This master's degree program focuses on social therapy in outreach work with children and families. This area is gaining increasing importance in the child and youth services as well as the adjacent areas of health and justice. In order to take care of children as far as possible in their biological families, expertise should be strengthened and consolidated in family education, care and support beforehand and in the context of possible child endangerment. The master's degree program was developed together with and is supported by Municipal Department 11 - Vienna Youth and Family Offices (MAG ELF).
Florian Toifl, BA Nina Šmon, BA Kelsenstraße 2, S.4.20 1030 Wien P: +43 1 606 68 77-3320 F: +43 1 606 68 email@example.com
Map of Kelsenstraße 2 (Google Maps)
Ihre E-Mail wurde versendet
Application period for the academic year 2022/23
15th October 2021 to 30th April 2022
tuition fee / semester:
+ ÖH premium + contribution2
1 Tuition fees for students from third countries € 727,- per semester
2 for additional study expenses (currently up to € 83,- depending on degree program and year)
Ideally you already work in the child and youth services or in an adjacent field. It is particularly important to you to keep the non-family placement of children as short as possible. You wish to take on this responsibility but recognize the need to first acquire additional expertise. It is essential that you already possess excellent communication skills and proficiencies that you can apply when working with adults and children in difficult life situations as well as in interdisciplinary teams. Based on your newfound expertise, you are interested in developing new forms of intervention and applying them in practice.
The degree program was developed together with MAG 11, Vienna Youth and Family Offices and with other experts from social work and social pedagogy. This guarantees a needs-based curriculum and an evidence-based access to research and development. We are closely linked with internship positions and research institutions of social work and social pedagogy and gain outstanding experts from this network as teachers and lecturers. At the interface between research, practice and teaching is the FH Campus Wien Competence Center for Social Work (KOSAR) which merges knowledge and innovation potential. For example, in a large study on behalf of MAG 11, the KOSAR examined the "world of the foster children in postwar Vienna 1955-1970" to historically process the placement of children and youth in foster care. Practical orientation distinguish not only the teaching and research in the degree program, but also the Campus Lectures, a series of events with prominent external experts, that FH Campus Wien regularly invites you to join.
Children and families are increasingly affected by multiple biopsychosocial needs and socially pathological risk factors such as poverty, health risks and the related marginalization. Against this background, socio-therapeutic expertise in outreach work with children and families is essential to deal with complex family dynamics and take care of children as far as possible in the biological families. This degree program is unique in Austria and is intended to strengthen and consolidate expertise in family education, care and support beforehand and in the context of possible child endangerment. The cooperation with MAG ELF, Vienna Youth and Family Offices helps to recognize various practical needs and to use this knowledge for the benefit of children and families. The social therapy begins with the social genesis of needs and enables socio-therapeutic interventions for people with serious socially determined and socially relevant health problems. Thus social relationships, social behavior and social integration should be changed. This requires counseling, intervening, acting socially, promoting and providing support in various settings relevant to everyday life and living environments. The degree program should ultimately contribute to further developing social interventions as well as the techniques, methods and concepts applied in practice.
In order to deal with complex family systems and multiple problems you will learn to recognize and understand family dynamics. For this reason you will explore in particular theories of clinical social work and child and family work.
You will acquire children and family-centered communication methods and specific expertise in forms of soco-therapeutic intervention. In this context, you will examine reconstructive, classificatory and integrative social diagnostic instruments and train your understanding of diagnostic cases. In the social therapy casework you will examine not only the disease, but in particular the resulting consequences in the psychological and social context.
Practical research in social work and practical socio-therapeutic design models play an important role in your education. This makes it necessary to examine quantitative and qualitative research methods of social research.
In this course, developmental and object relationship theories of the first years of life relevant for child- and family-centred social work are presented and their practical relevance is illustrated by means of case studies. Graduates acquire knowledge about children's basic needs, conducive and obstructive developmental conditions as well as developmental impairments and disorders in childhood. A further focus is on conveying central aspects in the counselling of parents in the face of developmental difficulties of their children.
