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Specialist Certification – Phase One

Component One – Interview with a Child

During this portion of the competency evaluation, the CW Specialists conduct an interview with an adult actor playing a child. The interview is based on the CW Specialist’s primary role within Child Welfare: Adoptions, Child Protective Services, Family Centered Services, Foster Care, Hotline, or Permanency Planning. The interview is conducted one-on-one with an adult actor portraying a child in a neutral setting. CW Specialists are expected to engage the child and gather information regarding safety, permanency, and well-being. CW Specialists are provided a specific time frame of 45 minutes to prepare, conduct the interview, and receive feedback on the interview.

Component Two – Interview with an Adult

During this portion of the competency evaluation, the CW Specialists conduct an interview with an adult actor. The interview is based on the CW Specialist’s primary role within Child Welfare: Adoptions, Child Protective Services, Family Centered Services, Foster Care, Hotline, or Permanency Planning. The interview is conducted one-on-one with an actor portraying the parent of a child involved in a Child Welfare case. CW Specialists are expected to engage the parent/PRFC and gather information regarding safety, permanency, and well-being. CW Specialists are provided a specific time frame of 45 minutes to prepare, conduct the interview, and receive feedback on the interview.

Adoption:

  1. Child Interview— the Child Welfare Specialist will be given 45 minutes to complete this task. The interview is based on a CW Specialist visiting a child placed in a Trial Adoptive Home.
  2. Adult Interview—the Child Welfare Specialist will be given 45 minutes to complete this task. The CW Specialist will be given a partially completed DCFS 11 to discuss with the prospective adoptive parent. The interview is based on a family requesting to be an adoptive placement.

CPS Specialists:

  1. Child Interview— the Child Welfare Specialist will be given 45 minutes to complete this task. The interview is a new referral with allegations of abuse and/or neglect; child will be interviewed at school.
  2. Adult Interview— the Child Welfare Specialist will be given 45 minutes to complete this task. The interview is with the PRFC/Parent of the child previously interviewed.

Family Centered Services

  1. Child Interview—the Child Welfare Specialist will be given 45 minutes to complete this task. The interview is based on a specialist visit to a child placed in an out-of-home safety plan.
  2. Adult Interview— the Child Welfare Specialist will be given 45 minutes to complete this task. The interview is conducted with a parent who has a child (ren) in an out of home safety plan. It is a regular monthly contact.

Foster Care:

  1. Child Interview—the Child Welfare Specialist will be given 45 minutes to complete this task. The interview will be with a biological child of a Resource Family during a re-assessment.
  2. Adult Interview—the Child Welfare Specialist will be given a partially completed DCFS 10 to discuss with the prospective kinship parent. The CW Specialist will be given 45 minutes to complete this task. The interview is based on a kinship parent wishing to be a placement.

Hotline:

  1. Child Interview—the Child Welfare Specialist will be given 45 minutes to complete this task. The interview is a new referral with allegations of abuse and/or neglect; child will be interviewed at school.
  2. Adult Interview – the Child Welfare Specialist will be given 45 minutes to complete this task. The interview is with an individual requesting to report allegations of abuse and/or neglect.

Permanency Planning:

  1. Child Interview— the Child Welfare Specialist will be given 45 minutes to complete this task. The interview is based on a CW Specialist visiting a child placed in out-of- home care.
  2. Adult Interview—the Child Welfare Specialist will be given 45 minutes to complete this task. The interview is conducted with a parent who has a child (ren) in an out of home placement. It is a regular monthly contact.

Comprehensive

the Child Welfare Specialist will be evaluated on the track requested by their supervisors.

NOTE: Until a decision is made regarding Resource Specialists, the supervisor of the CW Specialist will determine the evaluation track for the CW Specialist who is a Resource Specialist.

Component Three – Safety Assessment

During this portion of the competency evaluation, the CW Specialist receives an Assessment of Child Safety form in which the six key questions are completed. The CW Specialist reads the six key questions and determines the safety threat, which includes articulating the unsafe behavior beneath the safety threat (#1-9) chosen, whether the child (ren) is safe or unsafe, and which PRFC the safety threat applies to. CW Specialists are provided a specific time frame of one hour to read and complete the Assessment of Child Safety.

