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CWDS Curriculum

Using SDM in Hearings

Level: Core/Advanced Practice – Lineworker, Supervisor, Manager

Credits: 6

Intended Audience: This course is intended for child welfare staff who utilize the Structured Decision Making system and participate in hearings related to child welfare, such as Gomez Hearings or Juvenile Court hearings.

Description of Course: This course will assist workers and supervisors in utilizing the Structured Decision Making tools to support the recommendations they make. Workers
will gain a better understanding of the research used to develop the SDM tools and learn how to connect research with their assessment and decision making. Child welfare staff will learn how they can use the SDM research to help them articulate the reasons behind their decisions during Gomez hearings and Juvenile Court hearings. Workers will practice educating the Court about their assessments using descriptions of the SDM tools both in writing and in verbal testimony.

Intended Objectives:

  • Understand the research used to develop and validate the SDM tools
  • Understand how that research is connected to worker practice for assessment and decision-making
  • Gain comfort describing the SDM tools in Gomez hearings and Juvenile Court in
    writing and verbal testimony
  • Learn to articulate the connection between SDM and worker decision-making

Topics Include:

  • Review of each of the SDM tools
  • Exigency Laws
  • Safety Planning
  • Research-Based Risk Assessment
  • Gomez Hearings
  • Visitation and Reasonable Services
  • Written Practice
  • Testimony Practice
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