“I love my job,” said Chad McDonald. “I love the idea that I might be able to help one more child welfare worker better serve the families they work with. And by helping that one worker, each of that worker’s current and future clients can be helped too. How many clients does that contribution spread to over the career of that worker?” Prof. McDonald explained much research attention has been focused on what is most effective for children and families to improve their well-being. Much less, however, is known about how to ensure child welfare workers are trained to reliably provide effective services. In a time when DCFS workers are going through more and more training, it is critical to evaluate the effectiveness of training—to consider if skills are improving in key target areas. He continued, “That’s what we’re doing. We’re using innovative, engaging training methods to ensure students and child welfare workers develop skills in evidence-based best practices, and then evaluating the effectiveness of those training methods. We’re not only asking, ‘Should we do this training?’ We’re taking it further and asking ‘How should we do this training so we target the competencies of our child welfare workers and students?’”
McDonald, C., Davis, M.J., and Vanderloo, M.J. Title IV-E Training, Department of Health and Human Services. Administration for Children and Families. Total Funds: $13,500,000. July 2017 – June 2022.