DENVER - Three months after a 9Wants to Know and Denver Post investigation into child welfare in Colorado, the state has announced a redesign of caseworker training.
"Hopefully, it will mean for Colorado kids, when they need our services, we are sending out people that have the very best training in the country," said Julie Krow, the director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families.
The state has awarded the Kempe Center and its partners, the Butler Institute for Families at the University of Denver, the Colorado State Foster Parent Association and Ridgewood Associates, a $3.7 million dollar contract for the re-design.
The Kempe Center will look at the current curriculum at the academy for caseworkers, and evaluate what works and doesn't work. Some of the changes could mean "coaching" for caseworkers who would be observed more by supervisors to make sure they retain their training and are using it in the field.
Another shift would be to focus on problem solving with past child abuse cases that would be used as examples.
"We will take problems, a case for instance, and we'll talk about it, dissect it from
different perspectives, talk about how it might be handled across the disciplines," Dr. Des Runyan, Executive Director of the Kempe Center, said.
"The department is very pleased to be able to partner with the internationally recognized Kempe Center and its strong consortium of partners as we work to redesign and expand the academy," Reggie Bicha, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Human Services, said. "This redesign will develop on-line and regional training opportunities.
The award period is April 2013 through June 2014.
The Training Academy re-design is a key component of Governor John Hickenlooper's plan to improve Colorado's Child Welfare System, "Keeping Kids Safe and Families Healthy," according to a CDHS press release.
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