A major emphasis of the Workforce
Development Academy has been the provision of in-service and pre-service
training. Currently, attention is being paid to ways in
which the workforce can be better recruited, trained and retained through
partnerships with nearby institutions of higher education.
These partnerships are being pursued in order to provide staff with the
opportunity to earn advanced degrees and/or acquire additional skills.
The Training Academy strives to provide timely
training programs that assist the DCF staff and community providers to respond
effectively to children and families needing services.
Through the implementation of a competency-based system, training
programs and other initiatives relate specifically to the work tasks and ongoing
development of DCF staff.
The Workforce Development
Academy seeks to strengthen the practice of child welfare services in
by enhancing the knowledge and skills of DCF staff, as well as providing
educational opportunities for non DCF employees in the form of internships . The nature of child welfare
interventions and services are challenging and complex, therefore the demand for
competent skills of those who provide these services is imperative.
Established in 1997, as a result of the Juan F Consent Decree, the
Workforce Development Academy's mission is to provide high quality, competency
and outcome based, culturally responsive training in accordance with the agency
mission and national standards for practice; to encourage staff to attain
professional education; and to utilize current research to improve pre-service
and in-service training and service delivery.
Our goal is to provide
opportunities for every staff member to develop the competencies needed to
fulfill the mission of the Department and improve the services to children and
their families. The Workforce Development Academy also seeks to support managers
and supervisors in their efforts to create a positive working environment
conducive to fostering the development of staff.
Development Academy currently has 19 full time staff assigned to the division.
The staffing consists of a Director and Assistant Director, 1 Program
Supervisor, 2 Curriculum Managers, 2 Clinical Education Specialists, 8 Child
Welfare Trainers, 1 Video Media Designer, and 3 Clerical Staff.
Additional Training Sites
- In case of inclement weather the Workforce Development Academy will
announce any delay or cancellation of the day's classes. Channel 3, (WFSB)
will broadcast the message the same as a school closing as "DCF Training
- Call 860-560-5055 for
information. There will be a recording if there are any changes in the
normal training day. (Please DO NOT leave any messages on this line). Training
Academy Classes will begin at 9:00AM., unless there is a cancellation or
- Decisions on weather related cancellations or delays will be made no later
*Reminder: In the event of a Workforce Development Academy cancellation,
staff must report to their office, unless the state has been closed by the
If you reside out of the state and can not receive these TV stations,
please make provisions to contact your supervisor. Investigation Training
individuals attending training at the Workforce Development Academy must park in
the Pro Park parking lot located at the intersection of Hudson and Buckingham
For DCF Employees: Please ensure that the
protocol below is utilized when parking in the lot:
State ID must be presented to the Pro Park Security guard at
State ID must be worn at all times in Central Office;
Enter through the front of the building - no access will be
given through the back door.
For NON DCF Employees: You must present a photo ID to the guard
upon entry into the building. Parking
and directions .
The pre-service program for newly hired social workers and
trainees is designed to prepare them for effective protective service/child
welfare practice. The primary responsibility of the social worker/trainees
during their first 12 months of employment while under the “trainee” status is
to acquire the knowledge and skills needed for the job. There are several
components to the pre-service program: classroom training at the Workforce
Development Academy, supervised casework experience in a training unit and
region-based activities aimed at completing the transfer of learning process.
The Workforce Development Academy requires trainees to complete both a pre-test
and a post-test. The pre-test assesses the trainee’s knowledge prior to training
and the post- test assesses knowledge of Child Protective Services (CPS) upon
completion of the extensive training program. It also allows the supervisor to
identify subsequent training needs. Pre-Service
Upon employment, new hires receive orientation to the
office and area, visit local community resources are given selected readings and
have the opportunity to shadow experienced investigations and treatment workers.
Depending upon hiring dates, formal training should commence at the
Workforce Development Academy after the employee has worked in their offices for
at least two weeks. Classes are scheduled form 9:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. Training is
typically scheduled to allow the trainees alternating periods of classroom
training and time in the regional offices getting involved with their new case
assignments, receiving supervision, continuing to familiarize themselves with
community resources and participating in structured learning activities.
