CWTS is devoted to providing you, our county customers, with high-quality learning experiences that are in alignment with current competencies, policies, and practices; and that honor CDHS’s commitment to strengthening collaborative community partnerships.
With these goals in mind and effective immediately, CWTS will no longer provide the Specialized Interviewing Skills for Latency Aged Children (SIS) course.
This course was created many years ago and has historically been delivered to build caseworker’s forensic interviewing skills.
Best practices, especially with the victimized children served by child welfare in mind, inform that when the nature of any case calls for a forensic interview, this should occur at one of Colorado’s 14 nationally accredited Child Advocacy Centers (CAC); and be facilitated by a certified forensic interviewer.
On the other hand, the CDHS-approved job competencies for caseworkers instruct that caseworkers shall be able to engage with all family members, including children and youth, individually and as a group, in order to conduct comprehensive assessments for purposes of decision making about future agency involvement.
In congruence with CWTS’s mission to develop and deliver training content that is foundationally built upon the caseworker job competencies, CWTS is executing the following steps, in lieu of providing the SIS course:
- The Fundamentals of Colorado Child Welfare Casework Practices course series is active and available for all new and existing caseworkers to attend. (Priority seating is reserved for new caseworkers and existing caseworkers are welcome as space is available). The list below outlines the training content related to interviewing/engaging with children, youth, and families within the Fundamentals.
- Engaging With Families includes training about the language, tools, and strategies for engaging with/interviewing children and youth for the purposes of assessing and addressing safety and risk. Much of this course content draws upon practices and recommendations from the American Bar Association’s “Handbook on Questioning Children” – which is all about linguistics when interviewing children.
- Engaging With Families, Comprehensive Assessments, and Working Towards Closure all include discussion points and exploration about best practices for engaging with children and youth around the safety and support assessment and planning processes as well as the case and permanency planning processes.
- A thorough review is conducted within all Fundamentals courses of the rules and regulations outlined in Volume 7, specifically the assessment and ongoing case requirements for interviewing and making contact with children and youth.
- CWTS will provide all Fundamentals learners with laminated pocket cards which include a set of questions aimed at gathering necessary “minimal facts,” and instructing caseworkers when to stop the questioning process and activate a CAC interview for the child or youth.
- CWTS has partnered with the Colorado Children’s Alliance and will provide nationally accredited forensic interviewer certification training for caseworkers, on a limited basis, within the areas of our state where easy access to a CAC is not available (West and Southeast).
- Finally, CWTS will begin working immediately to develop a new course, intended to be a “201” learning level to the Fundamentals. This new course will enhance the knowledge, skills, and abilities of caseworkers to interview/engage with children and youth in a manner that is culturally responsive and suitable to the child’s developmental level, needs and strengths; and will include a heavy focus on the skills necessary to effectively engage with children between the ages of 0 and 5 (especially non-verbal infants). Like SIS, this new course will be “practice heavy” and will include a practice simulation.
Please direct any questions you may have about this or anything else to your Regional Training Coordinator. Here at CWTS, we consider it a privilege and honor to serve your learning needs.