Brandeis University

Heller School for Social Policy & Management (Institute for Child, Youth & Family Policy)
Last Updated

The Children, Youth, and Families concentration prepares students for challenging careers developing research and policy that maximize the potential of children, youth, and families. Changes in the structure and function of households and in the dynamics of neighborhoods, schools and the workforce are just a few of the issues facing families today. In order to influence policies in this area, professionals must understand the fundamentals of human development, the dramatic social, political and economic changes affecting family and community life, and new directions in system and program design. This requires knowledge of relevant theory and practice in the areas of demography, health, education, and social services. The concentration in Children, Youth, and Families addresses the broad spectrum of American policies that affect human development. Graduates of the program assume roles as policy analysts, researchers, educators, program planners, and advocates. The concentration helps students achieve their goals through mentoring and advising, formal courses, colloquia, research responsibilities, and interaction with faculty.Like the other concentrations, the concentration in Children, Youth, and Families builds on the theoretical grounding in economics, political science, and sociology, as well as skills in both qualitative and quantitative research, required by the PhD program of study.  The goal of the CYF concentration is to prepare students for careers in university teaching and research, government agencies, and other research and service settings where, as graduates, they will frame new questions and bring their knowledge and analytical skills to bear on social programs and policies related to human development and family functioning.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Dolores Acevedo-Garcia
Campus Enrollment
5,400
Program Options
  • Master’s
  • Doctoral
Areas of Study
  • Child or Adolescent Science/Studies - Master's
  • Family Science/Studies - Master's
Department Address

415 South Street
MS 035
Waltham, MA 02453-2728
United States

Phone Number
781-736-3820
Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Dolores Acevedo-Garcia
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Research Methods
  • Applied Regression Analysis
  • Ethical Issues in Social Science Research
  • Applied Research Seminar - Quantitative
  • Applied Research Seminar - Qualitative
  • Qualitative Research
  • Applied Econometrics
  • Survey Research Methods
  • Evaluation Research
  • Advanced Econometrics
  • Children, Youth, and Families: Problems, Policies and Programs
  • National and International Perspectives on Youth Policies and Programs
  • Child-Related Policies in the United States
  • Economic Theory and Social Policy
  • Policy and Program Implementation
  • Organizational Theory
  • Inequalities, Social Policy, and Population Groups
  • Introduction to STATA Programming and Data Management
  • Theory of Social Policy
  • Social Experimentation in Child, Youth and Family Policymaking
  • Child, Youth, and Family Poverty, Research and Policy
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in Human Services Research
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • MPP: Children, Youth and Families
Masters Comments

The Children, Youth, and Families (CYF) policy concentration prepares graduates for a wide variety of leadership roles in organizations that foster the healthy development of children, youth, and families. CYF students acquire technical skills through rigorous preparation in core management concepts, tools, and applications for use in government, not-for-profit and private-sector organizations. The curriculum combines theory and practice to ensure that graduates bring scholarly knowledge to bear on real-world problems.

Doctoral Level
Doctoral Program Options
  • Social Policy
Doctoral Comments

The concentration in policies and programs for children, youth, and families (CYF) addresses the broad spectrum of American policies that affect human development and adaptation. The goal of the CYF concentration is to prepare students for careers in university teaching and research, government agencies, and other research and service settings where they will frame new questions and bring their knowledge and analytical skills to bear on social programs and policies related to human development and family functioning. Enrollment/graduation figures above refer only to students in Children, Youth and Families concentration. Applicant information includes all applicants to Heller doctoral program.

CFLE Information

NCFR recognizes schools offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs with course work that follows the Standards and Criteria required for approval as a Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE). NCFR approval allows the school to offer their graduates the opportunity to apply for Provisional Certification using the Abbreviated Application process. The CFLE Checklist represents the courses that meet the CFLE criteria at that school. Students must complete all the courses on a checklist in order to qualify to apply for the CFLE designation through the Abbreviated Application process.