The monthly newsletter from the Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy (MNCWTA)
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December 2023

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


New Worker Orientation Now Available

Training for new workers has now expanded to include an orientation for new child protection workers to take during their first two weeks on the job. Starting with workers who will enroll in Foundations Cohort 118 in February, New Worker Orientation will be required. Learn more about this new training opportunity here.

illustration of an instructor, 5 students, and a monitor with the word orientation

Motivational Interviewing (MI) Training Update

For child welfare workers and supervisors who want to complete MI Training, the first three courses are open for registration. This includes Self-Paced Modules, Instructor-Led Workshops, and Coaching Circles. More information is available on our website about the courses, pathways, prerequisites, fund claiming, and more.

Are you not getting a response from our Help Desk?

Some users have reported issues with registration or prerequisites and are not receiving responses from our support staff. If this affects you, please read this short article on how to ensure you receive our messages. 


Specialty Training

Responsive Child Welfare Practice with LGBTQ Youth (CWTA X210)

December 7 | 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. | Virtual

Human Trafficking and Sexually Exploited Youth: Basic Training for Child Welfare (CWTA X205) | 2 Open Sections:

December 14 | 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. | Virtual

January 16 | 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. | Virtual

Structured Decision Making (CWTA X200)

January 9 | 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. | Virtual

Motivational Interviewing (MI) Training

Introduction to Motivational Interviewing (MI) Skills for Child Welfare Professionals: Self-Paced
This 2-hour course must be completed before you can register for the instructor-led course. A complete list of prerequisites can be found here.

Motivational interviewing (MI) Skills for Child Welfare Professionals: Instructor-Led Workshops  | 2 Open Sections:

Cohort 10 | December 11-14 | 8:30 a.m - 12:00 p.m. | Virtual

Cohort 11 | December 13, 20, 27, and January 3 | 1:00 - 4:30 p.m. | Virtual

Motivational interviewing (MI) Skills for Child Welfare Professionals: Coaching Circles | 3 Open Sections:

Coaching Circle 1 | December 19 | 1:00-2:30 p.m. | Virtual

Coaching Circle 1 | December 19 | 2:00-3:30 p.m. | Virtual

Coaching Circle 1 | December 20 | 1:00-2:30 p.m. | Virtual

New Worker Training

New Worker Training is only for new county and tribal workers who are involved in child protection, and is assigned by a supervisor or tribal leader through the Training Portal. Participants must be able to attend all dates/times. Remind your employees that they still need to enroll in a course even after you have assigned it to them. Learn more here

New Worker Orientation: Self-Paced Modules (CWTA X110)

This approximately 5-hour course must be completed before you can register for the instructor-led course.

New Worker Orientation: Instructor-Led Enhancement (CWTA X111)
January 18 | 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. | Virtual

Child Welfare Foundations Training (CWTA X100)
Cohort 117* | January 23 - April 4 | Roseville (waitlist)

Cohort 118** | February 13 - May 2 | Virtual (registration opens soon)

*New Worker Orientation is NOT required

**New workers must complete New Worker Orientation (self-paced and instructor-led) before they can enroll. Learn more

The courses above are available for registration through the Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy (MNCWTA) Training Portal. Go to our website,, and then LOGIN (located in the top-right navigation). From there, select the Training Catalog, where you will find course descriptions and links to register.

Need a Training Portal Profile?
Ask your supervisor to invite you. If you are a tribal leader or supervisor, or you do not need a supervisor to assign your trainings, submit the New Profile Request Form. Be sure to use your most up-to-date email and to only use lowercase letters (for both profile requests and invitations). If you have technical issues, submit a ticket here.

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

Learners who miss more than 30 minutes of training will not receive credit. Learners who miss more than 30 minutes of Foundations (new worker) training will need to repeat that specific classroom. If the training takes place over several days, you can only miss 30 minutes total; not 30 minutes per day. Please plan ahead to adjust court dates, on-call shifts, caseload responsibilities, etc.

Need to Cancel Your Registration?
Our class sizes tend to be small, and we often have a waiting list. Follow the instructions here if you need to drop a course.

Other Trainings and Webinars

SSIS Coffee Talk Sessions

The SSIS Business Section at DHS will be hosting the last coffee talk of the year, SSIS Help Desk: A Year in Review, on Tuesday, December 19 at 9:00 a.m. Registration is required for the event and will remain open until the webinar begins.

Qualified Individual Training

Qualified Individual Training (CWTA X400) | January 16-17

Training is available to prepare clinicians and community members to become Qualified Individuals (QIs). QIs determine whether or not a child’s/youth’s needs can be met within their family or family foster home with community services rather than being placed in a child care institution, known as a Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP). If you have questions or want to express your interest in participating, email

Training Data | November 2023

158 hours of training and 226 attendees

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

Employment Opportunities

Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy (MNCWTA)

  • Community Trainers are needed throughout Minnesota to deliver courses on Foundations New Worker Training, Family Group Decision Making (FGDM), Sexually Exploited Youth (SEY), Qualified Individual (QI), and Home Studies. Apply using Job ID 348582. Be sure to indicate in your cover letter which training position you are interested in.

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW)

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Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy (MNCWTA), 1711 County Road B West, 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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