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Team to train child welfare workers

Two Washington universities are teaming up with the state Department of Social and Health Services to provide training for the state’s child welfare workforce.

Eastern Washington University and the University of Washington will work with DSHS in a new partnership called the Washington State Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence.

“Our intent is to use the combined expertise of all the partners to design a comprehensive training and professional development system that is seamless as social workers move from school to practice,” Denise Revels Robinson, DSHS Children’s Administration assistant secretary, said in a joint news release from DSHS and UW. “Ultimately this will help us better serve the children and families involved with public child welfare.”

The training and development will be delivered through a mix of online sessions, webinars and in-person training. The partnership will expand DSHS’ training infrastructure for social workers and create training opportunities in Eastern Washington. Currently social workers must attend training sessions in Seattle.

The new program, slated to launch in July, will also include a research component to evaluate the training and help guide curriculum development based on current research of best practices.

The partnership consists of: DSHS Children’s Administration; Partners for Our Children; Eastern Washington University College of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Social Work; UW School of Social Work; and the UW Tacoma Social Work Program.

The Children’s Administration provides services to about 9,500 children in any given month.

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