In 2014 Governor Mark Dayton established the Governor’s Task Force on the Protection of Children, which included representatives from the legislature, counties, doctors, attorneys, and education to examine child welfare in Minnesota and address the perceived shortcomings. In 2015 the Task Force concluded its work and released a final report and recommendations. Of the ninety-three recommendations in that report, ten focused on reform to child welfare training. In September of 2015, implementation workgroups of stakeholders were established, and a Professional Development workgroup focused on the recommendations that had to do with any form of training and education to new worker and supervisor training.
In February of 2016 a Minnesota Child Welfare Workforce Stabilization Study was conducted to better understand the concerns of the child welfare workforce, with a particular focus on child protection professionals, in order to develop strategies to stabilize and strengthen the workforce in a time of reform. The study was conducted by the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW) with support by the Center for Regional and Tribal Child Welfare Studies (CRTCWS) and county agency representation.
In March of 2016 the Professional Development workgroup finalized recommendations for a new training academy framework. The workgroup identified that a strong state and university partnership would be critical in the implementation of Task Force recommendations. During the spring and summer of 2016 there was a national exploration of state-university training partnerships (Washington State, California, New Jersey, Colorado, Pennsylvania), followed by statewide stakeholder focus groups to better understand the training academy framework resulting in a Report and Recommendations for Training System Reform
Through testimony in the 2018 and 2019 legislative sessions, a Bill was sponsored by House and Senate members of the Legislative Task Force on the Protection of Children, with the support of representatives Ron Kresha and Andrew Mathews. The Bill passed and was funded in May 2019. A Joint Powers Agreement to create the MNCWTA became effective in September 2019. In December of that same year, the U of M Regents approved a lease agreement for a new Central Training Academy located in Roseville, Minnesota. In February 2020 demolition and renovation began with an anticipated completion in late-summer.