for the paper, using the required content areas, as well as at least 1 paragraph for each section of the paper. This must be completed in current APA format.

Integrative Project Paper: Part 4 – Title Page, Abstract, and Reference Page Assignment

The title page, abstract, and reference page will be submitted in current APA format. The abstract must be 150–250 words. The reference page must include at least 10 peer-reviewed, scholarly sources less than 5 years old.

Integrative Project Paper: Part 5 – Final Draft Assignment

The student will complete a 8–10-page final project paper that will integrate all knowledge gained from the course. The project will be based upon 1 of the given topics located within the course. Each student must use a minimum of 10 peer-reviewed journal articles no older than 5 years and adhere to current APA format.

Quizzes (7)

The student will take 7 quizzes based on the Learn section for the assigned modules. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice questions, and have a time limit of 3 hours.