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Public Child Welfare Training Academy

The Public Child Welfare Training Academy (PCWTA) is one of five child welfare training academies in the state of California. Established in July 1996, it serves the counties of Imperial, Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Riverside. Additional advanced training is offered to the counties of Ventura and Los Angeles. The program works collaboratively with four Universities offering social work degree programs: San Diego State University, California State University, San Bernardino, Loma Linda University and California State University, Fullerton to provide meet the developmental needs of trainees in the southern region.

PCWTA is sometimes referred to as the “Southern Academy” part of a network of Regional Training Academies in California. Due to growth and expansion of scope, PCWTA is now a division, albeit the largest, of the Academy for Professional Excellence. PCWTA provides training to the over 7,000 public child welfare staff and child welfare-related community based agencies, group homes and foster family agency staff in the region.

PCWTA takes pride in the delivery of comprehensive, culturally appropriate, competency-based, in-service child welfare services training.  The curricula is designed to provide participants the knowledge, skills and values of the best in child welfare practice and research, with the ultimate goal of improving outcomes for children and families in the child welfare system.

Levels of Training

PCWTA offers three basic levels of training for Child Welfare Services (CWS) staff. These include:

Core courses represent the essential knowledge and skills needed to perform the tasks in Child Welfare Services (CWS). The Academy offers Core training in Child Welfare Social Work Practice, Supervision, and Management. Core courses are designed for newly hired or newly promoted staff, but are also useful to those who are transitioning into new job functions and/or those who are seeking to update their knowledge and skills in the ever changing field of child welfare.

Advanced classes build upon those offered as part of Core training. These classes are developed for staff that have the fundamental CWS skills and knowledge, but want to enhance their basic skills, knowledge or practice in a particular area. Other advanced classes may be requested by the counties based on their individual needs and developed for them. These advanced classes may relate to a newly adopted initiative, regulation or practice.

e-Learning courses are being offered as one alternative to classroom learning. Self-study modules for the distance learner are offered with CEU’s available for some courses. Webinars are also offered for live participation and recorded webinars for distance learners who may not be able to attend a live session. CEUs are available for live and recorded webinars. Blended learning modules are also available where the distance learner takes a self-study module on line and then attends a follow-up webinar or classroom session to work on skill building activities.

Curriculum

Line Worker core curriculum is based on state-wide practice standards and child welfare competencies established by the California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC). Some of these classes are standardized throughout the State of California. The trainers deliver, in these fully standardized classes, a curriculum that has been developed by collaboration among representatives from Regional Training Academies and Child Welfare representatives across the state. There are seven of these classes in line worker core. The balance of line worker core is standardized in the objectives and competencies of each class. Individual trainers develop curricula in these classes while staying true to the defined curriculum objectives and competencies.

PCWTA trains over 7,000 training participants per year with a total of more than 600 classes.

PCWTA takes pride in demanding a high level of professionalism and excellence in the training provided. This is supported by a standardized trainer development policy and procedure and by a developed evaluation system that assists in trainer development while supporting our commitment to excellence in all classes delivered. PCWTA staff is committed to best practice in Child Welfare and sees training as a major support to this effort in each of our counties. We take pride in the strong backgrounds of PCWTA staff in child welfare and related fields. Staff work closely with trainers to ensure curricula is up to date and reflects the values stated above.