Training Menu

 

Fundamentals for Creating and Sustaining Family Networks

Multi-Session Series*: Length depends on the need and skill level of the agency. This is determined through complimentary pre-training phone calls.

Training and Consultation Series

This customized series includes an overview session (Establishing Urgency-see below) followed by a series of training/coaching/consultation days in which direct line staff and their supervisors learn tools, techniques and strategies to create and sustain family networks. Direct line staff identify at least one family they will involve to apply what they are learning, review the experience and track the progress of “getting to network”. Tools, strategies and approaches are described, demonstrated, experienced, applied and then reviewed in subsequent sessions to promote transfer of learning and integration into everyday practice to supplant “business as usual”. Implementation opportunities and barriers, along with a constant lens on system alignment, are addressed to promote the desired practice changes. 
Ultimately the purpose of the training is to support the workforce to consistently identify connections to prevent or alleviate loneliness and isolation, and then cultivate/develop a network who will participate in planning and determining how the safety and well-being challenges can be addressed to achieve permanency and exit the system. Supervisors will be actively involved in applying these lessons to replicate the approach in their ongoing supervision contact with staff.  Progress and quality of practice and approach will be overseen through coaching calls between in-person training sessions.

Time: Multi-session series*
Audience:
Day 1-Leaders, decision makers, collaborative partners, supervisors and direct line workers responsible for engaging families to build sustainable networks.
Day 2 and beyond- direct line staff and their supervisors in public/private child welfare agencies and partners, and probation.


Establishing Urgency

This training session begins by reviewing what has been learned over the last decade of research, establishing the adverse outcomes youth experience due to multiple placements, long term foster care plans and exiting from the system without a lifetime family support network. It details the struggles youth face after leaving care without this support network includes isolation and loneliness, unresolved grief and loss, homelessness, joblessness and lack of educational opportunities, supported by research conducted in the last decade.
This session then provides a unique perspective of what direct line staff and their partners can do to prevent many of these outcomes, and the importance of realigning the system’s collective focus on these issues prior to and immediately after removal, rather than waiting until youth are ready to age out of the system. 
We strongly recommend that leaders/decision makers in the many branches of the child welfare system attend, inclusive of the Courts, Child Welfare Agency, Probation, Behavioral Health, Community Partners and any other major system stakeholders, along with those who have lived experience in these systems and are supporting system change efforts.  It has become abundantly evident that systems which lack partner alignment create gaps and seemingly impermeable barriers that result in consistently poor outcomes for who they were designed to serve. 
The training ultimately seeks to establish shared agreement among stakeholders as to the system change efforts that are necessary, along with communication and accountability strategies, to reform the system and change the “business as usual” approach which continues to produce poor outcomes for children, youth, parents, families and communities.  
This session also serves as a kickoff to a longer set of training sessions designed to teach and coach the needed skills to improve family engagement and involvement, as described above. 

Time: 1 day
Audience: Managers, stakeholders, direct line supervisor, direct line staff in public/private child welfare agencies and probation


Creating Networks

This training provides an overview of “family finding” values and principles followed by an in-depth exploration of each component of the “family finding” process and includes a detailed description of the practice. The remaining part of the day(s) is/are spent in teams where participants will learn and practice discovery and engagement tools and strategies to find as many potential connections as possible in order to create networks for their most lonely children and youth. Trainer will assist team members in implementing the practice and overcoming emerging barriers.
This training provides an overview of family finding values and principles followed by an in-depth exploration of each component of the family finding process and includes a detailed description of the practice. The remaining part of the day(s) is/are spent in teams where participants will learn and practice discovery and engagement tools and strategies to find as many potential connections as possible in order to create networks for their most lonely children and youth. Trainer will assist team members in implementing the practice and overcoming emerging barriers.

Time: 1 -2 days
Audience: Managers, stakeholders, direct line supervisor, direct line staff in public/private child welfare agencies and probation


Family Finding and Engagement for the Legal Community

This workshop is designed to provide attendees with a working approach to a practice which can be utilized as a “front-end” intervention as well as throughout the entire child welfare process. This training is designed to assist parents, children and agency attorneys, CASA, judicial officers in the development of their understanding and advocacy surrounding of the urgency of Family Finding, reasonable efforts to prevent removal and support early reunification, concurrent planning requirements and opportunities; finding and engaging fathers; the importance of relative involvement, all of which reduce adverse outcomes for youth and families. Attendees will be provided with an introduction to a diverse set of tools and strategies they can incorporate into daily practice.  The interactive nature of the training will also encompass skill building exercises related to search techniques and engagement strategies.

Time: 1 day
Audience: Managers, stakeholders, direct line supervisor, direct line staff in public/private child welfare agencies and probation


Finding, Engaging, and Advocating for Fathers and his “Family”

This interactive workshop will provide an overview of the importance of fatherhood engagement in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, including recent research on the benefits of father’s participation as well as the updated Federal initiatives around father engagement.  Also provided will be a review and update of the legal requirements to identify and involve fathers and his relatives as well as legal terminology, definitions and other mandates.  There will be an in-depth discussion about individual biases, barriers that fathers face and how to unpack situations where fathers are viewed as non-engaged or even defiant. During this workshop, the participants will be introduced to a Conversation Starter Tool to assist in meaningful conversations and engagement strategies with Dads and his relatives. 

