The Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy (MNCWTA) Monthly Newsletter
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October 2021

Welcome to The Acorn! Each month we share the latest trainings, data, and resources available to child welfare professionals throughout Minnesota. Following are some of the latest updates.

New Learner Management System (LMS) Launching Soon
This fall the Training Academy will pilot a new system for course registration with a small group of learners (you will be contacted directly if this affects you). This will help us ensure the new LMS is ready for a launch to all county and tribal workers, as well as supervisors. This new system will be used for all child welfare courses delivered by the Training Academy. In addition to course registration, this LMS will manage your training progress and history, house your training materials, Zoom links, and offer better communication between trainers and learners. DHS will continue to use TrainLink for all other courses they offer. More information will be shared later this fall.

FFPSA Webinars

All Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) policy webinars and SSIS coffee talks have wrapped up, but they were recorded and posted on our website. In addition to the recordings you will find presentation slides, handouts, and a form to complete if you need to receive proof of training.

Foster Parent College Pre-Service Training

The Training Academy offers Minnesota families, counties, and tribes free access to curriculum and resources developed by the nationally recognized Foster Parent College (FPC). There is also an option for Pre-Service Training that allows counties and tribes to receive training delivered by an Academy trainer via a pre-scheduled cohort or have a member of their own team deliver the content. The next cohort begins on October 21. Learn more...

Upcoming Trainings
To register for any of the following courses, visit TrainLink and select Class Schedule. Step-by-step instructions can be found here.

If registration has closed, or if you have trouble with any other part of registration, contact Myrna Klegin at

Signs of Safety (CSP8301B)
October 18-20 | 9:00AM-1:00PM Each Day | Online

This three-day workshop will cover the basic principles, skills, and tools of Sign of Safety (SofS). This will include, but not be limited to: A Signs of Safety overview and brief history; Appreciative Inquiry; The Questioning Approach; Harm and Danger Statements and Safety Goals; Three Houses, Safety House; Mapping; Safety Planning and Safety Networks.

FGDM Orientation/Facilitator (CSP207F)
October 28-29 | 9:00AM-4:00PM Each Day | Online
December 8-9 | 9:00AM-4:00PM Each Day | Online

This class explains the Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) process, an approach to working with families/youth involved with the child welfare system. FGDM is a decision-making process that increases the use of kinship care, capitalizes on family strengths, and affirms cultural diversity. It creates a partnership between the family and service providers and other professionals, and recognizing that families can make well-informed decisions about themselves. Families are engaged and empowered by child welfare agencies to make decisions and develop plans that nurture their children and youth and protect them from further abuse and neglect. An overview of the principles and phases of FGDM, including which cases are appropriate for referral to the FGDM process, is provided. Individuals will learn the specific skills, strategies, and techniques fundamental to facilitating and coordinating Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) meetings in the context of child welfare. The training will include a review of the history, philosophy, and practice elements of FGDM.

Sexually Exploited Youth Overview (CSP239A)
October 25-26 | 9:00AM-12:30PM Each Day| Online

This course will provide an overview of human trafficking and sexually exploitation of children in Minnesota, including identifying risk factors, red flags and best practices for working with Sexually Exploited Youth. Participants will learn the Department of Human Services’ guidance on responding to Sexually Exploited Youth within Minnesota’s Child Welfare System in the context of legislative efforts including Public Law 114-22, Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, and Minnesota’s Safe Harbor Law and No Wrong Door Model.

Sexually Exploited Youth Human Trafficking Child Welfare Response (CSP239B)
October 28 | 9:00AM-12:30PM | Online

Participants will learn the Department of Human Services’ guidance on responding to Sexually Exploited Youth within Minnesota’s Child Welfare System in the context of legislative efforts including Public Law 114-22, Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, and Minnesota’s Safe Harbor Law and No Wrong Door Model. Sexually Exploited Youth Overview (CSP239A) is the prerequisite for this course.

Domestic Violence Co-Occurrence: Partnering and Engaging Parents (CSP310C1)
November 22 | 9:00AM-4:00PM | Online (FULL**)

This training will address crucial aspects of best practice in co-occurrence cases—both partnering with non-offending parents and engaging offenders in accountability and change. Training will include both historical/theoretical and practical/applied information, focusing on strengths-based practice. In particular, participants will utilize two key protocols and practice applying them in scenario-based exercises to help build skills to enhance field work.