Final exam Final written exam Distance Learning Assignments: Independent study of texts
Lecture and discussion Distance learning assignments: Elaboration of texts
The basic assumptions and principles of systemic counselling and psychoanalytic counselling (dealing with transference and countertransference processes, scenic understanding, facilitating dialogue) are discussed in relation to direct client contact and interdisciplinary cooperation. The focus is on the one hand on the systemic perspective with its view of resources and solutions and on the other hand on the beneficial relationship building with the clients and the development of a sustainable working alliance. In addition, there is an intensive examination of the topic of conflict management. Competences in dealing with complex discussion situations in a multi-person setting (family discussions, helper conferences, etc.) are taught in exercises,.
Continuous assessment Participation in role-playing games Design and recording of a counseling setting in group work Written analysis of the recording
Analysis of videotaped and transcribed conversation situations Exercises in the form of role plays Linking back to theoretical foundations and models
The focus is on imparting knowledge about biopsychosocial models of health and illness (for example salutogenesis, vulnerability-stress model, resilience, capability approach) based on the situation of children of mentally ill parents. Another focus is on the needs and coping strategies of children whose parents are mentally ill, as well as central aspects of social therapeutic work with these children and their parents.
Final exam Final exam
Lecture and discussion
Selected current discourses on psychosocial diagnostics as well as classificatory and psychodynamic classification of children's behavioral problems or symptoms, developmental disorders and educational difficulties are presented. The formation and conditional relationships of typical behavioural problems and (developmental) difficulties in childhood are illuminated (e.g. AD(H)S, enuresis, encopresis, aggressive behaviour,...). A diagnostic process from the initial interview to intervention planning is presented, taking into account central requirements for beneficial and successful diagnostic processes. Another focus is on the design of diagnostic processes in enforcement contexts.
Final exam lecture and discussion Distance learning tasks: practice and reflection
Lecture and discussion Distance learning assignments: Exercise and reflection
In the course, communication and interaction are theoretically located in the context of the social therapeutic counselling process and/or treatment process. Students deal with different understandings of what it means to be a human being and constructions of family (e.g. humanistic, depth psychological, systemic-constructivist) and reflect on their significance for conducting conversations. Another focus is on the basic assumptions and principles of systemic counselling (systems theory, constructivism). Exercises are used to test how to deal with difficult situations in different settings, to expand one's own communication and counselling skills and, in particular, to create an awareness of the significance of one's own experience in discussion situations and one's own attitudes.
Continuous assessment term paper distance learning assignments
Lecture and discussion Group work
The course introduces the "logic" and basic concepts of qualitative social research. The students receive an overview of survey and evaluation methods of qualitative empirical social research. Selected survey instruments and evaluation methods (e.g. topic analysis according to Froschauer/Lueger, content analysis according to Mayring, grounded theory according to Strauss, narrative analysis according to Schütze, documentary interpretation according to Bohnsack, structural hermeneutics according to Oevermann, depth hermeneutics according to Lorenzer) are introduced or taught in a practice-oriented manner using relevant examples.
Final exam planning, implementation and documentation of an empirical survey as part of a project work distance learning assignments
Lecture and discussion Presentations, text work and group work Distance learning assignments: Practice and reflection
Students are taught basic knowledge of common quantitative survey methods, in particular standardised written surveys (questionnaires). They learn to distinguish between good and bad questionnaires (quality criteria) and to plan and conduct their own quantitative surveys. Furthermore, descriptive statistical methods for the presentation and processing of data, such as measures of location and dispersion, contingency tables are worked on. Subsequently, students are taught the elementary methods of inferential statistics, such as correlation and significance tests, and their correct interpretation.
Final exam final exam distance learning assignments
Lecture and group work Research-based learning Evaluation of case studies in SPSS
Basic knowledge of attachment theory Introduction to the assessment and support of parent-child relationships in early childhood Differentiation of interaction patterns and their consequences for the accompanying work Introduction to the diagnosis and treatment of early childhood regulation disorders. Introduction to early relationship assessments (CARE Index & Strange Situation Procedure)
Continuous assessment Written exam with basic questions on the provided texts and themes and reflection on a video example
Theory input Group work Video analyses
The focus is the discussion and reflection on the applicability of psychosocial, diagnostic instruments. Their practice-oriented application is tested using case studies. Life situation diagnostics, network diagnostics, biographical diagnostics and much more are presented and their handling and interpretation practiced.
