MCWP offers a variety of Continuing Education courses that change in response to agency needs and statewide priorities. Our Continuing Education offerings cover a broad range of topics and skills which encourage ongoing professional development for employees at all levels of child welfare practice. Courses address topics such as domestic violence, mental health issues, ethics, alcohol and other drugs, teaming, engaging, and safety.

Art of Supervision in Engaging and Interviewing

The Art of Supervision in Engaging and Interviewing creatively blends an overview of skills and concepts learned in Foundation trainings with deliberate, practical application in supervisory functions. Supervisors will gain the knowledge to assess and reinforce specific engagement and interviewing skills within the context of daily tasks and will design a plan that promotes consistent growth in professional development among individual staff and the supervisor’s team. In addition, this two-day training will illustrate how to use the full palette of skills to lead staff in change, manage defensiveness and resistance, and resolve common conflicts that create barriers to teamwork and building trusting relationships with families.

Target Audience

This course is intended for child protective services staff and other child welfare professionals.This training is open to Supervisors who want to assist their staff in developing their skills in Engaging and Interviewing families and children.

Objectives

At the end of this training, participants will:

  • Understand how to assess and reinforce with supervisees the specific skills, techniques, and tools applied in Engaging and Interviewing Foundation Trainings.
  • Demonstrate the fundamental concepts of providing effective, behaviorally specific feedback to enhance the professional growth of supervisees based on their developmental level.
  • Understand the applications of the Stages of Change Model throughout the role of supervision.
  • Demonstrate the deliberate use of engaging skills to address common supervisory challenges, resolve conflict, and reduce resistance to change.
Behavioral Indicators of Sexual Abuse, What to Look for and Why Part I

This session will introduce participants to behavioral issues pertinent to child sexual abuse. We will review indicators that may be present in child victims. Specifically we will take an in depth look at sexualized behaviors that children may exhibit. We will then look at possible causes of this behavior and what part they play in the evaluation of a sexual abuse allegation.

Target Audience

This course is intended for foster parents and other out-of-home care providers.

Coaching for Change

Coaching for Change is a one-day, classroom-based course that introduces child welfare administrators, managers, and supervisors to advanced concepts, tools, and practices on coaching, the change process, and supporting the use of these concepts, tools, and practices with their staff. Participants will learn to apply coaching tools with their staff and, in turn, how to help staff use coaching tools with families.

This course was developed by the Family and Children’s Resource Program, part of the Jordan Institute for Families at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership for Professional Development.

Target Audience

This course is designed for child welfare administrators, managers and supervisors.

Objectives

  • Know strategies to introduce and manage change
  • Understand a partnership-based coaching model and use coaching strategies
  • Know strategies to engage workers and family members in constructive, collaborative casework relationships that empower families and promote joint case assessment, planning and service provision to assure protection of the children.
  • Can identify key concepts and benefits of coaching strategies and apply them in conversations with staff and clients.
Developing a Comprehensive Response for Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders, Mental Disorders and Co-Occurring Disorders (Module 5)

Module 5 provides child welfare professionals with an in-depth understanding and recommended techniques for incorporating information about an individual or families’ substance use, mental disorder, or co-occurring disorders and treatment into the child welfare case plan, and to assure the delivery of culturally competent services, as well as how to monitor progress.

Objectives

  • Child and family service delivery system and competencies
  • Integrated systems work (systems of care)
  • Developing culturally relevant comprehensive case plan and how to monitor progress: Incorporating substance abuse treatment components, incorporating mental disorder treatment components, incorporating co-occurring issue treatment components, critical role of collaboration with other service providers
  • Monitoring comprehensive case plans: Importance of on-going assessment and reevaluation, critical role of collaboration with other service providers
  • Transition and permanency planning: Importance of early planning for transition and permanency, relapse and relapse prevention, establishing/ensuring community support systems, critical role of collaboration with other service providers
  • Ways to encourage/support collaboration with other service providers
Domestic Violence- Its Impact on Children, Assessing Safety & Effective Safety Planning

This training will provide participants information about domestic violence, it’s impact on victims and children, and how to safely identify and understand it; provide information and tools to safely assess family situations to determine potential risk and necessary precautions; and, provide tools and practices that can be implemented to improve service and safety planning for families impacted by domestic violence.

Target Audience

Target Audience Ongoing Case Managers and Initial Assessment Staff

Prerequisites
Participants must complete Safety in Child Protective Services prior to attending this training.

