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CWDS Curriculum

Critical Thinking and Writing to Legal Scrutiny in CWS

Level: Advanced Practice – Lineworker, Supervisor, Manager

Credits: 6

Intended Audience: This course is intended for Child Welfare staff including, Lineworkers, Supervisors, and Managers

Description of Course: This is knowledge and value based training. In addition to their role as case manager and agency employee, child welfare workers who handle cases that come before the juvenile Court are also expected to write written reports that document nearly every facet of their work and when necessary, testify before the court. This training is designated to prepare workers for these experiences by covering the following topic areas:

  • Judicial decision making process
  • How attorneys are taught to advocate
  • Writing to address mandates from the code and rules
  • Knowledge of how attorneys are taught to present testimonial evidence
  • Participants will also have the opportunity to identify the particular challenges they are
    experiencing as a result of their courtroom experiences using didactic lecture, small
    group discussion and application activities.

Intended Objectives:

  • List reasons why county social service agencies are sued
  • Discuss and describe writing reports that provide facts and supporting evidence for recommendation and conclusions drawn in reports
  • Describe why certain recommendations are made
  • Describe the process for determining what information should be included in reports

Topics Include:

  • How to identify what is important to document and what is not
  • How to paint a fair and balanced picture of each individual case
  • Meeting court standards of documentation
  • Identifying bias in reports
  • Paying close attention to the terminology and tone used in reports
  • Using engagement tools to obtain information
  • Backend reporting challenges, such as:
    focusing on issues related to the original removal
    including information relevant to case plan
  • Addressing current safety
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