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April 2003Vol. 4, No. 3Training Strengthens Collaboration Between Child Welfare Staff and Community-Based Organizations

Cornell University has developed an interactive, competency-based training curriculum and training plan to strengthen the capacity of county child protection and child welfare workers to collaborate with community-based organizations.

The training involves six components:

  • Addressing some of the systemic barriers to collaboration.
  • Highlighting the family strength approach.
  • Providing participants with an opportunity to express and correct common misconceptions and learn up-to-date information about each other's services.
  • Helping participants understand the different terminology used by each system.
  • Providing opportunities to practice the knowledge and strategies by role-playing development of a service plan jointly with a family.
  • Helping participants transfer these skills to the workplace by giving them assignments to complete after the training, having them attend a follow-up meeting, and including supervisory and administrative staff in the process.

Evaluation results have been positive. Between 78 percent and 94 percent of participants in each county felt the training positively impacted their understanding of collaboration. After 1 year, 90 percent of participants were found to be using the knowledge gained from the training. More than 90 percent collaborated more because of the training, and nearly 80 percent felt families were being better served because of enhanced collaboration.

For more information on this training program, contact:
Frank Barry
Cornell University
Family Life Development Center
Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: (607) 255-7456