Continuous assessment immanent examination character
Application of mediated diagnostic tools to case studies
In this course, central criteria of scientific writing are developed and exercises on "writing fitness" and workflow are carried out. The graduates acquire knowledge about content-related cornerstones of scientific work and analyse components of particularly successful scientific work.
Continuous assessment scientific paper of around 10 pages
Lecture and discussion Group work Work with texts
The consequences of growing up in poverty for the everyday family life are presented in a general overview, based on current research results. Existing support services will be critically reflected upon and examined with regard to structural barriers to well-being and participation opportunities. In particular, questions of social exclusion are to be examined in the context of structural changes and discussed with regard to their theoretical and practical consequences for social policy and social work.
Continuous assessment immanent performance review
Lecture, PPP, instructional video, group work, presentations, PollEV
The course deals with the factors influencing various forms of migration on family systems. In the seminar, possibilities of analysis of the living environments of immmigrants with a focus on social work with families will be developed together. Cultural and social characteristics, including family responsibilities, religion, dealing with authorities and ideas about health and illness will be considered. The role as a social worker will be reflected upon with refence to one's own professional experiences and competences in working with people of different origins will be expanded. The seminar also focuses on practical examples and the reference to the current social landscape of specialized institutions on the topic.
Continuous assessment term paper case processing
Lecture, work in small groups, practice orientation by case studies
Graduates will receive an overview of current relevant subject-specific questions and research fields as a stimulus for their own research work within the framework of the Master's thesis and concretise their own initial ideas. Guest speakers will present current research topics and gaps from the field of child and youth welfare. Milestones as well as the structure and inner logic of a Master's thesis will be presented on the basis of the Master's thesis handbook and prevoius successful Master's theses. An essential step of the own Master's thesis, namely the exposé, will be dealt with in depth with the help of a guide to one's own "flash exposé". The citation rules of the FH Campus Wien are practiced.
Lecture, group and individual work, external lectures
The course deals with the particularities of communication with traumatized children and adolescents, as well as with possibilities of de-escalation in challenging situations. In addition, conflict dynamics will be addressed, for example, how the dynamics of client (systems) can affect individuals or entire teams or (help) systems andhow to get out of such a dynamic.
Continuous assessment discussion, role play, group work written reflection writing a seminar paper
Presentation, discussion, role play, group work, work on own cases. In this course, theory transfer, self-awareness and methodology are linked with each other and in relation to the topic.
The focus of the course is the implementation of your own research project. Following the definitions of the previous semester, an already developed research idea will be designed and step by step implemented empirically.
presentations, discussions, text study, group work, e-learning
The course "Migration and Family" deals with the factors influencing different forms of migration on family systems. Specific emphasis is placed on the topics of racism, migration and the lifeworlds of people with migration and refugee experience, as well as, in a broader sense, the role of social work in this context. The seminar deals with the topic on the basis of theoretical concepts.
Lecture, small group work, discussion of literature
Reflective confrontations with the attitudes and images of human beings as well as discussion of definitions, principles and goals of motivational and activating interviewing are central contents of the course. Reflective discussions also take place with ambivalent feelings and attitudes on the part of the students as well as the acceptance of the inner conflict is made conscious. In addition, knowledge is built up regarding the practical application of methods and intervention techniques as well as discussions about their possible uses. Family processes are analyzed, systems explained and the setting of interventions that can initiate change are taught. After a theoretical discussion of basic attitudes and basic assumptions as a basis for conducting conversations in family systems, methods for developing an appreciative and authentic attitude towards clients are presented. Subsequently, the shaping of a constructive working relationship with families is practiced using practical examples.
(Small) group work, role-playing, discussion and reflection on lessons learned, literature study, distance learning
Students should use practical examples to deepen the knowledge they have already acquired in the lecture and to extend their knowledge of inferential statistical evaluation methods and questionnaire analysis.
Continuous assessment project work cooperation
Impulse lecture Research-based learning A project paper on a self-selected research topic (research problem, survey method, data collection, data evaluation, discussion) A suitable research design is developed in small groups, on the basis of a selected research question and the collected data is evaluated, interpreted and discussed. In the large group, the research designs and the evaluations are discussed and reflected upon.
The course includes the presentation and theoretical discussion of diagnostic instruments and their reflection with regard to planning and intervention. The necessity of a well-founded and systematised risk diagnosis for the well-being and development of children and adolescents is addressed. Basic knowledge of developmental psychology as a basis for a well-founded (risk) diagnosis and intervention planning is consolidated and further developed. Graduates identify and assess child welfare risks on the basis of the course content and carry out their own risk management.
