20, No. 2
CSA Interviews: Learning Resources
The Course: This 4-day, classroom-based course teaches participants how to use a family-centered approach when conducting family assessments and investigative assessments. It also lays a strong basis both for practice and for what is taught in Responding to Child Sexual Abuse and Child Forensic Interviewing.
Audience: Mandatory in the first year for county DSS employees responsible for completing CPS assessments.
Offered: Twelve times a year.
Responding to Child Sexual Abuse
The Course: A crucial foundation for assessing sexual abuse allegations in a way that supports the child and family. Provides an overview of protocols for legally defensible interviewing and the latest best practice guidelines, including interviewing perpetrators and non-offending parents.
This course is divided into two 3-day sessions (6 days total) featuring lectures, videos, small group work, and many opportunities for skills practice and transfer of learning activities.
Audience: County DSS social workers and supervisors with at least a year of experience with CPS investigative assessments.
CPS professionals are encouraged to take this course even if they have taken Intro to Child Sexual Abuse. The new course includes current research, new interviewing protocols, and more skills practice--it's quite different from the old Intro course.
Offered: Seven times a year.
Child Forensic Interviewing
The Course: Those attending this 4-day course will learn to conduct legally-defensible, developmentally sensitive interviews of alleged child and adolescent victims of child maltreatment. The course teaches an adaptation of the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) child forensic interview protocol. Through lecture, video demonstrations, and small group exercises participants learn an effective interviewing approach that will help them avoid the errors of both undercalling and overcalling abuse.
Audience: County DSS social workers and supervisors involved in CPS investigative assessments. Supervisors of participating CPS workers are strongly encouraged to attend.
Offered: Five times a year.
Fostering and Adopting the Child Who Has Been Sexually Abused
The Course: This 4-day course prepares certified MAPP leaders to deliver a training that teaches foster and adoptive families to work with children who have been sexually abused. Topics covered include: understanding child sexual abuse, handling the double trauma of sexual abuse and placement, responding to disclosures, managing behaviors, and collaboration with mental health, legal, and social service providers.
Audience: Certified MAPP leaders from county DSS agencies and therapeutic/private agencies; includes foster parent and adoptive parent MAPP leaders.
Offered: Four times a year.
The Course: Although it does not focus specifically on sexual abuse, child welfare professionals working with birth families, foster and adoptive parents, and relative caregivers will find this 2-day course extremely helpful. Through lecture and skills practice, it equips child welfare workers to support families and teach them a specific process for analyzing, understanding, and responding effectively to challenging child behaviors caused by trauma.
Audience: County DSS child welfare social workers and supervisors.
Offered: Four times a year.
To learn more or to register for these courses, go to www.ncswLearn.org.
Training can have a huge positive impact on child and family outcomes. Too often, however, training's potential isn't fully realized. Sometimes this is because training is seen as a one-time event. But research increasingly shows that the "train and pray" approach doesn't work.
Agencies serious about applying best practices in child sexual abuse cases will want to safeguard their investment in training by ensuring that when they return to work after training their staff get ample opportunity to have their interviews observed (with feedback) and are coached in the application of new skills.
For a transfer of learning tool supervisors can use to help workers practice and apply what they learn in class, go to: http://bit.ly/1BSK745
National Interviewing Skills Classes
Child First North Carolina. This five-day forensic interviewing course teaches you to defend forensic interviews when testifying in court. North Carolina is one of 19 states and two countries that offer ChildFirst. Offered 2-3 times a year by Cumberland County DSS in conjunction with its community partners. www.ncchildfirst.org
APSAC Child Forensic Interview Clinic held in various locations around the country is a five-day course taught by leading experts.
National Children's Advocacy Center in Huntsville, Alabama offers two week-long courses: Forensic Interviewing and Advanced Forensic Interviewing of Children. www.nationalcac.org