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News & Updates from the Institute for Families: November 2021
November 4, 2021

The Institute for Families (IFF) at Rutgers School of Social Work advances the professional practices and knowledge base of individuals and organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children and families. As the School’s largest center, IFF delivers a $35 million portfolio of contracts delivering training, technical assistance, and applied research and evaluation services. IFF works to: 

  • Advance New Jersey’s child welfare and human service systems through workforce partnerships that lead to more equitable, improved childhood experiences;
  • educate child and family-serving professionals through innovative learning experiences that build evidence-based practices in their everyday work with youth and their caregivers; and
  • demonstrate practices that impact and improve childhood outcomes through applied research and evaluation methods.

Read on for updates on just some of the many recent activities taking place within IFF.

  • Program Updates
    • The New Jersey Victim Assistance Academy (NJVAA) completed their FY2 2021 4th Quarter and Year End Report, which showcases their program deliverables and training evaluation. NJVAA offered a total of 154 training sessions to 3,600+ participants, demonstrating their greatest reach to date.
  • Professional Accolades
    • NSDTA Conference
      • Michelle Cino, Dan Martinho and Yolanda Glover presented "Increasing Learner Engagement in an Increasingly Virtual World" on October 5th. This session provided strategies to make online learning 3-dimensional through improving the learner experience by strengthening the rapport between students and instructors through emotional intelligence techniques, motivating learners with content that will improve attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction, and sharing steps for implementing peer teams, an easy way for online students to collaborate and problem-solve together. 
  • Melissa Bova and Karen Wicks presented "Oh No, to Great VO" on October 6th. The session introduced participants to the use of Voice Over in their eLearning products. Karen presented on how to create, record, and edit high-quality voice overs on any budget, connecting professionals to available resources and the best low-cost equipment every office should have. Melissa followed up with identifying technology supported resources available in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) market and demoing an AI voiceover tool in use at IFF.   
  • Spencer Nitkey, Carole O’Brien and Lorin Tredinnick presented at the National Center for Victims of Crime's 2021 National Training Institute (NTI) hosted on October 8th. Their presentation, "Voices of Victim Service Providers: Using Needs Assessments to Inform Victim Assistance Academies," focused on conducting NJVAA's 2020 needs assessment and applying the findings in support strategic planning for victim services education.  
  • Lorin Tredinnick participated in a panel presentation at the 7th Annual Social Work in Sports Virtual Symposium on October 14th to discuss, "Fact vs. Myth: Sexual Violence in Athletics."
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