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Resources and Tools

Resources provided here are those produced by the San Diego State University School of Social Work Academy for Professional Excellence and are protected by copyright. Permission to use materials should be requested by email at and appropriate credit given to the resource’s funders and the Academy.

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Assessment Tools

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Checklists and Program Tips

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Words Matter: Academy’s Inclusive Language Principles

Learn how you can practice using inclusive language at your workplace by using, Words Matter: Academy’s Inclusive Language Principles, a tool created to empower folks to enter into conversations they might not be entirely comfortable with. It is one of many ways the Academy staff integrates anti-racist, trauma-informed, and recovery-oriented practices into our daily work, services, and interactions.

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Capacity Screening in Adult Protective Services: Guidance and Resources

This brief summarizes the screening for decision-making capacity including terminology and important terms to understand; an explanation of what capacity is and civil capacities; explores the relationship between capacity and abuse; and why APS professionals need to understand capacity; provides information on capacity screening including cognitive domains and screening tools; identifies research on capacity screening; research to practice highlights; and available training and resources.

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Tribal STAR Judges Checklist

This checklist has been developed to help judges determine the best circumstances surrounding placement of a child in a non-Indian home. The intention of this list is to provide guidelines that can strengthen the potential for a successful outcome.

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eLearning Open to All

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Journal Articles

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Literature Reviews

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Father Engagement in Child Welfare – PCWTA – 2011

This literature review came about as a result of the Fatherhood Initiative, a Federal and statewide effort to address issues of fathers in the child welfare context. Since approximately the time of the Vietnam War, the United States has experienced a dramatic increase in fatherlessness among American children. In addition, fathers have historically been overlooked in child welfare and negative outcomes for children are correlated to this absence.

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Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) – SACHS – 2014

Models and strategies for providing services to victims of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) has been building for over a decade. However, there is a lack of a current evidence base related to prevention, identification and interventions. This literature review delves into the discussion of CSEC programs and practices and the need for additional work in this area.

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Program Tools

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Research Summary: Promising Practices for Integrating People with Lived Experience in the CWS Workforce

When leveraging the expertise, perspectives, and insights of People with Lived Experience (PWLE) in meaningful ways within health and human service systems, there are clear benefits for the agency, clients, and the person with lived experience. This research summary includes strategies for effectively integrating PWLE into the Child Welfare Services (CWS) workforce, potential barriers and considerations, examples of promising state and county programs, and additional resources.

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CWDS Research Summary: Caseload Standards and Weighting

This research summary provides background information on the effects of caseloads on workers, considerations for developing caseload standards/measurements, workload assessment methodologies and tools, and child welfare workload studies conducted in North America so that child welfare directors can make informed decisions about caseload standards, and workload study design and implementation within their own jurisdictions.

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