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You can browse through our course offerings here. To register, go to Course Registration.


ACEs: More Than a Score

Many of us have heard “What’s your ACE score?” or “That’s a high score,” but what does this really mean for families? This interactive one-day classroom course facilitated by Illuminate Colorado gives learners the foundation they need to recognize the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and how to strengthen protective factors in children to bolster resiliency and success.

Over the course of the day, learners will explore how to incorporate the knowledge of ACEs and their impacts on both mental and physical health and gain tips and techniques on how to increase protective factors in the lives of children and families. Learners will explore how to go beyond an ACE score to support children and families with a focus on building resiliency to counteract the negative impacts of ACEs.

The Birds, the Bees, and the Stork

Talking about sexual development and sexuality doesn’t have to be awkward or difficult. In this interactive one-day classroom course facilitated by Illuminate Colorado, learners will gain an increased understanding of healthy sexual development in children and youth. Through activities and discussion, learners will be able to identify developmentally expected behaviors and distinguish those from concerning behaviors.

As part of the course, learners will explore how to do the following:

  • Create and promote healthy boundaries and structures
  • Talk about sexuality with various audiences, including children, youth, and caregivers
  • Make informed decisions to promote healthy sexual development and prevent concerning behaviors

Note: This course will focus on recognizing healthy sexual development and gaining skills on how to communicate with various audiences about boundaries and healthy sexuality. If you’re looking for a course on children or youth displaying problematic sexual behaviors, you may be better served by another Illuminate Colorado course: Supporting Families When Children and Youth Display Problematic Sexual Behaviors.

Child Development and the Effects of Trauma: Adolescent Development (Web Based Training)

This interactive, self-guided online course is designed to help child welfare professionals and foster, kinship, and adoptive parents understand the impact of trauma on the development of adolescents who have experienced child abuse and neglect. This is an optional course for learners who are completing the Fundamentals of Colorado Child Welfare Casework Practicecourse series. 
 
Your own experiences in caring for and working with children and youth will be a resource during this training. We’ll also have videos that provide examples of typical and atypical development, interactive activities, and written resources you can access to explore the impact of abuse and neglect. Throughout the training, you will be asked to consider the impact that abuse and neglect might have on the children and youth you are caring for and working with, and how this impact might manifest in a child or youth’s behavior.
 
The Adolescent Development and the Effects of Traumacourse is one course in a series of four online courses related to child development and the effects of trauma. This course focuses specifically on adolescents and can only be completed once Child Development and the Effects of Trauma: The Essentialsis completed.

The other courses in the series are:

  • Infant and Toddler Development and the Effects of Trauma
  • School Age Child Development and the Effects of Trauma

In this training you will explore four developmental domains:

  • physical,
  • cognitive,
  • social-emotional, and
  • sexual.

Within each domain, we’ll explore the following topics:

  • typical developmental milestones for adolescents,
  • indicators that development has been affected or disrupted by trauma,
  • guidelines for what caregivers and caseworkers can do when developmental concerns have been identified,
  • opportunities for caregivers and caseworkers to practice identifying atypical development, and
  • guidance for caregivers and caseworkers on how best to support adolescents affected by trauma.

Child Development and the Effects of Trauma: Infant and Toddler Development (Web-Based Training)

This interactive, self-guided online course is designed to help child welfare professionals and foster, kinship, and adoptive parents understand the impact of trauma on the development of infants and toddlers who have experienced child abuse and neglect. This is an optional course for learners who are completing the Fundamentals of Colorado Child Welfare Casework Practicecourse series.

Your own experiences in caring for and working with children and youth will be a resource during this training. We’ll also have videos that provide examples of typical and atypical development, interactive activities, and written resources you can access to explore the impact of abuse and neglect. Throughout the training, you will be asked to consider the impact that abuse and neglect might have on the children and youth you are caring for and working with, and how this impact might manifest in a child or youth’s behavior.

The Infant and Toddler Development and the Effects of Traumacourse is one course in a series of four online courses related to child development and the effects of trauma. This course focuses specifically on infants and toddlers and can only be completed once Child Development and the Effects of Trauma: The Essentialsis completed.

The other courses in the series are:

  • School Age Child Development and the Effects of Trauma
  • Adolescent Development and the Effects of Trauma

In this training you will explore four developmental domains:

  • physical,
  • cognitive,
  • social-emotional, and
  • sexual.