Final exam distance learning examination interview in the form of a group interview/group discussion
Lecture, individual and group work, distance learning
The course covers all topics of the legal framework of social therapeutic social work: - Children's rights, Art 8 EHRC - Child law (parentage, custody, adoption, contact law, custody proceedings, etc.) - Child and youth welfare law - Child abduction, violence protection law, home residence law, accommodation law - Reporting obligations, data protection, confidentiality - Liability
Final exam final exam
In this course, approaches and challenges of social pedagogical action are worked out using the example of the field of action "inpatient child and youth welfare". The focus is on: > The field of social pedagogy taking into account a historical view > Crisis work in social pedagogy > The importance of the relationship in social pedagogy > The special challenge of pedagogical work with children and adolescents with (psychiatric) diagnoses
Final exam distance learning final exam
Lecture, discussions, group work
The course focuses on case-specific applications of selected classificatory, reconstructive and/or integrative diagnostic tools with the goal of intervention planning.
Lecture, PPP, (group) exercises, group discussions
The course continues to build up the basic knowledge of attachment theory and the knowledge of diagnosis and treatment of early childhood regulation disorders. In addition, the development and differentiation of dyadic behavioral strategies in the toddler age is addressed. Parent-child interactions are observed and analyzed.
Lecture, discussion, videos
Overview of Moral Justifications Ethical Justification Attempts Current Issues in Professional Ethics
Final exam exam
The exercise imparts knowledge of (social) psychological theories on the emergence and maintenance of escalation and practice-oriented strategies of crisis intervention and intervention planning. Crises are a classic field of application of family-oriented social work. However, social work also causes crises and escalates them (e.g. in involuntary measures, external placements, etc.). In the exercise, the participants should learn to reflect on the emotions and mechanisms associated with this. Based on an understanding of the dynamics of crises and escalations, methods of avoiding escalations and of exerting influence in acutely escalated situations will be learned and practiced if necessary.
Continuous assessment Participation Reading texts/answering questions in preparation - in form of a presentation, a written exercise, or a term paper
Discussion of literature In the group, case studies are used to jointly try to understand their dynamics, to find possible solutions and to practice and evaluate these in role play. Participants are invited to bring in cases from their professional practice.
The focus of this course is the concrete support in the preparation of the master thesis, starting with the submission up to the concrete implementation of the empirical surveys. Students continue to work on their individual master's thesis in peer groups and receive relevant and process-oriented support to advance the progress of the thesis. Topics such as creating internal logic and argumentation stringency and overcoming writer's block are considered. In addition to the exchange and discussion in peer groups, graduate students are expected to give a presentation on the current status of their master's thesis during the semester; depending on the wishes of the group, topics can also be focused on. The different stages of development of the work will be taken into account.
Continuous assessment participation
The content of the course is the examination of the current status of the professional discussion on social work with multi-problem families. Detailed presentation: -The focus is on outreach pedagogical-social therapeutic work with families with individual and structural crises. -Competency development in the field of social therapeutic action. The psychodynamics and personality characteristics of high-risk families are discussed, as well as the interaction between clients and professionals. -The concept of Scenic Understanding (Lorenzer, Trescher) is introduced, as well as other contextual topics (e.g. P. Crittenden). -Principles, guiding ideas, goals and challenges of follow-up family work.
Theory transfer, consolidation of this through case vignettes and exercises in the context of the course
professional acting in a forced context Based on the legal work assignment, the course deals with the topic of the compulsory context and the effects on the immediate professional actions of the specialists.
Theoretical inputs using a case study
Risk Assessment is a core responsibility of social work in child protection services. This course introduces tools to structure the process of risk assessment, as well as some methodological background. Participants are required to assess the risk of children and adolescents while applying these tools to case vignettes and integrating the results into the subsequent case plan. Discussions call for a personal and critical reflection of the experiences with these tools during the assessment and in making case decisions.
Lecture, discussions, group exercisesegrate into their everyday work.