Engagement and Intervention with Parents Affected by Substance Use Disorders, Mental Disorders and Co-Occurring Disorders (Module 4)

Module 4 provides strategies that child welfare professionals can use to engage individuals in a change process when they are suspected of having a substance use or mental disorder, or co-occurring disorders (Module 4)

Objectives

  • Readiness to change
  • Motivational interviewing techniques
  • Culturally appropriate methods for building rapport
  • Models/strategies for engagement in family support
  • Resources for family to family linkages and support
  • Treatment Services interventions and supports
  • Assessment of substance use disorders and how to use the information in case plans: what it entails, information to be gained, resources for obtaining assessment
  • Assessment of mental disorders and how to use the information in case plans: what it entails, information to be gained, resources for ob obtaining assessment
  • Assessment of co-occurring issues and how to use the information in case plans: what it entails, information to be gained, resources for obtaining assessment
Engaging Absent Fathers

Working with absent fathers is often challenging and yet we know that a good father is optimal to the healthy development of children. Fathers can add all the resources of his extended family to the case process. This workshop will discuss the importance of fathers across the CPS process and the negative consequences to children if fathers are not involved. It will cover DCF policy in regards to involving fathers. It will explore the barriers to engaging fathers as well as strategies for removing the barriers.

Target Audience

This course is intended for child protective services staff and other child welfare professionals.

Objectives

  • Be able to explain the importance of engaging fathers across the CPS process a. explain the importance of fathers within the family. b. explain the importance of fathers to the case process. c. explain the negative consequences to children and mothers of not involving fathers.
  • Use the Wisconsin Practice Guide for Locating and Involving Non-Custodial Parents, Alleged Fathers and Relatives as a basis for work with non-custodial fathers.
  • Be able to increase fathers’ involvement in the CPS process
  • Have access to a variety of print and internet resources for working with fathers
Engaging Families throughout the Change Process

This training will provide staff with a working knowledge of the “Stages of Change” including it’s application to practice and strategies for engagement at each stage.

Target Audience

In-Home Services Staff

Objectives

Knows the values and characteristics of family-centered practice and can apply those in practice, aware of his/her own level of comfort with power and authority and can identify how perceptions of power can lead to misuse of, or failure to properly use, power. Aware of his/her own professional and personal responses, biases, values, stereotypes and cultural competence and understands how these may influence thinking and can affect their practice. Knows strategies to engage family members in constructive and collaborative casework relationships that empower families.

Identifying Abuse and Neglect

This workshop familiarizes the worker with the dynamics of physical and sexual abuse, emotional maltreatment and neglect as well as the physical behavioral indicators in children. Workers also become familiar with the types of family situations that can contribute to abuse and neglect.

Target Audience

This course is intended for new child welfare workers.

In the Best Interest of the Child: Making the Most of Visitation

This training is designed to help child welfare workers enhance outcomes be improving the quality of visits between children and in out-of-home care and their parents.

Target Audience

Child Welfare Supervisors, In-Home Staff

Objectives

Knows how to encourage the child, parent and child, and family to connect emotionally during a time of out-of-home placement, knows how to use visitation to assess the family’s ability to parent, knows and can apply best practice standards and understands how these standards support practice with families towards the goals of permanence, safety and well-being for children.

Interplay between Substance Abuse and Mental Health
  • “What came first? The chicken or the egg?” Do symptoms of mental health trigger substance use, or does substance use initiate mental health symptoms?
  • How do symptoms of active substance use and PAWS mimic symptoms of mental health?
  • The link between substance abuse and mental health (trauma)
  • Unhealthy coping with substances to control or numb symptoms of mental health
  • Treating co-occurring disorders – effective interventions
  • Epidemic of misdiagnosing clients with mental health disorders who have substance dependence

Target Audience

Case Managers

Methadone, Suboxone, and Vivitrol-Oh My!

Medication assisted treatment is commonly misunderstood and even feared by treatment providers. Join in this informative session to dispel the myths surrounding methadone clinics and the treatment of opioid addiction.

Target Audience

Case Managers

Present Danger and Protective Planning

While Present Danger Threats may be identified at any point in the case process, they are particularly salient at Access and initial contacts with the family. When they are identified in the field, the worker must implement a Protective Plan before leaving the family. Decisions about Present Danger and Protective Plans, therefore, are often made under tight time constraints while facing emergency circumstances. Worker knowledge and skill in this area of practice is, therefore, critical. This training will describe and apply the process for assessing Present Danger Threats and examine the list of standardized threats. It will be applied to case examples. The afternoon will focus on the qualities of sufficient Protective Plans. Wisconsin’s Standards for content, process and time frames of Protective Planning will be reviewed. Appropriate strategies for Protective Planning, including assessment issues related to each, will be examined. Participants will receive examples of sufficient Protective Plans.