Within each domain, we’ll explore the following topics:

  • typical developmental milestones for school age children,
  • indicators that development has been affected or disrupted by trauma,
  • guidelines for what caregivers and caseworkers can do when developmental concerns have been identified,
  • opportunities for caregivers and caseworkers to practice identifying atypical development, and
  • guidance for caregivers and caseworkers on how best to support school age children affected by trauma.

Child Development and the Effects of Trauma: School Age Child Development (Web-Based Training)

This interactive, self-guided online course is designed to help child welfare professionals and foster, kinship, and adoptive parents understand the impact of trauma on the development of school age children who have experienced child abuse and neglect. This is an optional course for learners who are completing the Fundamentals of Colorado Child Welfare Casework Practicecourse series.

Your own experiences in caring for and working with children and youth will be a resource during this training. We'll also have videos that provide examples of typical and atypical development, interactive activities, and written resources you can access to explore the impact of abuse and neglect. Throughout the training, you will be asked to consider the impact that abuse and neglect might have on the children and youth you are caring for and working with, and how this impact might manifest in a child or youth's behavior.

The School Age Child Development and the Effects of Traumacourse is one course in a series of four online courses related to child development and the effects of trauma. This course focuses specifically on school age children and can only be completed once Child Development and the Effects of Trauma: The Essentialsis completed.

The other courses in the series are:

  • Infant and Toddler Development and the Effects of Trauma
  • Adolescent Development and the Effects of Trauma

In this training you will explore four developmental domains:

  • physical,
  • cognitive,
  • social-emotional, and
  • sexual.

Within each domain, we'll explore the following topics:

  • typical developmental milestones for school age children,
  • indicators that development has been affected or disrupted by trauma,
  • guidelines for what caregivers and caseworkers can do when developmental concerns have been identified,
  • opportunities for caregivers and caseworkers to practice identifying atypical development, and
  • guidance for caregivers and caseworkers on how best to support school age children affected by trauma.

Child Development and the Effects of Trauma: The Essentials (Web-Based Training)

This interactive, self-guided online course is designed to help child welfare professionals and foster, kinship, and adoptive parents understand the impact of trauma on the development of children and youth who have experienced child abuse and neglect. This is an optional course for learners who are completing the Fundamentals of Colorado Child Welfare Casework Practicecourse series.
 
The Essentials course is one course in a series of four online courses related to child development and the effects of trauma. This course is designed to provide a foundational understanding of child development and the effects of trauma and is a prerequisite for the other courses in the series:

  • Infant and Toddler Development and the Effects of Trauma
  • School Age Child Development and the Effects of Trauma
  • Adolescent Development and the Effects of Trauma

Your own experiences in caring for and working with children and youth will be a resource during this training. We’ll also have videos that provide examples of typical and atypical development, interactive activities, and written resources you can access to explore the impact of abuse and neglect. Throughout the training, you will be asked to consider the impact that abuse and neglect might have on the children and youth you are caring for and working with, and how this impact might manifest in a child or youth’s behavior.

Child Welfare Response to Child & Youth Sex Trafficking: Module 4 for Caregivers

Given the intersection between child welfare and sex trafficking, child welfare professionals can play a critical role in identifying and reporting child/youth victims, determining appropriate services and placement options for victims, and helping to prevent future victimization of children/youth currently in care.

But child welfare professionals cannot address trafficking alone. In this interactive two-hour module targeted to caregivers, you’ll examine basic information about child/youth victims of sex trafficking as you explore the child welfare system response to sex trafficking.

Through this course, you will:

  • gain an understanding of your role as foster or kinship parents/caregivers
  • learn the federal definition of sex trafficking
  • recognize the risk factors associated with children and youth who are victims, or at risk of becoming victims, of sex trafficking
  • understand the impact of sex trafficking on children/youth
  • develop strategies for responding to children/youth who are in your care.

Consequences of Maltreatment for Child Development

This interactive, classroom-based course will help you understand the impact of trauma on the development of children and youth who have experienced child abuse and neglect.

Trauma and post-trauma adversities can profoundly influence children’s acquisition of developmental competencies and their capacity to reach important developmental milestones in domains such as cognitive functioning, emotional regulation, and interpersonal relationships. Your own experiences in caring for and working with children and youth will be a resource during this training; you will be asked to consider the impact that abuse and neglect might have on the children and youth you are caring for and working with, and how this impact might manifest in a child or youth’s behavior. You will also be introduced to videos, interactive activities, case studies, and written resources that you can access to explore the impact of abuse, neglect, and other forms of trauma.

