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

Welcome to The Acorn! Each month we share the latest trainings, data, and resources available to child welfare professionals throughout Minnesota. This month our co-directors will provide an update on the latest happenings with the Training Academy in the video below. Topics include returning to in-person training, the future learner management system, employment opportunities, FFPSA Webinars, regional learning centers, new worker and supervisor training, and the return of "Coffee with Liz and Tracy".

Upcoming Trainings
To register for any of the following courses, visit TrainLink and select Class Schedule. Step-by-step instructions can be found here.

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

Signs of Safety (CSP8301B)
September 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.

Responsive Child Welfare Practice with LGBTQ Youth (CSP314)
September 21 | 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.

Domestic Violence Co-Occurrence: Partnering and Engaging Parents (CSP310C1)
September 29 | 9:00AM-4:00PM | Online
November 22 | 9:00AM-4:00PM | Online

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.

Structured Decision Making (CSP204C)
September 30 | 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.

Case Planning (CSP2103B)
October 7 | 9:00AM-4:00PM | Twin Cities Metro Learning Center*
December 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)
October 14 | 9:00AM-4:00PM | Twin Cities Metro Learning Center*
December 9 | 9:00AM-4:00PM | Northwest Regional Learning Center*

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
December 9 | 9:00AM-1:00PM | Twin Cities Metro Learning Center*

This training occurs around three months after Signs of Safety (CSP8301B), and provides an opportunity for the participants to consult and improve their practice of the SOS techniques.

*In-person trainings may be switched to online if COVID-19 conditions continue to worsen; registrants will be notified as soon as those decisions are made. Information about our training centers can be found here.

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 | August 2021
148 hours of training, 179 attendees, 48 counties represented, 12 hours of ICWA foundation trained by TTCP

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

Staff Highlights
Nora Lee

The Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy (MNCWTA) would like to introduce Nora Lee, our new Administrative and Operations Professional.

Nora has over 30 years experience as an administrative assistant with the last 10 years at the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW). Although Nora's work impacted many daily functions of CASCW, there are three areas where she has been integral to the operations of CASCW
. Nora managed all facilities related aspects of CASCW from room reservations, maintenance requests, office and phone transfers, to the development, build out, and set up of the new MinnLInK lab within the School of Social Work.
Learn more...

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

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


Minnesota Supervisors' Conference September 12-15
Training Academy staff will be available at the Minnesota Supervisors' Conference next week in Breezy Point, Minnesota! Stop by our table (in rooms Minnesota 1 & 2) to meet us, get some free stuff, and get your questions answered. We hope to see you there!

FFPSA Webinars
To register for any of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) policy webinars and SSIS coffee talks in September, visit here. All webinars will be recorded and posted on this page for those who were not able to attend the live presentations.

Foster Parent College Pre-Service Training
The Training Academy offers Minnesota families, counties, and tribes free access to curriculum and resources developed by the nationally recognized Foster Parent College (FPC). There is also an option for Pre-Service Training that allows counties and tribes to receive training delivered by an Academy trainer via a pre-scheduled cohort or have a member of their own team deliver the content. Learn more...

Regional Learning Centers
We are still hoping to hear from organizations in the Northeast (Saint Louis County), Southwest (Chippewa/Lac qui Parle/Yellow Medicine/Swift County), and Southeast (Steele County) about submitting a proposal to create a Regional Learning Center for the Training Academy. If you have questions contact Emily Batts at

Curriculum Development Update
This month our curriculum development update comes as a short video created by Lolita Johnson, our Curriculum Supervisor, and Liz Snyder, MNCWTA Co-Director. Check it out!
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:

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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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