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

Welcome to The Acorn! Each month we share the latest trainings, data, and resources available to child welfare professionals throughout Minnesota. This March we are looking at the worker competencies involved with Evaluation, which involves continuously monitoring outcomes of service plans and system programs to determine if the desired goals are being achieved and, if not, to use this information to reconsider goals and strategies developed in the planning phase, or services and resources identified in the implementation stage. Learn more about these competencies, discover resources, and explore how to develop your skills.

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

Upcoming Trainings
To register for any of the following courses, visit TrainLink and select Class Schedule. For full courses please add your name to the waiting list; this will help us determine if additional sections need to be scheduled.

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.

Signs of Safety (CSP8301B)
March 15-17 | 9:00AM-1:00PM Each Day | Online
April 20-22 | 9:00AM-1:00PM Each Day | Online
May 10-12 | 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.

Advanced Practical Training - Collaborative Safety (CSP301L)
March 16-18 | 9:00AM-12:00PM Each Day | Online
May 25-27 | 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 system safety and is designed to engage participants with a comprehensive and holistic introduction to human factors and system 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)
March 19 | 9:00AM-4:00PM Each Day | Online
April 16 | 9:00AM-4:00PM Each Day | Online
May 14 | 9:00AM-4:00PM Each Day | 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.

Sexually Exploited Youth Overview (CSP239A)
March 22-23 | 9:00AM-4:00PM | 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)
March 25 | 9:00AM-4:00PM | 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.

Legal Practice Skills (CSP8205A)
April 20-21 | 9:00AM-12:30PM Each Day | Online | Waitlist
May 10-11 | 9:00AM-12:30PM Each Day | Online | Waitlist
June 14-15 | 9:00AM-12:30PM Each Day | Online | Waitlist

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.

Accommodation Requests

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

DHS Permanency Trainings
These trainings will cover the adoption and kinship processes for children in foster care, as well as children’s social and medical histories. Register using the links below:
For more information, visit Child protection, foster care, adoption: Training and scroll down to the section titled Conferences, trainings, and webinars. If you have questions contact

Training Data | February 2021
136 hours of training, 186 attendees, 44 counties represented, 12
hours of ICWA foundation trained by TTCP

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

Staff Highlights
Anna Chaloupka image

The Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy (MNCWTA) would like to introduce Anna Chaloupka, one of our staff trainers.

Anna was hired as a Social Service Information System (SSIS) trainer for the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), and trains SSIS child protection and adult protection. She is currently working as a child protection foundations trainer in a work out-of-class assignment.
Learn more...


ICWA Coffee Talk Series
The DHS ICWA Unit and SSIS Training Unit have partnered again to relaunch the ICWA Coffee Talk Series. These informational webinars cover topics related to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), the Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act (MIFPA), and the Social Service Information System (SSIS). Sessions occur every two weeks. The next session will be Tuesday, March 23 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. The topic is Placement Preferences. Questions are welcome. Register now!

Reflect. Educate. Act. Discuss. (MNCWTA READ) Book Club
The Training Academy book club is an opportunity to further our commitment and work in child welfare through reading, discussing, and reflecting on books and articles so that we are able to take actionable steps to create change. We have selected A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota as our first book. Space is still available! The next meeting is March 11 at 11:15 a.m. CEU's are available. Register here.

Coffee with Liz and Tracy
In order to better connect with workers and supervisors in all Minnesota counties, our co-directors will be hosting informal monthly gatherings simply to chat, ask questions, get feedback, etc. The conversation can be whatever is on your mind. The next chat is Wednesday, March 24 at 10 a.m. If you are interested, email

SSIS Coffee Talks
Registration is now open for Sexually Exploited Youth (SEY) and Sexually Trafficked Youth (STY) and children in SSIS, scheduled for Tuesday, March 30 from 9:00-10:00 a.m. Questions are appreciated in advance and can be directed to the SSIS Help Desk. All agency staff are welcome.

Employment Opportunities
happy and diverse group of employees

The Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy (MNCWTA) is now accepting applicants for a Child Welfare Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Specialist. Visit our employment page to learn more about this position and how to apply.

Featured Community Partner
In this article we would like to feature our community partner MN ADOPT. This organization serves adoptive, kinship, and foster families by providing information, resources, education, public awareness, and support in an effort to find stable and permanent homes for Minnesota’s Waiting Children. Stephanie Regnier, Education Program Manager for MN ADOPT, has kindly agreed to share more information about their education and training opportunities.

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:

  • What we can do as humans to ensure our sanity and peace of mind is to practice meditation techniques that help us to manage our emotions in a better way. This ACEsConnection article is focused on explaining some useful meditation techniques that will help you manage your emotions in a better way.
  • Discover new skills for your mental and emotional well-being from researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Center for Healthy Minds in this webinar called "The How of Well-Being" on Monday, March 29 from 7-8:15 p.m. CDT. Register now!

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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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