A video series was shot at the University of Illinois Springfield’s Child Protection Training Academy. The series is serving as a national simulation training model for preparing child welfare workers and students for working with at-risk children and families.
As part of the Child Welfare Capacity Building Collaborative and a service of the Children’s Bureau, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for States filed the Academy’s simulation scenarios and conducted interviews. Both were done before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March at the UIS residential stimulation lab.
Child welfare agencies throughout the United States will use videos and other resources on the new “Keeping it Real” website. They will use that to prepare child welfare workers and students for difficult interactions with families, as they investigate cases of suspected child abuse. The agencies will learn the benefits, costs and considerations for implementing similar training programs in their states are the Center for States hopes.
“Over the years several state child welfare professionals have visited campus to better understand how simulation training improves transfer of learning and critical decision-making in the field,” said Betsy Goulet, principal investigator of the of the UIS Child Protection Training Academy. “The new ‘Keeping it Real’ website consolidates the research, tools and videos other programs across the country need to begin to replicate the model for their workforce.”
A variety of things are covered in the videos from an investigator’s first knock on the door of a family’s home to an overview of simulation training and a debrief from those who participated in simulation training. The videos can be found on the Center for State’s website. UIS Child Protection Training Academy in Springfield partners with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to help around 800 new child protection investigators.