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Dec/Jan 2003Vol. 3, No. 10News from the Child Welfare Training Resources Online Network: New Training Resources Under Developm

A 3-year Child Welfare Training project, designed to enhance skills in using State child welfare data to improve outcomes for children, is underway at the University of Southern Maine. Funded by the Children's Bureau in September 2000, the project has developed a module-based curriculum, with trainer's guide, aimed at increasing the ability of child welfare managers and supervisors to understand and implement mandates of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA). Titled "Bringing Together the Child Welfare Team," the new curriculum addresses ASFA from a variety of perspectives: regulatory, managerial, supervisory, system reform, and improved child welfare practice. It can be adapted easily to meet the needs of different States, and is now available for review and downloading at the ASFA Training Project website at

The Institute of Child and Family Policy at the University's Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service collaborated with the Department of Community Based Services, Kentucky; Department of Children, Youth and Families, New Mexico; Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services, Cleveland, Ohio; and the Division of Children and Family Services and the Training Partnerships, Wisconsin to field test the curriculum and develop the trainer's guide.

The new curriculum is based on an ASFA implementation "promising practices" analysis completed in the first year of the project, which identified competencies on which the core curriculum was designed. In 2002, the analysis was updated by polling representatives from 41 child welfare agencies and 3 court improvement projects to identify the skills that staff need to implement ASFA, as well as how meeting the requirements of ASFA has changed the way the agency does business.

An evaluation was completed on the second year of project operations, which included both in-house processes and activities aimed at evaluating the impact of the training on practice. Lessons learned are summarized in the Year 2 Project Evaluation Report found at the project website at Also available at this site are Results of the 2002 Adoption and Safe Family Act Phone Poll and Bringing Together the Child Welfare Team Trainer's Guide.

For more information on this project, contact:

Susan Kanak, Project Director
University of Southern Maine
Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service
Institute for Child and Family Policy
P.O. Box 15010
Portland, ME 04112-5010
Phone: (207) 780-5840

Four additional projects were funded by the Children's Bureau in the FY 2000 priority area: Training for Managers and Supervisors to Enhance Their Capability to Understand and to Implement the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. Summary information on these current training projects is available at the Child Welfare Training Resources Online Network at