Time: 1-2 days
Audience: Managers, stakeholders, direct line supervisor, direct line staff in public/private child welfare agencies and probation


Unlocking Reasonable Efforts

Reasonable Efforts is a Federal and State required finding by the Court.  The Court must determine at key stages during a child welfare or delinquency matter, whether the agency/probation utilized reasonable efforts prior to removal or placement of the child or youth into foster care. This finding is one of the most crucial findings the Court will make and can only be made with adequate evidence presented. This workshop will focus on federal and state expectations as to what is reasonable to prevent removal, return home and to finalize the permanent plan for children and youth. Through a series of exercises, the attendees will learn what efforts should be employed prior to removal; what efforts and/or services can be shown to return the child or youth and what efforts need to be implemented for the court to determine Reasonable Efforts to finalize a permanent plan. Recent case law will also be presented and reviewed.

Time: 1 day
Audience:Managers, stakeholders, direct line supervisor, direct line staff in public/private child welfare agencies and probation


Facilitation of Strategic Planning Discussions

Any successful change in a systemic practice requires alignment with stakeholders. These sessions are developed with input and conversation with each specific county stakeholder managers and directors. They are designed to bring the decisions makers to the table, discuss needs and direction of the group and develop strategies and tools to implement county permanency programs and pilot projects. The purpose of these facilitated discussions is to guide the alignment of permanency goals to existing or developing strategic programs and system improvement plans, identify challenges and opportunities and as a team, develop next steps in the implementation of permanency related programs within their community.

Time: Half day or more as needed
Audience: Managers, stakeholders, direct line supervisor, direct line staff in public/private child welfare agencies and probation


Advanced

For Participants who are well Steeped with the Basics of Family Search and Engagement

Multi-Session Series*: Length depends on the need and skill level of the agency. This is determined through complimentary pre-training phone calls.

We Found Family, What’s Next? Principled Practices for Network Building

This training is designed to promote the participant’s ability to effectively engage with caregivers, parents, “family” and connections of youth, as they are legally mandated to do, and apply the tools and techniques of the training to support the development of sustainable networks for youth and families, which research clearly identifies as a prominent healing factor. Specifically, we will provide instruction, demonstration and advanced practice utilizing the Tree of Life, Mattering, Intentional Strengths, and Collaborative Helping Maps, which participants will be able to apply directly with their families, connections and youth following the training.

Time: 2 days
Audience: Direct line staff and supervisors who are experienced and fluent in family finding practices described in the training and consultation series above.


Consultation /Field Training

Consultation/field training provides personalized assistance in the administration and practice of “family finding” and engagement processes, and case specific review. These sessions can be held in conjunction with any other trainings listed and can be held prior to or following the implementation of a “family finding” or permanency related pilot/process. Sessions promote the effectiveness of the supervisor relationship, support and provide strategies to integrate these models into daily practice, and further the development of system-wide protocols, county-wide procedures or state-wide programs.
Consistent contact through phone consultations will be essential to the success of work, collaboration, and alignment within departments and between agencies.

Time: As needed/requested
Audience: Managers, direct line supervisor, direct line staff in child welfare and probation


Training for Supervisors **Currently in Development**

Consultation/field training provides personalized assistance in the administration and practice of “family finding” and engagement processes, and case specific review. These sessions can be held in conjunction with any other trainings listed and can be held prior to or following the implementation of a “family finding” or permanency related pilot/process. Sessions promote the effectiveness of the supervisor relationship, support and provide strategies to integrate these models into daily practice, and further the development of system-wide protocols, county-wide procedures or state-wide programs.
Consistent contact through phone consultations will be essential to the success of work, collaboration, and alignment within departments and between agencies.

Time: As needed/requested
Audience: Managers, direct line supervisor, direct line staff in child welfare and probation


Search Trainings

Multi-Session Series*: Length depends on the need and skill level of the agency. This is determined through complimentary pre-training phone calls.

Discovery and the Search Process

Using internet Search engines to locate relatives for youth in Foster care. Focuses on using free, paid and premium search databases, including social network searches. Emphasis on mining the case files, basic search strategies, and reading the data. Can be performed by phone/Skype

Time: 1 day
Audience: Managers, direct line staff in public and private child welfare agencies, and probation


Hands-On Search Training

Live in-person training where we take actual cases and walk you through the search process and strategies, including using your in-house databases, demonstrating other possible database options, and advanced interpretation of the data.

Time: 1 day
Audience:Managers, direct line staff in public and private child welfare agencies, and probation


Advanced Search Strategies

Getting the most out of your database searches. Discusses strategies to increase your effectiveness in the search process including choosing the right database, leveraging paid sites to find free information, when to use free services and when it is necessary to use paid services. Also includes strategies in locating difficult to find relatives. Includes advanced interpretation of the data. Can be performed by phone/Skype.

Time: 1 day
Audience:Managers, direct line staff in public and private child welfare agencies, and probation


Phone Consultation/Coaching

We can provide in-person or phone consultation and coaching on how to apply Seneca Searches to your engagement and family involvement strategies.

Time: Hourly, Ongoing
Audience:Managers, direct line staff in public and private child welfare agencies, and probation