And, most importantly, you will explore the guidelines and strategies that caregivers, caseworkers, therapists, and the entire child welfare system can use when trauma and its developmental consequences have been identified. Understanding these guidelines and strategies will allow us all to think critically about our decision making at critical points in a case.

To create safety, permanency, and well-being for children and youth, it is necessary for child welfare to be trauma-informed as a system. For that reason, we strongly encourage you to register for this course together with members of your county’s multidisciplinary team.

Creating Healing Attachments for Children

This one-day course, designed both for caseworkers and for foster and kinship parents, highlights the needs of children and youth in out-of-home care around the critical area of attachment. Through collaborative discussions and interactions, you’ll leverage your knowledge and experiences while also deepening your understanding of the risk factors for attachment difficulties. The facilitator will engage you in considering the impact maltreatment can have on attachment and in exploring ways of supporting children and youth in out-of-home care through healing attachment experiences and care. You’ll also have opportunities to practice assessing for and documenting attachment.

Credit Education for Youth in Foster Care

This training will provide agency staff, volunteers, and other relevant parties with information and resources on how to teach youth about credit beyond just addressing inaccurate information. Learners will explore how to convey credit education to youth, including why credit is important to financial independence, the benefits of having good credit, and basic strategies for building and sustaining good credit as youth emerge into independent adulthood.

Credit Health and Remediation for Youth in Foster Care (General Audience)

This classroom session will teach learners how to impart credit education to youth, including why credit is important to financial independence, the benefits of having good credit, and basic strategies for building and sustaining good credit as youth emerge into independent adulthood.

If you’re a county professional responsible for credit remediation for youth, please see Credit Health and Remediation for Youth in Foster Care (County Audience).

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (Web-Based Training)

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) affect nearly 30 percent of children and youth in the foster care and adoption system and 15 to 25 percent of those in the juvenile justice system. Do you know how to support children, youth, and families who are impacted by them?

This Web-based training, with customized content for both caseworkers and caregivers, explores the research around the impacts of fetal alcohol exposure and how FASD affects behavior and functioning. You’ll examine what FASD looks like to adults and think about what it feels like to an affected child or youth. Using case scenarios, you’ll explore practical strategies and interventions for supporting these children and youth at home, in school, and in the community.

Whether you’re a caregiver or a caseworker, your involvement with children or youth with FASD will be even more successful when you hone the skills for supporting them in managing their behavior and negotiating their daily life and know how to access community resources and specialized services.

Foster Parent CORE Training

Before the placement of a child or youth in your home, the State of Colorado requires you to complete initial training in a statewide core curriculum. Anyone planning to operate a foster family home in Colorado must achieve a total of 27 hours of pre-certification training, including completion of an initial 12 hours of training prior to a child or youth being placed in your home. In addition to fulfilling the Foster Parent Core Training outlined below, you will also need to become certified in first aid (or the equivalent) and CPR for the ages of children or youth in your care.

Foster Parent Core Training, provided by the Colorado Child Welfare Training System (CWTS), is a one-and-a-half-day interactive classroom course in which you will learn about

  • the legal process;
  • the child welfare system and how it works;
  • the impact of maltreatment in the lives of children and youth in care;
  • strategies for providing a nurturing, culturally responsive, and therapeutic environment for children and youth; and
  • approaches for partnering with families of origin.

You’ll leave with an in-depth understanding of child development; the difference between abuse, neglect, and discipline; the importance of cultural differences; and the ways families need to prepare for foster, kinship, or adoptive care. Come equip yourself with the skills to provide excellent foster, kinship, or adoptive care for Colorado’s children, youth, and families.

Prior to attending classroom training, you must register for and complete the following prerequisite Web-based trainings (WBTs):

  • Child Development and the Effects of Trauma: The Essentials (this is a prerequisite for the next course) (2 hours)
  • Child Development and the Effects of Trauma: the age group module for the specific age you plan to care for (1.5 hours)
  • The Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standard (1.5 hours)
  • Safe Sleep: Creating Safe Sleep Environments for Infants (2 hours)

All of these WBTs can be found online here.

For your convenience, you can take these online courses right from the comfort of your own home and without the need for child care. In the event you need assistance gaining access to the technological resources necessary for these online courses, please connect with the regional training coordinator in the region where you live (http://coloradocwts.com/regional-training-centers-families).

The Invisible Conversation

To build an effective working relationship with a family, it is essential to understand their cultural story. We need to appreciate how that story influences perspectives, decisions, the justification of decisions, and the creation of identities and social values.

How we do that? We start with ourselves.