Target Audience

CPS Initial Assessment and Ongoing Services Workers. Any other staff who are responsible receiving and responding to CPS reports After Hours.

Objectives

At the end of this training, participants will:

  • Understand and apply the process for assessing Present Danger
  • Explain the significance of Present Danger Threats in CPS decision making across the case process
  • Describe Wisconsin’s Standards for Protective Planning (process, content and time frames)
  • Identify whether an intervention is a control response or a treatment service
  • Describe the appropriate role for parents in Protective Plans
  • Describe strategies that can be used in Protective Plans and family situations when they are appropriate
  • Describe critical CPS responsibilities in managing Protective Plans

Prerequisites
Safety pre-service (online).

Safety Booster

Safety Booster Training offers review, refinement and reinforcement of the concepts of Safety Foundation Training, covering the assessment of impending danger threats and in-home safety plans. It is designed as a refresher for experienced staff to address “drift” in their safety decision making.

Target Audience

This training is intended for staff and supervisors that have participated in Safety Foundation Training within the last two years and have been actively applying its concepts in their work. Safety Booster Training DOES NOT substitute for Safety Foundation Training, even for very experienced staff.

Objectives

Upon completion of this training, the participant will be able to:

  • Maintain a focus on safety as the basis for decision making throughout the life of the case
  • Identify threats to safety
  • Utilize Threshold Criteria
  • Avoid common errors in safety assessment
  • Perform Safety Analysis
  • Develop sufficient in-home safety plans that respond to specifically identified threats and utilize formal and informal providers

Prerequisites

All participants are required to complete a safety assessment on a provided initial assessment before training. The initial assessment will be emailed to participants and the completed safety assessment must be brought to training. Important prerequisite – must have attended the 2 day Safety Foundation within the last few years. Must complete pre-work e-mailed to you prior to the training.

Safety Overview: Milwaukee Partnership

This three hour workshop is designed for individuals who may work with Child Protective Services cases but are not responsible for direct case management. This course i designed to provide an overview o the Child Protective Service Safety Decision-Making process.

Objectives

The specific objectives are to help participants develop an understanding of the practice boundaries for Child Protective Services, examine the CPS professional terms for safe, present danger, impending danger, and parental protective capacities, and to examine the qualities of safe service providers and qualities of sufficient safety plans.

Sexually traumatized Children Creating a Safety Environment Part II

This session will focus on a variety of issues experienced by sexually abused and sexually traumatized children, including their victimization, vulnerability and the impact these traumatic experiences have on them. Information will be presented on behaviors sexually abused and traumatized children may exhibit and some strategies workers can use to evaluate the family to determine if they will be able to deal with these behaviors and protect this child, as well as, other children in the home.

Target Audience

This course is intended for child protective services staff and other child welfare professionals

Sufficient In-Home Safety Planning Workshop

The workshop will review the qualities of sufficient in-home safety plans by using actual case examples.

Objectives

  • To be able to recognize and create sufficient in-home safety plans.
The Impact of Suicide on Youth and Families: The Ones We Miss

Why do the numbers in Wisconsin continue to either rise, or stay the same, when most of the country is seeing a decline in child/adolescent suicide? Who are we missing? The “Ones We Miss” are most often children in out of home care and youth who are bullied. We certainly have a basic understanding of suicide, and what to do about it, but yet it continues to be a challenge. This training will address these questions and also provide you with ideas for case planning when working with families where suicidal behaviors and ideations continue to be challenging. This 6 hour training will include lecture, handouts, small group discussions and development of a system of care and crisis plan as part of case planning.

Target Audience

This course is intended for child protective services staff and other child welfare professionals. This training is appropriate for Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice social work professionals and supervisors who want to increase their knowledge about the impact of suicide on children and adolescents.

Objectives

At the end of this training, participants will:

  • Understand the phenomenology of suicide and its impact on children and adolescents.
  • Understand the warning signs, risk factors, and also protective factors of suicide when assessing children and families.
  • Gain an understanding of the scope of the problem facing Wisconsin and thus Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Professionals.
  • Awareness and understanding of who are the “Ones We Miss” including children in out of home care and youth bullied.
Transitioning Home: Using Conditions for Return to Support Moving to an In-Home Safety Plan

When is it safe for a child to return home? What guidelines do we use to make these decisions? What other things must be considered? This half-day session will use Wisconsin Safety Intervention Standards and Child Welfare best practice guidelines along with case examples to guide small group work and large group discussions in beginning to answer these questions. Participants will be encouraged to bring their specific questions and challenges to the session. This session is appropriate for anyone responsible for making reunification decisions or supporting reunification..