Basics on Psychotraumatology Trauma vs. adverse developmental factors Trauma disorders Transgenerational transmission of trauma Traumatherapeutic methods "trauma therapy" vs. "psychotherapy" Basics of trauma pedagogy "Education" vs. "therapy" - the possibility of corrective experiences Approaches in trauma pedagogy
lecture and discussion
The exercises build on the contents of the lecture with the same name. By means of case studies and video sequences, theoretical approaches, technical terms and methods should be better understood and a transfer into practice should take place.
Continuous assessment final exam
Case studies and video analysis in individual and group work
Consolidation of contents presented in "Theorieansätze zur Traumapädagogik"
Continuous assessment Immanent examination character
This course is dedicated to current topics in child- and family-centered social work.
Continuous assessment exam depending on the topic
Lecture, group and individual work
The course focuses on the practical application of theoretical models and methods acquired during the course. Reference is made to the necessity of mentalisation and reflection skills for the diagnostic case understanding of complex family systems. Children and adolescents are considered in their development from the prenatal period to adolescence. Exercises are given in initial diagnostic interviews, in forming a diagnostic working alliance and in hypothesis formation. This is also based on concrete case studies from counselling practice.
Theoretical inputs, presentations, group work, reflection on own childhood experiences, case presentations from practice, role plays and self-study.
Child- and family-centered social work includes, besides the work and direct contact with children and adolescents, also the work with their caregivers and substitute caregivers. Within the framework of the course, competences are built up in all areas of parent education and in the didactic and methodical transfer of developmental psychological knowledge to the reference persons of the adolescents, as well as to the extended support system in schools and educational institutions. This leads to empowerment of the persons acting there and is thus to be regarded as an essential task of social work professionals. Another focal point is the activity as a lecturer in parent education and the creation of parent education articles. The focus of this course is on adolescents, and guest lectures are given.
Continuous assessment Exam in Groups
- Lecture - Preparation and presentation of a parent education lecture in group work (Based on conducive elements of parent education, parent lectures on different educational topics are prepared and presented in group work).
Contents of the course are specific topics and problems of child (adolescent) development and their particular challenges for parents and guardians. Selected approaches and models of counselling parents in this context are taught.
Based on the definition of the term and the function of an expert opinion, this course aims at strengthening, reflecting and developing competences (professional, personal and social competences) for the preparation of expert opinions and professional reports. Detailed contents of the course are: - Structure and general standards for a scientifically sound preparation of expert reports and expert opinions - Case vignettes - Processing of these on the basis of the course contents - Formal requirements for a court-appointed and certified, as well as ad hoc expert activity - Further case vignettes in the course and distance learning .
Continuous assessment final work in groups
Lecture, discussion, working groups, distance learning
The focus of this course is the concrete support in the preparation of the master thesis, starting with the submission up to the concrete implementation of the empirical surveys. Students continue to work on their individual master's thesis in peer groups and receive relevant and process-oriented support to advance the progress of the thesis. Topics such as creating internal logic and argumentation stringency and overcoming writer's block are considered. In addition to the exchange and discussion in peer groups, graduates are expected to give a presentation on the current status of their Master's thesis during the semester; depending on the wishes of the group, topic-specific focal points can also be set. The different stages of development of the work will be taken into account.
There is independent preparation for the Master's examination
Final exam Oral Master's examination
Independent preparation, literature research
The course offers an overview of the educational and prevention-specific state of discussion on the topic of "prevention approaches and attachment theories in the family context". Important elements in the work with parents, as well as concepts of parental education are addressed in order to be able to make a well-founded case-specific selection in practice. A methodical socio-spatial knowledge of how to programmatically support families in educational, care and upbringing processes is also generated.
Foster children grow up in a socialisation field that is shaped by two families: the family of origin and the foster family. They form a family-of-origin foster family figuration. In this process, challenges and problems can arise that both adults and children have to cope with. For this, social services can be useful. In this course, the topics of social pedagogical family work are dealt using the example of foster families. This includes the support of the family of origin, the clarification of perspectives, the return or permanent home in the foster family. Central to this course is also the social pedagogical view of people in families and their resources, which can be made accessible to them through professional social work.
