The Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy (MNCWTA) Monthly Newsletter
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October 2020

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

This October we will look at the worker competency of Partnering, which involves applying a strengths perspective in an environmental context and working in respectful, interdisciplinary, and meaningful collaboration with families, communities, and other professionals to achieve shared goals. For supervisors we will explore the competency of Program Administration, which asks that supervisors demonstrate an understanding of relevant history, theory, values, emerging issues, ethics, managerial principles, and organizational structure to advance the mission/vision of the agency.

Every month we will look at specific competencies within the
Framework for Competent Child Welfare Practice to explore what competency development really means to our work. If you have stories to share about your experiences in child welfare, or feedback about developing competencies in your work, let us know!

Training Data | September 2020
128.5 hours of training, 198 attendees, 40 counties represented, 24
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).

Upcoming Trainings

To register for any of the following courses, visit TrainLink and select Class Schedule. 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.

Signs of Safety (CSP8301B)

November 4-6 | 9:00AM-1:00PM Each Day | Online
November 23-25 | 9:00AM-1:00PM Each Day | Online
December 21-23 | 9:00AM-1:00PM Each Day | Online
This three-day workshop will cover the basic principles, skill, 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.

Structured Decision Making (CSP204C)
November 12 | 9:00AM-4:00PM | Online - FULL*
December 10 | 9:00AM-4:00PM | Online - FULL*
This training will refresh the professional's knowledge and deepen understanding of the application of SDM safety and risk assessments, and strengthen the connection between the safety assessment and safety planning. Additional outcomes include understanding the "why" behind the SDM assessments and how to connect engagement skills with assessments. Training will cover an in depth look at the safety and risk assessments, and incorporate practice and engagement skills with families.

*Add your name to the waitlist to be contacted about future offerings.

Case Planning (CSP2103B)
December 11 | 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.

Best Practices in Child Maltreatment Cases Involving Domestic Violence (CSP310C1)
December 14 | 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.
*Add your name to the waitlist to be contacted about future offerings.

Accommodation Requests

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

Staff Highlights
bill oconnor image

Meet Bill O'Connor, our Communications Specialist

Bill has been with the University of Minnesota since 2005, joining the Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy in January 2020. He splits his time between the Training Academy and the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare. For the Training Academy he leads the communication strategy (which includes this newsletter!) for this partnership with the Child Safety and Permanency Division at the Department of Human Services (DHS).
Learn more...


SSIS Coffee Talk Tuesdays for Fiscal and Worker Mentors
These webinars are for all Social Service Information System (SSIS) mentors and coordinators and will focus on specific SSIS topics. The next webinar is on Tuesday, October 20 at 9:00 a.m. and will focus on Pre and Post Adoption work in SSIS. All webinars will be offered via Zoom; registration is required. Questions regarding topics are appreciated in advance and should be directed to the SSIS Help Desk. To request a reasonable accommodation to participate in this session, please contact Heide Moris (

Foster Parent College
Minnesota counties have had access to Foster Parent College Pre-Service Training for several years, we are excited to share that child welfare professionals now have unlimited access to the full 67 course catalog. These courses enhance the onboarding process by providing education on topics including trauma, attachment, sexual abuse, and other topics that are of importance to foster parenting. All county and tribal agencies in the state of Minnesota are able utilize this benefit. There are several options for implementing Foster Parent College within your agency. You will receive initial training and ongoing support to help implement the program.

We Are Hiring!
We are now accepting applications for the following positions:

  • Evaluation Supervisor
  • Curriculum Developer
Visit our employment page to learn more.

Alternatives to Face to Face Service Delivery trainings for Targeted Case Management
The Behavioral Health Division (BHD) of DHS has announced the Alternatives to Face to Face Service Delivery trainings for Targeted Case Management (TCM) providers is launching this month. Learn more and register.

DHS Foster Care Unit Webinars
Contact with questions or for more information.

Give Us Your Feedback
Your feedback will help us to improve training efforts and strengthen the Minnesota child welfare workforce. Let us know what you think!

Trainer Bio: Ed Morales

Meet Ed Morales, Foundations New Worker Trainer for the Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy (MNCWTA).

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:

  • Check out Episode 48 of the Social Work Talks Podcast on Self-Care During the Coronavirus Pandemic. Hear from NASW member Kristen Lee, Ed.D., LICSW, talk about how social workers can practice self-care during the pandemic.
  • The first week of October was Mental Health Awareness Week. One in five U.S. adults experience mental illness each year. Congress established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week in 1990, and during that time advocates work together to sponsor activities. To learn more, check out the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s 2020 resources, including a video series featuring the You Are Not Alone awareness campaign. The campaign features real folks sharing their lived experiences, and is targeted towards eliminating stigma around mental health needs.

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

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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