The Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy (MNCWTA) Monthly Newsletter
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November 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.

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New Training Portal Launching Early 2022

The Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy (MNCWTA) is excited to launch a new application to centralize registration, learning records, and course information for child welfare professionals throughout Minnesota. Called the Training Portal, this new system will be used by all Minnesota county and tribal workers, as well as their supervisors for any courses delivered by the MNCWTA. Pilot trainings are taking place this month and next. 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

FGDM Orientation/Facilitator (CSP207F)

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; 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)
November 29-30 | 9:00AM-12:30PM Each Day| Online (FULL**)

This course will provide an overview of human trafficking and sexual 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)
December 2 | 9:00AM-12:30PM | Online (FULL**)

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
March 23-24 | 9:00AM-12:00PM Each Day | Twin Cities Metro

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 everyday work that is compatible with these roles, rules, and mandates.

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

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.

**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 | October 2021
258 hours of training, 306 attendees, 56 counties represented, 24 hours of ICWA foundation trained by TTCP

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

Learn more about Emily Batts, the Curriculum and University Operations Administrator for the Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy.

In this role, Emily supports the curriculum team in administrative tasks and assists them in developing and maintaining processes. She also oversees hiring, onboarding, and University processes related to the Academy Community Trainers and University of Minnesota staff.
Learn more...

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

  • Elearner Project Manager
  • Community Trainer for Legal Practice Course
  • Regional Staff Trainer (Northeast, MN)
  • Regional Staff Trainer (Southwest, MN)
  • Evaluation and Credentialing Specialist (Two Open Positions)

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

Additional Training Opportunities
MNADOPT is offering live trainings for FREE during November!
In honor of National Adoption Month, MNADOPT is hosting free trainings all month, such as the Moral Injury in Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Arrangements webinar with Ed Morales & Michelle Seymore, on November 18, 10AM-12PM. Register here.

New Webinar: SSIS and the Relative Search
Registration is now open for a new webinar on "SSIS and the Relative Search" on November 30 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. CT, and will cover the new relative search screen in SSIS v. 21.4 that is related to requirements from the Federal Government regarding FFPSA. Recordings of these FFPSA webinars can be found here.

Social and Medical Histories Training
This training from the DHS Permanency Quality Assurance team will provide a general overview of social medical histories for children in foster care. It will be a review of policies and procedures related to the social and medical history document, as it relates to permanency. Local agency workers and case managers who work with children in foster care who want a general understanding of the social and medical history document should attend. Wednesday, December 15 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. Learn more and register here.
Supporting LGBTQ+ Children and Families in Adoption

In the October Issue of the DHS Child Safety and Permanency Update, an article was provided on their commitment to anti-racist work and inclusivity by supporting LGBTQ+ children and families in adoption. They wrote, "With October recognized as LGBTQ+ History Month and November as Transgender Awareness Month, consider how policies and practices impact the adoption process for children, youth, and families who identify as LGBTQ+. As professionals work with children, youth, and families through the adoption process, there can be many opportunities for education and growth. It is important children, youth, and families feel welcome and advocated for as they proceed in their foster care and adoption process." Read the full update here.

The following resources were also provided:

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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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