Child Protection Certificate Program

The Harvard François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights offers Harvard graduate students the opportunity to obtain a certificate in child protection. This interdisciplinary qualification is open to students from any Harvard graduate school.

Child protection work aims to prevent, respond to, and resolve abuse, neglect, exploitation, and violence experienced by children in domestic and international settings. It requires an interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral approach that encompasses work in health, education, social service, public policy, and law enforcement to advance the protection of children and involves collaborating with a wide range of partners across government and within civil society, communities, and families.

The certificate program incorporates ongoing child protection research and practice grounded in field-based realities and takes into account the expertise of UNICEF, a university-wide faculty steering committee, and external child protection experts.

With this comprehensive graduate-level training, certificate recipients will be better equipped to:

  • Identify relevant social, economic, legal, and cultural issues affecting the protection of children,
  • Build a stronger child protection evidence base by engaging in more rigorous research, monitoring, evaluation, and use of data,
  • Understand the multiple interactions at policy, community, family, and individual levels needed to create a protective environment for children,
  • Gain the competencies to develop the cross-sectoral partnerships necessary to a holistic child protection system.

CPC 2019-2020

Applications for the 2019-2020 academic year can be found here. Please be aware that some courses may change as the 2019-2020 academic calendar becomes finalized; we also anticipate adding some new qualifying courses.  However, the information below should provide prospective participants an overview of the program and can be used for the statement of intent  and your planning purposes.

Take a look at the 2019-2020 brochure for the Child Protection Certificate Program for Harvard graduate students.

The CPC Curriculum 

The curriculum is composed of courses selected from across Harvard’s graduate programs and covers five domains of child protection:


  • Law and Policy
  • Systems Capacity and Integration
  • Data/Statistics
  • Birth Registration


  • Protection from Violence, Exploitation, Abuse, Neglect
  • Protection in Emergencies
  • Impact of Violence on Children


  • Children in Conflict with the Law: Detention/Diversion
  • Children in Contact with the Law: Family Court; Foster Care; Criminal Witness


  • Social Protection
  • Social Inclusion/Non-Discrimination
  • Cultural and Social Norms/Social Change


  • Leadership
  • Negotiation
  • Advocacy

Child Protection Certificate Requirements

Participation in a one-semester, non-credit child protection seminar.

The mandatory seminar will be offered in the spring 2020 semester. It will enable candidates to consolidate their understanding of the child protection field in both the domestic and international arenas through exchange with invited expert speakers and mentorship by senior child protection practitioners. Students will be encouraged to share their own child protection research and experience and engage with their peers.

Completion of 12 credits selected from CPC course offerings in at least three of the curriculum’s five domains.

The child protection foundational courses count as one of the domains required to qualify for the certificate.

CPC Application and Approval Process

Application: Program candidates are required to complete a short application, consisting of an essay and a proposed list of qualifying CPC courses.

Applications will be reviewed by the FXB Child Protection Certificate Program Director, in consultation with the faculty steering committee. The program has an annual limit of 30 students. We are accepting applications now and will notify applicants of their status at the beginning of the semester.

Approval: Prior to graduation, candidates will submit an approval request, detailing their completion of the requirements and providing a statement assessing their program of study. The program director and committee will review these requests against the student’s transcripts. Approved candidates will be invited to attend the program’s annual spring awards ceremony, where they will receive their certificates, successfully marking completion of the program.

Child Protection Certificate Program Courses

(the below course information will updated as more information is available for 2019-2020; note that the direct links to each course work best with your Harvard log-in)

Foundational Course: Covers Three or More Child Protection Domains

GHP 553: Human Rights Dilemmas in Child Protection (also offered as IGA 342M) | Jacqueline Bhabha  | This course is not required, but if taken, candidates may apply the credits towards domain A, B or C (below) as needed.

A. Child Protection Systems

SBS222: Social Services for Children, Adolescent & Families | Peter Maramaldi and Dana Prescott

SBS201: Society and Health | Ichiro Kawachi

A-612: Organizing: People, Power, Change (also offered as MLD-377) | Marshall Ganz

GHP231: Sexual and Reproductive Health A Global Perspective | Ana Langer

IGA-385: Strategizing for Human Rights: Moving from Ideals to Practice | Doug Johnson

SBS 246: Maternal and Child Health: Programs and Policies | Henning Tiemeier

SBS 281: Principles of Social and Behavioral Research | Laura Kubzansky

SBS 220: Society and its Effects on Child Health | Ronald Samuels

EDU H517: Contemporary Immigration Policy and Educational Practice | Roberto Gonzales