In this one-day course, you’ll participate in experiential activities designed to cultivate insights related to your own identity and its influence on your practice. From there, you’ll develop insights into the development of cultural identity in the children and families you work with. And you’ll gain comfort in facilitating courageous conversations with families and other child welfare professionals to promote cultural awareness and responsive practice.

This course will encourage you to think critically and evaluate your current practice: how can you better meet the needs of culturally different families while also working to address disproportionate and disparate treatment of culturally different families in the child welfare system? You’ll leave with practical strategies, unique to your own journey, to employ in your work with families.

Legalized Marijuana: Considerations for Child Safety (Web-Based Training)

The legalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational use in Colorado has brought with it many questions about its impact on children and families. In this interactive learning experience, learners will explore to what extent marijuana use or cultivation may affect child safety. This web-based training provides

  • an overview of Colorado’s marijuana laws,
  • an introduction to marijuana and its effects on the body and behavior, and
  • a summary of existing research on the impacts on infants, children, teens, and adults.

This WBT is a prerequisite for the Marijuana, Children, and Families classroom course, which explores in more depth the child welfare considerations and best practices related to marijuana.

Legal Preparation for Foster Parents

The law of dependency and neglect is complicated, particularly for foster parents, kinship providers, and adoptive parents who are not always present in court and do not necessarily have legal resources available to them. This one-day classroom course delves into the laws that affect foster parents. Upon completion, you will

  • understand the substance and scope of foster parents’ rights,
  • have a basic understanding of the court process,
  • gain tips for participating in court proceedings, and
  • develop strategies for navigating the child welfare system.

Mandatory Reporter Training

This Web-based training is for individuals who are required by law to make reports of child abuse or neglect. After taking this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

  • recognize which professions are considered mandatory reporters in Colorado
  • appreciate how a Colorado mandatory reporter is uniquely positioned to report suspected maltreatment
  • identify the indicators and behaviors associated with abuse and neglect, even when they are subtle or nonverbal, including the variety of ways a child may inform a mandatory reporter that they are being abused or neglected
  • understand the legal obligations of a Colorado mandatory reporter, such as when and how to report suspected or known abuse or neglect and the legal consequences for not reporting
  • recognize the information a Colorado mandatory reporter will likely be asked when reporting suspected or known abuse or neglect to child protective services or law enforcement
  • identify groups of children and youth who may be at a higher risk for abuse or neglect and understand what it means to be a vulnerable child
  • demonstrate, when a child discloses information, the ability to interact with a child using language that is simple, supportive, objective, and not probative
  • distinguish the types of abuse and neglect that occur most frequently and identify signs of trauma
  • exhibit a working understanding of the difference between reporting and investigating and appreciate the consequences associated with interviewing the child or conducting an investigation before making a report

If you are an educator, first responder, healthcare provider, or mental health professional, you’ll take the training module identified specifically for your profession. All other mandatory reporters should take either the training for professionals in another field or the training for volunteers who work with children or youth.

Motivating Positive Outcomes With Adolescents

This one-day training expands on the basic content discussed in The Adolescent 411. We all acknowledge that adolescents can be challenging, even on the best of days. The goal of this training is to help you promote positive outcomes by increasing your understanding why an adolescent is “behaving” in a specific way and how you can effectively work with adolescents, their families, and their community. Upon completion, you will be prepared to

  • build rapport with resistant adolescents;
  • understand the purpose behind problematic behaviors;
  • develop skills to effectively intervene with adolescents; and,
  • identify barriers to permanency so that you can engage teens in permanency planning.

The Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard (Web-Based Training)

On a daily basis, parents and caregivers are faced with decisions regarding their children’s safety, permanency, and well-being. These decisions require the use of judgment. The task is complicated for caregivers of children and youth in foster care given the number of laws, policies, guidelines, and rules that restrict activities and require potentially time-consuming approval processes.

Because most children or youth in foster care will likely struggle to experience a “normal” childhood or adolescence, the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard was enacted to create more normalcy for them. This self-paced web-based training will help you

  • understand the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard (RPPS) as it is outlined in federal law and in Volume 7 (Social Services Rules);
  • consider how to work effectively with those involved in the care of children and youth in out-of-home placement to operationalize the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard in decisions that are made for children in out-of-home placements; and
  • reflect on how to interact with children and youth in a culturally responsive and supportive way to promote their healthy development and enhance their well-being.

If you will be a foster or out-of-home caregiver or provider in Colorado, you must obtain initial training in the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard through this web-based training. You are then required to receive training annually from your certifying, sponsoring, or owning organization in applying the RPPS.