Component Four – KIDS Navigation

During this portion of the competency evaluation, the CW Specialists are required to complete a Navigation Exercise, locating information for 10 items in a referral and 10 items in a KK case. (This will be evaluated during Module 3)

Evaluation Details:

The evaluation is conducted during Module 4 of CORE. Module 4 will consist of the following:

Child interview instruction—1 day
Evaluation—1/2 day
Adult interview instruction—1 day
Evaluation—1/2 day
AOCS
Evaluation—1 hour
KIDS—will be evaluated during Module 3
Evaluation- 45 minutes
  • Groups would be split in half—based on their track (AS, CPS, FC, FCS, HL, PP).
  • Group A
    Will attend Mod 4 on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
    Group B
    Will attend Mod 4 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
  • Interviews will be conducted using paid actors and will be done in the designated rooms at the Annex.
  • Graders are members of the Training Unit
  • ALL Module 4s will take place in Norman
  • The evaluation location is as follows:
    OU/DHS Training Annex,
    1200 W Rock Creek Rd. Suite D
    Norman, OK 73069

Results from Evaluation

  • Child Welfare Specialists will leave with one of the following scores from the trainer/grader:
    • Meets Expectations—the CW Specialist is where he/she needs to be as a new CW Specialist. The CW Specialist has achieved provisional certification and can proceed to Phase 2, which includes eligibility to be assigned a caseload status of 25% and to move forward in completing Modules 5 & 6.
    • Needs Improvement— The CW Specialist needs more mentorship but the skill is there to be developed. The CW Specialist has achieved provisional certification and more structured mentoring is needed in areas identified by the trainers. The CW Specialist can proceed to Phase 2, which includes eligibility to be assigned a caseload status of 25% and to move forward in completing Modules 5 & 6.
    • Does Not Meet— The CW Specialist should not be in the field without supervision and improvement is needed. The CW Specialist has not achieved provisional certification and a Support Plan must be completed with the assigned supervisor/mentor and FM/DD. The CW Specialist is not eligible to be assigned a caseload and cannot proceed to Modules 5 & 6 until a Support Plan is completed and received by the Training Unit. The Support Plan must be completed within 30 days and must include the Development Plan provided by the grader.
  • KIDS and AOCS Results

    • Meets Expectations—the CW Specialist is where he/she needs to be as a new CW Specialist.
    • Needs Improvement— the CW Specialist has the skill to be developed; more structured mentoring is needed in areas identified by the trainers.
    • Note—these are the only evaluation results for KIDS and AOCS. Feedback will be provided on the evaluation form, but these skills can be developed in the field. Safety can be better evaluated through their interviewing and critical thinking while consulting on cases.
  • The CW Specialist will be able to carry a partial caseload after they complete CORE. CORE is complete after Modules 5 or 6 (based on the track).
  • A CW Specialist who receives “Does Not Meet” during Mod 4 will need to complete a Support Plan that is to be developed by his/her supervisor (with assistance from the Training Unit if needed) and or Field Manager or District Director.
    Please see sample Support Plans beginning on page 11.
  • Once the CW Specialist successfully completes the Support Plan, the Plan will be scanned and sent to the Training Unit within 30 days so the CW Specialist may be enrolled in Modules 5 & 6 of CORE.
  • Any CW Specialist who is not able to successfully complete the Support Plan will not be provisionally certified and will be unable to carry a caseload.
  • Once the CW Specialist completes Modules 5 & 6, he/she will be provisionally certified and be able to carry a partial caseload.
  • The CW Specialist then proceeds to Phase 2.
  • Note—some CW Specialist based on their tracks ( ie Hotline, Placement line etc.) may have their certification frozen in a provisional certification status, until they transfer to another position within Child Welfare. Upon transfer to another position that requires completion of certification, the CW Specialist will resume certification.
    The supervisor will notify the training unit and we will facilitate resumption of the process.

Reinstatements:

  1. All Certification (Child Welfare Specialist Provisional Certification, Mentor Certification, etc.) is valid for 18 months after a CW Specialist leaves Child Welfare.
  2. If the CW Specialist has been gone from Child Welfare for more than 18 months or if he/she has never completed a Certification, he/she will need to complete a modified version of CORE. Each reinstatement will be a case by case decision. Please email the Program Administrator or Program Supervisor for assistance.
  3. See Reinstatement Handbook for more details.

Knowledge Base