As with all Academy programs, the Adult Protective Services Leaders Institute (APS LI) made a full pivot to instructor-led virtual workshops last August. The Administration for Community Living (ACL) grant-funded, statewide program, was developed to enhance the capacity for Adult Services Administrators and APS Program Managers to drive improvements by examining and building upon federal and state APS guidelines, current research, and best practices.
The original plan was to make a gradual transition to virtual training from an in-person, half-day format, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed all that. By shifting to two-hour virtual workshops with 90-minute booster sessions all delivered by Zoom, APS LI not only increased overall participation, but also provided a level of connection that was missing for both Administrators and Managers.
Participant quote from Fiscal Understanding of Funding Streams booster. When asked: What would you change? Participant Answer: Nothing! Just grateful for the sense of community you create around the state with this excellent series of trainings that can not be found anywhere else.
What was not anticipated was the success of this transition in opening access to counties whose staff could not participate due to staffing constraints, workload, travel time, budget, or all of the above. Since going virtual for all training, the APS LI has seen an increase in participation from small and/or rural counties across California. As per one Director of a small Eastern California county, “When offerings are virtual my staff’s participation is 4 fold.”
The APS LI is taking the lessons learned from the last year of virtual delivery (including more time for small breakout groups!) to inform planning for 2021/2022. All signs are pointing to virtual training for now.