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July/August 2023Vol. 24, No. 6Virtual Child Welfare Training: Embracing the Benefits and Challenges

The COVID-19 pandemic forced child welfare offices and training centers to transition to virtual platforms. An article from the Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD) explores the potential of virtual training and its impact on the child welfare system. "Virtual Training in Child Welfare" shares the experiences of training teams and lessons to incorporate when setting up virtual training.

The article emphasizes how virtual training has expanded access to high-quality professional development resources. Training teams and managers had to learn new technologies and techniques to keep learners engaged. Virtual training also fosters collaboration and networking by connecting practitioners from different locations, encouraging the exchange of ideas and best practices. Additionally, virtual training ensures consistency and standardization in content delivery, guaranteeing that more professionals can receive the same high-quality training regardless of their location.

While virtual training offers significant benefits, the article also acknowledges its associated challenges. Technical issues, such as connectivity problems or limited access to reliable internet, can impede the effectiveness of virtual training. Moreover, maintaining engagement and interactivity in a virtual setting requires intentional design and facilitation. The article emphasizes the importance of ongoing evaluation and improvement to optimize the virtual training experience. 

Virtual training has emerged as a transformative tool for professional growth within the child welfare system. Moving forward, training managers are embracing a model that blends virtual and in-person training. While challenges exist, ongoing evaluation and improvement can address these concerns and ensure the continued success of virtual training initiatives.

Read the full article for links to resources and additional information about researching, evaluating, and designing virtual child welfare trainings.