Lecture, materials for in-depth self-study, group work
The course deals with the question of the application of extensive socio-pedagogical work with families in the context of measures of full education. In order to further develop the practice, it is necessary to deal with and develop forms of family networking as well as considerations of experiential or action-oriented work with families and their children in the context of out-of-home placement processes. The focus of this pedagogical focus is on the characteristics of planning, implementation, documentation and reflection of family pedagogical intervention projects (incl. self-experience parts), which are completed in the form of project exercises or applications. Optionally, a combination with the project considerations from the exercises on pedagogical-social therapeutic work with children and families in the outpatient sector can be achieved.
Theoretical knowledge transfer (lecture, PP), group work and discussions
In-class courses are held in blocks from Thursday to Saturday during the hours of 8:45 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.
The expected class days, subject to change for the academic year 2021/22:
Overview in-class courses 2021/22 (PDF 72,6 KB)
Overview in-class courses 2022/23 (PDF 62,3 KB)
Electives Electives can only take place when enough students register for them. An admission procedure may take place if the number of interested students exceed the course limit.
Times blocked from thursday to saturday, between 8.45 a.m. and 18.15 p.m.
As a child and family-centered social therapist, a wide range of responsibilities and areas of activity await you. You will be perfectly suited as an expert or manager and will fill a gap in interdisciplinary teams with doctors, educators, psychologists and psychotherapists. Your common mission will be to provide optimal care for children, youth and families, increasingly as outpatient, but also as day patient and inpatient. The newly acquired social-therapeutic expertise will qualify you to stabilize families as far as possible. Based on a social diagnosis you can make informed decisions about interventions and ultimately take responsibility for them. Your primary goal is to only place children in foster care if there is no gentler means available.
With the Home Reform 2000, numerous offers such as prolonged crisis work, parenting skills training, family work and family coaching have developed to standards in socio-educational regions. You will work outpatient and inpatient in crisis accommodations or in measures of full child rearing through child and youth welfare agencies as well as in case management and the coordination of specific family-strengthening services. It is your responsibility to more strongly anchor the socio-therapeutic approach as a link in the whole service chain, starting with prevention all the way to the development and application of new interventions and the planning and implementation of innovative projects.
The relevant education requirement is proof of at least 60 ECTS in the core subjects listed below.
Subjects in the areas of communication skills (min. 15 ECTS), scientific work and research (min. 10 ECTS), forms of intervention (min. 10 ECTS), fields of action in social work (min. 15 ECTS) and scientific knowledge related to social work (min. 10 ECTS) must be covered.
Individual cases are decided by the head of the academic sector.
To apply you will require the following documents:
Please noteIt is not possible to save incomplete online applications. You must complete your application in one session. Your application will be valid as soon as you upload all of the required documents and certificates. In the event that some documents (e.g. references) are not available at the time you apply, you may submit these later via e-mail, mail or in person by no later than the start of the degree program.
If you meet the formal requirements, the professional biographical aspects of your CV (called for in your application) will be reviewed, weighted and combined with an objective point system in the first stage of the admission procedure. After successful completion of the first stage of the admission procedure, you will be invited to a presentation and discussion of a relevant topic or question from practical social work.
Interim Head of Degree Program Child and Family Centered Social Work T: +43 1 606 68 firstname.lastname@example.org
Head of Degree Program Child and Family Centered Social Work (Sabbatical)
Office hoursThu, 8.30 a.m.-12.00 p.m. and 1.00 p.m.-4.00 p.m.Fri, 8.30 a.m.-12.00 p.m. and 1.00 p.m.-4.00 p.m.and by appointment
New study location as of 12th July 2021: As of 12th July 2021, all study programs of the Department of Social Work (Secretary's office, offices, teaching rooms) will be located at Kelsenstraße 2, 1030 Vienna. All teaching activities will take place at this location from winter semester 2021/22.
Interim Head of Degree Program Child and Family Centered Social Work
Academic Staff (Parental Leave)
We work closely with universities and research institutes, numerous organizations in the social and public sectors, such as Municipal Department 11 - Child and Youth Welfare Service. Our close relationships with early education and care institutions, early educational and care training centers and universities ensures you starting points for your career or your co-operation in research and development activities. You can find information about our cooperation activities and much more at Campusnetzwerk. It's well worth visiting the site as it may direct you to a new job or interesting event held by our cooperation partners!
Find suitable job offers, build valuable mentoring relationships and expand your professional network - become part of our community!
Register now for free
Information Children and Family Centered Social Work Master (PDF 199 KB)
Folder Social Work (PDF 826 KB)