Understanding Mental Disorders, Treatment and Recovery Overview (Module 3)s

Module 3 educates child welfare professionals about mental disorders and treatment. It provides in-depth information and learning opportunities designed to support child welfare professionals in working with diverse families affected by mental disorders.

Objectives

  • Spectrum/types of mental disorders
  • Signs and symptoms of potential mental disorders
  • Culturally appropriate screening tools for determining if a further comprehensive assessment by mental health professional is needed
  • Impact of trauma (early childhood and other) on mental health of parents
  • Impact of stressful life events on mental health of parents
  • Link between mental disorders and suicide and other violent behavior
  • Models of treatment, cultural competency in treatment and management of mental disorders
  • Effects of mental disorders on interpersonal relationships and family dynamics, care of children, etc.: isolation, negative social network, poor parenting skills
Understanding Substance Use Disorders, Treatment, and Recovery (Module 2)

Module 2 provides child welfare professionals with an understanding about alcohol and drug issues, treatment, and recovery. It provides information and learning opportunities designed to support child welfare professionals in working with families from various cultural groups affected by alcohol and/or drug-related problems.

Objectives

  • Types of substances and their effects
  • Methods of usage
  • Continuum of use, abuse and dependence
  • Pathways from use, abuse, dependence
  • Differential impact of substance use disorders on communities of color
  • Brain chemistry of addiction
  • Signs and symptoms of potential use, abuse, dependence in the context of home visitation and child welfare practice
  • Culturally appropriate screening tools for determining if a further comprehensive assessment by an alcohol and drug treatment professional is needed
  • Treatment models, cultural competency in treatment and treatment effectiveness
  • Recovery process and progression
  • Effects of alcohol and drug issues on interpersonal relationships and family dynamics, care of children, etc.
  • Isolation
  • Negative social network
  • Poor parenting skills
  • Endangering behaviors
  • Emergence of a “don’t tell, don’t trust and don’t feel” complex, reflecting learned behaviors that emerge as a result of the effects of alcohol and drug use and/or abuse
  • Relapse prevention and long-term recovery maintenance in the context of safety assessment and safety planning
Understanding the Multiple Needs of Families Involved with the Child Welfare System (Module 1)

Module 1 provides child welfare professionals with a contextual knowledge of a range of co-occurring needs that may be experienced by parents involved in the child welfare system.

Objectives

  • Principles of both family-centered and culturally competent practice.
  • How addressing the needs of both parents and children can impact successful family outcomes.
  • Prevalence of substance use disorders in the general population, in the child welfare population, and in communities of color.
  • Prevalence of mental disorders in the general population, in the child welfare population, and in communities of color.
  • NASMHPD/NASADAD four-quadrant framework for conceptualizing co-occurring substance use and mental disorders.
  • Difficulty in differentiating co-occurring substance use and mental disorders.
  • Other issues that frequently co-occur with child welfare involvement, and/or substance abuse and mental disorders: family violence, trauma, physical health issues, poverty and crime.
  • Prioritizing response and intervention for families with multiple needs.
  • Exploring personal and agency/system values regarding substance use and mental disorders: personal experience/history and stigma
Understanding the Needs of Children of Parents with Substance Use or Mental Disorders (Module 6)

Module 6 provides child welfare workers with an in-depth understanding of the various ways in which children are impacted by their parents’ substance use and/or mental disorders, including co-occurring disorders from prenatal exposure through childhood and adolescent development.

Objectives

  • Impact of parental substance use on children: prenatal, postnatal
  • Impact of parental mental disorders on children: prenatal, postnatal
  • Children’s personal substance use disorders (either related to or separate from parental issues: Alcohol and drug exploration, use, abuse, dependance; mental disorders; special focus on acts of self-harm, including suicide
  • Screening and assessment of children
  • Treatment strategies, systems of care, trauma, youth support (peer to peer, children of substance abuser groups, Alanon, Alateen, etc.)
  • Referral resources
What Happens in Substance Abuse Treatment

Learn the basics of what happens in treatment. What are the various levels of care and who needs what level of care when. How long does it take? How do you know if “change” is occurring? What are “successful” outcomes?

Target Audience
Case Managers

Working with Schools, Special Education, What You Need to Know

The class is a basic introduction to special education regulations, and the guarantees those regulations bring to educating our children.