SUP 427: Analyzing Education Policy (also offered as EDU A-142) | Michela Carlana

HLS: Children’s Rights | James Dwyer

B. Violence Against Children

EDU A816: Education in Armed Conflict (also offered as EMR 129) | Sarah D. Peterson

ID 205: Societal Response to Disaster and War | Jennifer Leaning, Satchit Balsari

HDS 3334 Religion, Conflict, and Peace in the Contemporary Middle East | Diane Moore

GHP 515: International Humanitarian Response 1* | Stephanie Kayden, Gregory Gottlieb

GHP 518: International Humanitarian Response 2* | Stephanie Kayden, Gregory Gottlieb

IGA-351M: Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery | Siddharth Kara

ID240: Principles of Injury Control | David Hemenway

GHP553: Human Rights Dilemmas in Child Protection (also offered as IGA 342M) | Jacqueline Bhabha

IGA-229 Sex, Violence & Global Politics | Dara Cohen

EDU 310M: Establishing Loving Spaces for Learning Preventing Bullying and Discrimination in U.S. Schools | Gretchen Brion-Meisels

C. Justice For Children

IGA-344M: International Perspectives on Justice for Children (also offered as GHP 511) | Cecile Aptel

A203: Educational Justice | Meira Levinson

HLS Child Advocacy: Child Welfare, Education & Juvenile Justice Clinical Seminar | Crisanne Hazen

EDU T416: Transformative Justice: From Classroom to Cellblock to Community | Kaia Stern

HLS Emerging Issues in Refugee Protection: The Representation of Child Asylum Seekers | Nancy Kelly, John Willshire

HLS Gender Violence, Law and Social Justice | Diane Rosenfeld

D. Social Change/Family Strengthening

SUP 470: Strategies and Policies for Education Excellence with Equity (also offered as EDU A108) | Ronald Ferguson

SBS 212: Developmental Disabilities I: Evaluation, Assessment and Systems* | David Helm

SBS 214: Developmental Disabilities II: Value, Policy and Change* | David Helm

HDS 3335 Learning in Context: Narratives of Displacement and Belonging in Israel and the West Bank* | Dianne Moore

HDS 3336 Religion, Conflict, and Peace Internship Seminar* | Dianne Moore

EDU H311 Issues of Diversity in Cross-Cultural Counseling and Advocacy | Josephine Kim

GHP 288: Issues in Health and Human Rights | Stephen Marks

EDU T312: Establishing Loving Spaces for Learning:Nurturing Gender & Sexual Identity Development in US Schools | Gretchen Brion-Meisels

HLS The Art of Social Change | Elizabeth Bartholet, Crisanne Hazen

EDU-H392 The Challenges Kids Face: Developmental, Cultural & Contextual Perspectives on Risk & Resilience | Holly Lem

E. Child Protection Leadership Tools


MLD 201: Exercising Leadership: The Politics of Change | Farayi Chipungu, Timothy O’Brien, Hugh O’Doherty

MLD-602: Performance Leadership: Producing Results in Public and Nonprofit Agencies | Robert Behn

MLD 102: Getting Things Done:  Management in a Development Context | Matt Andrews

MLD 103: PDIA in Action: Development Through Facilitated Emergence | Matt Andrews

EDU L104AY: Practicing Leadership Inside & Out | Lisa Lahey

EDU 387Y: Child Advocacy Seminar | Katherine Ginnis


EDU A501: Negotiation* | Deborah Goldstein, Todd Gillien

HPM 252: Negotiation | Linda Kaboolian

MLD-220M: Fundamentals of Negotiation | Brian Mandell

MLD-224: Behavioral Science of Negotiations | Julie Minson

MLD-222: Negotiation Analysis | Kessely Hong


SBS 245: Social and Behavioral Research Methods | Steve Gortmaker, Erica Kenney

DPI 535: Making Change When Change is Hard: the Law, Politics, and Policy of Social Change | Samantha Power, Cass Sunstein

DPI 892: Strategic Communication for Policy Change: Practical Strategies for Influencing a Better World*| Andy Burness

EDU S501: Partnering with Youth in Educational Research and Practice | Gretchen Brion-Meisels

SUP 450: The Consequences of Educational Policy Interventions in Developing Countries | Felipe Barrera-Osorio

HLS: Special Education Advocacy for Students Impacted by Trauma | Michael Gregory

*Cross registration by permission of professor only.

Note:  In order to qualify for the CPC courses must be taken for-credit. | Regular Harvard course cross-registration and enrollment processes apply for all CPC courses.