Training and Education
A number of states report multidisciplinary training. For example, in December 2011 Alabama's AOC and DHR collaborated on conducting a seminar entitled "Permanency for Children in Alabama." 75 court judges, probate court judges and DHR attorney's attended sessions.
Hawaii's It Takes an Ohana (ITAO) project provides foster parents, transitioning foster youth; a wide range of public and private agencies, community organizations, and individuals up-to-date, user-friendly information on numerous diverse topics covering the health, welfare, education and sufficiency of Hawaii's foster families and youth. As a result, CIP has supported ITAO’s project, entitled “Knowledge is Power.” The focus of this is to help caregivers navigate the system and learn about resources available to help the children in their home.
Kansas coordinated four one-day regional multidisciplinary trainings in four cities. The trainings were directed toward and attended by judges, guardian’s ad litem, district and county attorneys, state agency attorneys, and social workers. Court Appointed Special Advocates and Citizen Review Board members also attended. The topics covered at the trainings were “Engaging Youth in Court” and “Educational Advocacy.” There was also a youth panel in each location where current and former foster care youth spoke about their experiences in feeling heard or not heard in court.
Maine CIP supported the 6th annual Regional Court Improvement Forums, which were presented at 5 locations across the state. Topics included (1) Signs of Safety; (2) Statutory changes to child protection law; and (3) The importance of permanency for children involved in child protection cases. Approximately 300 parents’ attorneys, guardian ad litem, CASA’s, Assistant Attorneys General, treatment providers, tribal representatives and DHHS case workers attended.
Missouri CIP held a statewide alternative care conference in June 2011 for Missouri child welfare stakeholders. Topics for this training included incarcerated parent involvement; non-custodial parent/fatherhood/relative engagement; motivational/team building; financial needs/issues information for older youth; policy and procedure updates; disproportionality relating to child welfare; termination of parental rights; Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA); Interstate Compact on Placement of Children (ICPC); educational outcomes for older youth; and neurology as relating to child welfare.
In Utah a joint Assistant Attorney General and Guardian ad Litem conference was held May, 2011. CIP provided funding to help support the conference. Ninety-seven child welfare professionals and attorneys attended.
Virginia's Family Engagement Model (VA-FEM) is a model based on Team Decision-Making that requires a family engagement meeting to be held at key decision points throughout the family’s involvement with the agency. CIP sponsored 7 regional trainings on the topic of Family Engagement in 2011. These events were coordinated with the Virginia Poverty Law Center and Virginia Department of Social Services and reached 176 attorneys across the state.
Re-evaluation and updating of West Virginia's multi-disciplinary treatment team (MDT) effectiveness training for all MDT members was conducted in 2010 and post-training assessment and draft report was conducted in 2011.
In Wyoming, CJP funded two community projects this year. One project was sponsored by the Northern Arapaho Department of Family Services entitled “The Reality of Gang Involvement” on educating professionals in the child welfare/juvenile court system and the community. The second project was sponsored by CASA of Laramie County entitled, “How to Have a Winning Team to Heal a Challenging Child,” a two day seminar by a Therapeutic Parenting Specialist.
Other states with reported multidisciplinary training include the following: