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

Welcome to The Acorn! Each month we share the latest trainings, data, and resources available to child welfare professionals throughout Minnesota. This June we examine the worker competencies involved with the Use of Supervision and Management. These competencies ask workers to recognize the importance of the supervisory role in achieving desired service and organizational outcomes for children, youth and families and other stakeholders, in assessing and managing performance, and enhancing the ability to achieve positive outcomes through continuous improvement efforts. Read more!

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

Structured Decision Making (CSP204C)
June 16 | 9:00AM-4:00PM | Online

This training will refresh the professional's knowledge and deepen the application of safety focused practice utilizing the SDM safety and risk assessments, and strengthen connection between the safety assessment and safety planning. Additional outcomes include understanding the "why" behind the SDM assessments, how to leverage the tool within consult teams, and connect engagement skills with assessments. Participants will be expected to bring applicable practice experiences.

Responsive Child Welfare Practice with LGBTQ Youth (CSP314)
June 15 | 9:00AM-4:00PM | Online

This training will model current language used to define sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. LGBTQ youth are over-represented in child welfare systems and are particularly vulnerable. Through self-reflection, data, resource sharing, and interactive activities, participants will learn best practices in working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth.

FGDM Orientation/Facilitator (CSP207F)
June 21-22 | 9:00AM-4:00PM Each Day | Online

This class explains Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) process, the 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 recognizes 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 further abuse and neglect. An overview of the principles and phases of Family Group Decision Making, including which cases are appropriate for referral to the Family Group Decision Making 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.

Case Planning (CSP2103B)
June 18 | 9:00AM-4:00PM | Online (WAITLIST)

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.

Signs of Safety (CSP8301B)
June 16-18 | 9:00AM-1:00PM Each Day | Online (WAITLIST)

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.

Sexually Exploited Youth Overview (CSP239A)
June 22-23 | 9:00AM-12:30PM Each Day| Online (WAITLIST)

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)
June 25 | 9:00AM-12:30PM | Online (WAITLIST)

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)
June 23 | 9:00AM-4:00PM | Online (WAITLIST)

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.

Legal Practice Skills (CSP8205A)
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

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.

Need Help with Trainlink?
Step-by-step instructions on using Trainlink can be found here.

Training Data | May 2021
174 hours of training, 257 attendees, 56 counties represented,
12 hours of ICWA foundation trained by TTCP

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

Staff Highlights
Jane Fields image

Meet Tori Hensley, the new staff trainer for the Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy!

Tori is deeply passionate about serving individuals impacted by the child welfare system, specifically providing relatives and kin caregivers with support, advocacy and education as they navigate the complexities and challenges of the foster care system
Learn more...


Foundations Training for Supervisors
Are you a supervisor wondering what your new workers are learning in foundation training? Are you a new supervisor who hasn't practiced frontline child protection work and want to learn more about the role? Did you take foundations/core training more than 10 years ago and now, as a supervisor, need a refresher? We are hosting a special cohort of new worker foundations training just for supervisors! The training is limited to 15 participants, and begins on July 20 (ends on October 29). To learn more or register, contact Myrna Klegin at

Northwest Regional Learning Center
The Training Academy is excited to announce the selection of the first of four Minnesota regional learning centers. As part of a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, Becker County and the Minnesota State Detroit Lakes campus partnered to submit a proposal to be the regional learning center for northwest Minnesota. MNCWTA staff will be positioned in the Becker County offices to build relationships across the region while in-person training and onsite meetings will be held in space prioritized for Academy learners at the community college. We expect that the other three learning centers will be announced later this summer or early fall. Learn more...

MNCWTA Training of Trainers Opportunity
Are you a current county or tribal child welfare supervisor who is interested in working with other child welfare supervisors as a Community Trainer with the Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy (MNCWTA) to help supervisors learn coaching skills and enhance their on-the-job skills? Are you interested in receiving a recognized coaching certificate (at no cost to you) through the Butler Institute for Families Academy of Professional Coaching? Learn more...

New Worker Training Content Outline Review
Academy staff have developed an outline that will be used to guide the curriculum development for the redesign of New Worker Training. Before we begin in depth curriculum development this summer, we are seeking a review of the outline from Academy learners and the community. One final public presentation is available on Thursday, June 10 from 10:00-11:30 a.m. to explain the details and to give stakeholders a final opportunity to comment. Learn more...

Curriculum Development Update
Significant effort has gone into adjusting curriculum for online delivery in the last 15 months, but we have also started working on other curriculum that we hope to share more about with you in the coming months. In this newsletter we will look at New Worker Training Curriculum: Listening sessions, Results and Content Outline Review.

In December, the Academy began holding statewide listening sessions to present proposed structures and timelines for training for new child protection workers in Minnesota. Legislation establishing the Academy outline critical parameters for Academy trainings, including competency-based training, use of simulations, coaching/mentoring and “content structured to reflect the variety of communities served by the child welfare system in Minnesota and must be informed with attention to both child safety and the evidence-based understanding that maintaining family relationships and preventing out-of-home placement are essential to child well-being. Training delivered by the Child Welfare Training Academy must emphasize racial disparities and disproportionate child welfare outcomes that exist in Minnesota and must include specific content on recognizing and addressing implicit bias”.

Listening Sessions led to a new structural model for New Worker Training and in June Academy staff have been holding Content Outline Review sessions before diving in depth into writing and development of content. We will share more as we continue in this process!

Employment Opportunities

The Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy (MNCWTA) is now accepting applicants for an Administrative/Operations Professional. Visit our employment page to learn more about this position and how to apply.

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:

  • The National Wellness Institute promotes Six Dimensions of Wellness: emotional, occupational, physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual. Addressing all six dimensions of wellness in our lives builds a holistic sense of wellness and fulfillment.
  • Because adults spend so much of the day at work, policies and efforts that support employee wellness can play a big role in keeping workers healthy and preventing chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Check our Workplace Wellness from the Minnesota Department of Health.

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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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