New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership
The New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership is OCWI’s primary training initiative. Working with the NJ Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) Office of Training and Professional Development, Rutgers University serves as the lead partner responsible for creating, coordinating and delivering training courses that prepare child welfare workers within the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (CP&P) to meet their goals in creating the safety, well-being and success of children and families across the state. In a collaborative approach, OCWI contracts with Montclair State University and Richard Stockton College to serve regions in the northern and southern areas of the state, collectively.
The Partnership was created in 2007 with an initial charge of implementing change in the state’s culture of child welfare practice. The Partnership supported movement from the Division’s (formerly known as DYFS) case management service delivery model to NJ’s current strength‐based, family centered, child focused model. The Partnership evolved into a large-scale professional development approach taking place in all 21 counties of the state to:
- Develop curriculum and delivery of education to enhance case practice and planning with youth, children & their families
- Create classroom and on-line training to meet the changing needs of the workforce
- Provide specialized training on critical issues influencing child welfare, especially domestic violence and substance abuse
- Infuse culturally relevant coursework that raises cultural competence of staff, and
- Conduct ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness and impact of training
The New Jersey Child Welfare Partnership delivers more than 100 different courses including mandatory classes in DCF's case practice model and the four tiers of child abuse investigative findings as well as a large menu of elective course offerings such as Working with Cognitively Challenged Parents, Girls & Gangs, Compulsive Hoarding and Human Trafficking. Each class is evaluated using a training survey and a pre- and post-test to measure participant satisfaction and knowledge gained. Transfer of learning activities are also provided to supervisors as a means to advance learning from the classroom into practice with families. During the fiscal year 2013, child welfare workers received over 3,000 days of training.