A major component of the pre-service program is the presentation of four
modules of training developed by the Ohio Institute of Human Services and the
Child Welfare League of America. The focus of these modules is competency-based
training in the major areas of child welfare practice. Some supplementary
content has been included in several of these modules to reflect the current
protective services practices in Connecticut.
Staff In-Service Trainings
members are required to participate in 30 hours of in-service training per year.
To date there are over 35 course offerings, many of which are CEC certified by
the National Association of Social Workers in an effort to assist those who are
maintaining clinical licensure.
Workforce Development Academy is responsible for the provision of in-service
training for investigation workers that includes an update of skill-building
techniques to enhance their investigative abilities. The investigator must
acquire and analyze information to determine whether a child has been abused or
neglected and is in need of protective services or other services offered by the
Department or the community.
Currently, the Workforce Development
Academy offers an eight (8) day training program for the DCF’s newly assigned
investigators. Strategies are given for investigative interviewing, engaging
involuntary clients in the casework process, including strategies for involving
families in the assessment of their own needs. There are numerous other areas
addressed during this training process. All classes are taught by training
academy staff members, in addition to a number of which are presented by adjunct
trainers who specialize in certain aspects of Investigations.
transferring into an investigations unit must have completed two years with the
Department prior to requesting such a transfer. There are certain exemptions
which may apply. It is expected that all investigators attend these trainings as
they are offered several times each year. If class size permits, those
contemplating a future move to an investigations unit can also attend the
classes. This has proven to better prepare them for the encounters they will
face as a new investigator. Investigations
Supervisory Training Plan
The Department recognizes that the supervisory role is vital
in our effort to strengthen the practice of child welfare services to children
and families. In the fall of 2005, the Department developed a comprehensive
Supervisory Training Plan to ensure that supervisors are provided with core
skills and competencies, as well as on-going trainings to continue their
professional development. Professional
Development Plan for Social Work Supervisors .
The Workforce Development Academy offers
continual learning opportunities for foster and adoptive parents so they too can
increase their skills and abilities in working with the Department and in caring
for our children.
Mandated Reporter Trainings
DCF offers free mandated reporter trainings for all community
providers. Follow this link to learn more: Mandated Reporter
Trainings Staff Mentor Program
The Department recently developed two staff mentoring
programs for social workers and clerical staff in an effort to support upward
mobility. In these programs, line staff members are paired with management staff
in a formal process that is aimed at personal and professional development.
Organized training, developmental activities and close monitoring of the pairs
are offered for a period of one year. To date, participants have found the
programs to be extremely beneficial. Formalize research and data analysis is
underway to evaluate the program’s impact on the retention of staff. Professional Development
Workforce Development Academy is committed to assisting staff with efforts to
pursue their education. The Training Academy has established joint efforts with
several universities and colleges to develop internship and other educational
opportunities for all students pursuing educational degrees in the field of
human services. The internship process is coordinated by the Training Academy
and is available for students, both inside and outside the agency.
following programs are available for existing employees to facilitate the
balancing act between workload responsibilities and school work.
Graduate Education Stipend
Program - Allows educational opportunities for those pursing undergraduate and
graduate degrees with 8 hours per week unpaid release time and a stipend.
Master of Social Work Field
Education Program - Allows Social Work staff to participate in a MSW Field
Placement on site within DCF. The MSW internship may be done using regular
caseload cases with the approval of separate learning objectives and contract
by the University and Area Office.
for NON-DCF Employees
DCF provides unpaid internships for students at
the Bachelor, Masters, and Ph.D level who are pursuing a degree in social work
or related field, and for which the internship is an academic requirement.
For additional information
please follow this link to the Internship
Overview and Online Inquiry
Form. The online internship inquiry form
must be completed within the timeframe specified below. Inquiries will be
processed according to the following schedule:
will be accepted from March 1st - May 31st
Inquiries will be accepted from October 1st -
Inquiries will be accepted from January 15th - March
note that placement considerations are made based on office availability.
you are interested in volunteering you can access the Volunteer
Inquiry Form through Volunteer
Opportunities . Please note that an Inquiry Form is required for
consideration in this program.