How Are Caseworkers Trained?

When caseworkers are hired, they begin an eight-week training called Regional Core Training (RCT), offered by the Alliance. This functions much like Caregiver Core training, covering the whole breadth of child welfare practice from intake to adoptions. New caseworkers receive a full picture of the system and the work.  Staff learn about the three main priorities in child welfare: safety, permanency and well-being for all children and about the expectations for their work. RCT teaches workers all about how to do their jobs, including some specifics for different positions. One thing that’s especially interesting about RCT is that it includes live simulations so workers can practice their work in real settings with actors playing various roles! 

In addition to RCT, all DCYF workers are mandated to attend in-service training specific to their program area. For example, CFWS (Child and Family Welfare Services) workers must complete two days of training on CFWS at minimum within the first year. This covers safety, concurrent planning, working with parents and youth in case planning, permanency planning, well-being and working with caregivers. 

Additional Alliance trainings available to workers, include:

  • working with adolescents
  • domestic violence
  • education planning
  • mental health
  • permanency
  • substance misuse
  • supporting kin
  • early childhood development and many more. 

The Alliance has woven trauma informed engagement principles into most curricula, including the impacts of trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences.

In addition to formal training and coaching offered by the Alliance, workers get support to learn their job from their supervisors, co-workers and DCYF’s quality practice specialist staff. Workers gain valuable knowledge and skills on the job, working with parents, children, youth and, of course, from caregivers. 

For more information, visit the Alliance website.