Advanced Practical Training - Collaborative Safety (CSP301L)
November 17-19 | 9:00AM-12:00PM Each Day | Online

This training is designed for child protection staff. The Institute lays the groundwork for participants' knowledge about systems safety. The content provides a framework of systems safety and is designed to engage participants with a comprehensive and holistic introduction to human factors and systems safety. The Institute is directed towards teaching participants on integrating safety science concepts into the daily work of child protection. Attention is given to current roles, administrative rules, and legislative mandates so that concepts are able to be embedded into every day work that is compatible with these roles, rules, and mandates.

Case Planning (CSP2103B)
December 13 | 9:00AM-4:00PM | Online

Participants will utilize strengths-based strategies in case planning with complex families in the child welfare system. Participants will complete goals and tasks for Child Protective Services and Out of Home Placement Plans.

Legal Practice Skills (CSP8205A)
October 14 | 9:00AM-4:00PM | Online* (FULL**)
December 9 | 9:00AM-4:00PM | Online*

This is a "must take" class for anyone who may find themselves involved in child protection legal proceedings. Federal and Minnesota law requires county agencies to engage in reasonable efforts to support families involved in the child welfare system. This class discusses how case workers can do so by learning about their roles and responsibilities, collaborating with other courtroom professionals, and focusing on families’ cultures and strengths. Additionally, this class will cover in-depth the role of the case worker in court proceedings, including proper documentation, preparing for various court hearings, and tips for testifying at trials.

Signs of Safety Three Month Review (CSP8301B2)
November 15 | 9:00AM-1:00PM | Online (FULL**)
December 9 | 9:00AM-1:00PM | Online

This training occurs around three months after Signs of Safety (CSP8301B), and it provides an opportunity for the participants to consult about, and improve their practice, of the SOS techniques.

*All in-person trainings have moved online through January 2022.

**For full courses, please add your name to the waiting list; this will help us determine if additional sections need to be scheduled.

Accommodation Requests

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in a training, contact us as soon as possible at

If you need to cancel, even if it seems last minute, please contact Myrna Klegin at Our class sizes tend to be small and we often have a waiting list. Trainees who miss more than 30 minutes of any given training will not receive CEUs; for required training you will need to repeat the entire course.

Training Data | September 2021
140 hours of training, 174 attendees, 45 counties represented, 12 hours of ICWA foundation trained by TTCP

Visit here to view the complete training report for September. Indian Child Welfare (ICWA) Foundation training is developed and provided by the Tribal Training and Certification Partnership (TTCP).

Staff Highlights
Stacey Steinbach

The Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy (MNCWTA) would like to welcome Stacey Steinbach, our new Regional Training Supervisor.

Stacey has over fifteen years of experience in Minnesota’s child welfare system working on the land that belongs to the Dakota Oyate Nation of Upper Sioux Community. The Dakota call the area Pezijhutazizi, which means "Where they dig the Yellow Medicine". Stacey has had the honor to work with the Upper Sioux Community Social Services Department in efforts to recognize, understand, and address the disparities and alarming inequities impacting the area in child welfare.
Learn more...

Employment Opportunities
The Training Academy is accepting applications for the following positions:

Please help us spread the word about these positions. Learn more about all these and other employment opportunities on our website.

Rural Community Stressors
and Strengths
image of small town and
The U of M Extension's rural stress task force applies programming and expertise from across Extension to help families and small towns respond to current economic, environmental, and societal challenges that overwhelmingly affect rural Minnesota and farming communities. The team works with state agencies and agricultural organizations as well as colleagues throughout the University.

Many Extension faculty and staff live and work in rural Minnesota. They respond daily to issues faced by the people and organizations in their counties. They've compiled the resources on this page to streamline access to financial help and mental health resources in greater Minnesota.

During the past year, the Extension Center for Family Development has worked with Scholar in Residence Dr. Sarah Beehler and several community partners to create training resources on rural community stress and resilience, as well as resources for families and children. Visit the Coping with Rural Stress section of their website to learn more.
Child Welfare Workforce Wellbeing

The best way to thrive during these trying times is to find ways to take care of yourself. Following are several options that may be helpful:

  • MNADOPT is offering this free webinar - Self-Care While in the Trenches - on Wednesday, Nov. 17 from 6-8 p.m. CT. Amber Morrighan MA, LMFT, invites you to carve out two hours of time so that you can breathe, laugh, plan, and possibly cry with others who might also get it.
  • No matter how much we love our work, at some point we all face challenging circumstances. It's all too easy to allow negative thoughts and emotions to overwhelm us. Check out this graphic on Emotional Agility, which is the process that enables us to navigate life's twists and turns with self-acceptance, clear-sightedness, and an open mind.

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Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy (MNCWTA), 1711 County Road B, Suite 200N, Roseville, MN 55113, United States

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The Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy (MNCWTA) is a collaboration between the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Safety and Permanency Division and the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW) at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

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