The mission of the MNCWTA (Academy) is to train and foster “the skills, expertise, and well-being of Minnesota’s child welfare workforce while nurturing a commitment to equitable child welfare practice.” One way to achieve that mission is to evaluate the work done at the Academy. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) describes training evaluation as “the systematic process of collecting information and using that information to improve your training. Evaluation provides feedback to help you identify if your training achieved your intended outcomes, and helps you make decisions about future trainings.”
The Academy’s evaluation framework (see Figure 1) describes the levels at which we will be collecting information to improve our curriculum and training delivery. The framework will also help us and the public know if we are achieving our goals.
Figure 1. MNCWTA Training Evaluation Framework
Evaluation work at the Academy can be visualized like a tree. The core of our work is providing training to child welfare workers and supervisors, as represented by the trunk of the tree. Additionally, the training we provide is built on curriculum and trainer development, both shown at the base of the tree (in future blog posts, we will describe the evaluation methods that we are using to evaluate both curriculum development and trainer development). Across the various levels shown in the framework, we are interested in understanding:
- how many and which workers attend the various trainings we offer (Level 1);
- what workers’ reactions are to the trainings (Level 2);
- the extent to which our trainings help workers gain the necessary knowledge, skills, and competencies that they can then use in their daily work (Levels 3-5); and
- the impact of increased knowledge, skills, and competencies on the workforce and beyond (Levels 6 and 7).
In a future blog post, we will describe the types of data collection methods and feedback loops we are using to gather and use information related to the evaluation questions posed above.
If you have questions about our framework, please feel free to contact Jane Fields, Evaluation and Credentialing Supervisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.