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The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Online Child Welfare Training
FOR THE GREATER PART of the past two and a half days, I have been completing required online training for child welfare--CPS intake, investigations, and family preservation services courses, to be specific.
I have to say it is helping everything fall together: the classes in my MSW program; my field practicum; and the child welfare agency operations in general. It's interesting, enlightening and overwhelming all at the same time. It's interesting because Child Protective Services is so important; it's enlightening because I am learning about policies and procedures; and it's overwhelming because the charge to protect children is kind of daunting.
There are so many pieces to each procedure, and while it is repeatedly stated that I can call for back-up (discuss with supervisor, call law enforcement), for the most part when I'm out in the field, it'll be my eyes and ears, common sense, and intuition (backed by evidence, hopefully) that will be called upon to make sure the kids I investigate are not at risk now, or in the foreseeable future.
One cool part of the training is that often, when I am formulating a question in my mind about the work, it is addressed on the next page. I can tell when I have had enough--some of the courses have more than a dozen sections--and my concentration and comprehension abilities seem to vanish. (It's then time for mindless TV or a couple of short stories from "The Portable Dorothy Parker.")
When I finish the online courses, there is instructor-led training, and a final examination.
I hope this is helpful to anyone going into child welfare, or who may have an interest in this aspect of social work.
~Ms. T. J.
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