Training Tracks and Series

The Child Welfare Academy has workshops that are offered in a series to enable a deeper and broader understanding of topics of interest to our participants. While some offerings in a series can be taken in any order, some series are designed to be in a special order so that we can build upon concepts introduced in prior offerings.  

Training Tracks

Foundational Professional Development Training Track
Following Pre-Service, Assessing and Planning for Risk and Safety, and a Specialized Service Area Specific Course (Introduction to Child Protective Services or Introduction to Out of Home Placement), the Department of Human Services Social Services Administration and LDSS Administrators have approved foundational courses as mandatory for all service areas to be completed within the first two (2) years of employment. 

  • Trauma Informed Casework

  • Family Centered Planning

  • Impact of Child Maltreatment on Child Development

  • Secondary Traumatic Stress

  • Enhancing Your Credibility in Court

  • Dynamics of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Families

  • Intimate Partner Violence: Dynamics, Assessment, and Intervention


Ethics Series
The NASW Code of Ethics are founded on principles and core values that guide the professionalism and conduct of social work practice: Service, Social Justice, Dignity and Worth of a Person, Importance of Human Relationships, Integrity and Competence. This training series will individually explore each principle and take an in depth look at how it applies to work in the office and the field. Offerings can be taken in any order.

Offerings include:

  • Maintaining Integrity in the Workplace

  • Competency of the Child Welfare Professional

  • Dignity and Worth of a Person

  • Beyond Meditation: Mindfulness in the Workplace

  • Finding Your "True North": The Essence of Ethical, Authentic Leadership

Signs of Safety Workshops
Signs of Safety is a solution-focused approach to strengthening families and assessing for risk and safety. This framework can be utilized by child welfare staff in all service areas as a technique to gather information through engagement with the family. The first course in the Signs of Safety series is a requirement (Assessing & Planning Using Signs of Safety Framework). Staff may have taken the course as a one-day in-service or 2-day class following Pre-Service). If it has been a while since participating in the first class, it is recommended that participants register for the Booster Training before delving into the Growing Our Practice workshop designed as an opportunity for participants to get feedback, support and learn from peers regarding the direct utilization of the framework with children and families in the field.

Offerings include:

  • Assessing and Planning Using the Signs of Safety Framework: Experienced Worker and Supervisor Training

  • Booster Training, 1/2-day

  • Growing our Practice, 1/2-day

Substance Abuse Series
It is imperative for child welfare workers to have an understanding of entire spectrum of the impact of substance abuse. The Substance Abuse Series provides an opportunity for participants to increase their knowledge and understanding of addiction and the latest trend in synthetic drugs, treatment options, co-morbidity and how to support someone in recovery. It is strongly recommended that you begin the series by taking Addictions 101, the rest may be taken in any order.

Offerings include:

  • Addictions 101

  • Knowing What's on the Street: The Newer Designer Synthetic Drugs

  • Anxiety and Addictions: Guide for Child Welfare Workers

  • Family in Recovery

Trauma and Early Childhood
Early childhood (0-5 years) is a fascinating and challenging time for all children. Trauma experiences can interfere with children’s learning and growth, and present unique challenges to those who care for them. This three-part training series will provide a clear explanation of early childhood development and explore how trauma may influence children’s overall growth and well being.

Click on the offering title for description:
  • Trauma and Early Childhood I
  • Part I discusses how trauma affects young children’s development and attachment, the impact of culture on trauma, the influence of the developmental stage of the child on traumatic stress and how to help young children feel safe after trauma.
  • Trauma and Early Childhood Part II
    Part II introduces the role of supportive positive relationships in a young child’s life after trauma with special emphasis from the role of the resource parent and the mental health provider.
  • Trauma and Early Childhood Part III
    Part III explores strategies to promote children’s positive social emotional skills, gain an increased understanding of problem behaviors and explore positive approaches to help children learn appropriate behaviors.

Advanced Facilitation Training Series
Through lecture, small group, discussion and practice, each session will focus on promoting facilitators’ development and knowledge in areas that are integral to their work. Can be taken in any order.

  • Strategies for Managing Challenging Behaviors

  • Techniques for Reframing Concerns and Strengths