If you are a caseworker working with children and youth in out-of-home care, this training is also targeted to you. It is designed to enhance your understanding of the RPPS and help you understand how you can support caregivers or providers in operationalizing it.

Safe Sleep: Creating Safe Sleep Environments for Infants (Web-Based Training)

In this interactive web-based training, you will learn about creating safe sleeping environments for infants. You’ll explore customs and myths related to infant sleep along with recommended approaches and interventions associated with reductions in the risk of sleep-related infant deaths. When you finish this training, you will be able to

  • describe the prevalence of infant death associated with the sleep environment;
  • explain the sleep-related risks for infants, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID); and
  • summarize the recommendations for the American Academy of Pediatrics for reducing the risk of sleep-related infant deaths.

The additional section created specifically for caseworkers will prepare you to

  • explain the role of the caseworker in educating families about safe-sleep practices;
  • describe the type of information a caseworker might need to discuss or share with families when assessing safe-sleep practices; and
  • describe how best to support families in creating safe sleep environments for their infants.

This enhanced knowledge and these skills will equip you to thoroughly assess whether infants’ sleep environments are safe and to have crucial, culturally responsive conversations with families about this important aspect of caregiving.

Sexual Health Fluency: Communicating With Youth and Caregivers About Risks and Resources

Sexual health is essential for all people, yet it can be uncomfortable to discuss, surrounded by cultural, personal, and religious taboos. For youth involved in child welfare services—who experience disproportionate rates of sexual health issues compared to other teens, in addition to a mountain of other challenges—the need to learn about sexual health is even more critical, and it’s imperative that we overcome our own discomfort around these conversations.

Youth in care not only experience trauma, which can impact their sexual development, but they also all too often miss out on traditional sexual health education that other students get in school and from their families. This course will empower learners to facilitate trauma-informed discussions around healthy sexual development with both youth and caregivers.

In this training, learners will

  • consider their own values around sexual health and the importance of respecting others’ values,
  • explore sexual health needs and risks related to youth involved in foster care,
  • investigate local and online sexual health resources and services available to youth, and
  • practice talking with confidence about sexual health with youth and caregivers through a trauma-informed lens.

Supporting Youth in Achieving Permanency

How can you best help adolescents in your home plan for permanency and a successful transition to adulthood? What types of engagement have worked best for youth at this developmental stage? This area of care can be extremely difficult to navigate. So it’s important to be informed and able to advocate for the kids in your home.

This day-and-a-half training will provide a facilitated discussion among foster parents with various levels of experience in this arena. You’ll also acquire

  • new skills for engaging youth in their permanency planning and transition to adulthood,
  • new perspectives on how culture and identity affect different youths’ experiences in this area, and
  • current information on services available to youth making this transition.

Come share what you know and learn from others.

When Trauma and Discipline Intersect: Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI)

Parenting is challenging, particularly with children from hard places. When you care for these children and youth, some of whom were born prematurely, have been abused or neglected, or have been adopted internationally and have special needs, you’ll need caregiving strategies that meet their unique circumstances.

Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI), developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross, is an evidence-based parenting and intervention model designed specifically to promote resilience in children who have experienced relationship-based traumas such as institutionalization, multiple foster placements, or maltreatment. In this innovative training series provided by the Kempe Center, you’ll delve into TBRI with our accredited facilitator, who will steep caregivers in the three principles of the TBRI model:

  • Connecting Principles (which include strategies to build healthy, trusting relationships)
  • Empowering Principles (which include strategies to meet physical needs and promote a safe, predictable environment)
  • Correcting Principles (which provide proactive and responsive strategies to reduce the effect of stressful situations)
  • Across three classroom sessions, you will uncover the meaning behind child behaviors, explore the unique brain chemistry of children and youth from hard places, and develop techniques to help these children (and your family) heal and connect. You will leave this course with tangible preventative strategies and tools that you can immediately put into action with children and youth in your care.

    TBRI was developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross at the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development and is built on a solid foundation of neuropsychological theory and research, tempered by humanitarian principles. Although TBRI was designed for children who have experienced some form of trauma, it has proven to be effective with all children. TBRI offers practical tools for parents, caregivers, teachers, or anyone who works with children to help those in their care reach their highest potential. Each course provided by the Kempe Center utilizes the TBRI curriculum and is trained by Michelle Mares, Foster, Kinship, and Adoptive Parent Training Manager, who studied under Dr. Cross and his team at the TCU Institute of Child Development and is an accredited TBRI Educator.