This past November we shared an update on the launch of New Worker Orientation, and hope that your new workers have had a good experience so far. Now our staff is focused on updating and preparing for the pilot of New Worker Foundations Training. Given the amount of time it takes to do this work, and the feedback we have gathered from the field, we wanted to share a detailed update from each of our work teams to help keep you informed.

Curriculum Development Team

Our curriculum developers have been meeting with subject matter experts (SMEs) and trainers to write and review the new and/or updated curriculum. They have completed draft versions of Investigations and Assessment, Culturally Responsive Practice, Worker Well-Being, and Child Welfare and The Law. Permanency and Placement is underway. Our simulation team has developed simulations for three areas in the curriculum: engagement, interviewing and safety planning, and court preparation. In addition, learners will use virtual reality (VR) simulation to assess risk in home environments. A summative simulation for certification purposes is also in development.

Training Delivery Team

In-Person Practice Sessions have been scheduled this month, and will give trainers an opportunity to practice facilitating the new curriculum. Next the Training Delivery Team will host In-Person Dress Rehearsals in July, where trainers will deliver the content as an internal pilot with actual learners. With the new curriculum structure, trainers will have a closer relationship with learners. Learners will each have a single staff trainer in addition to community trainers and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Specials working with them throughout their cohort experience in their first six months on the job. The Intercultural Development Continuum and learners intercultural plan will be integrated throughout Foundations content with accountability groups and check-ins with DEI specialists.

Evaluation and Certification Team

This team is working with both the Curriculum Team and the Training Team to understand the evaluation needs and how to best create surveys, or other data collection methods, that will allow them to collect feedback from learners and trainers during the pilot phase. These data will be used to refine and improve the new worker training.

Learning Management System (LMS) Team

This team is working to improve course design and layout for the best learner experience, designing new in-person (synchronous learning) registration and flexibility for learners, as well as creating a way for supervisors to monitor progress through the Training Portal. They are also hosting monthly, virtual sessions to demonstrate how to use the Training Portal and to answer portal user questions.

Policy and Operations Team

Subject matter experts come in many roles, and the policy team is supporting the collaboration of policy partners and advisory network engagement, including those with lived experience. Policy specialists within the DHS Child Safety and Permanency division are serving as partners in the development process, to ensure best practice and policies are emphasized accurately and in relevant ways within training. Advisory Network members have been involved throughout the development and design phases.

Communications Team

Our communications staff are helping to design training materials and check for accessibility. The New Worker Checklist for supervisors is available to document the current New Worker process, and we will keep this list updated as New Worker Training continues to evolve and launch. Our hope is to provide information to help workers and supervisors prepare the upcoming changes so that there can be less disruption, and that everyone knows what to expect next.

To help keep supervisors and agency leaders informed of this and other changes to New Worker Training, the Academy is hosting statewide virtual meetings on May 9 and May 13. Additional meetings will take place in July. More articles and videos will be shared throughout the summer to help prepare everyone for these upcoming changes. And you are always welcome to contact us directly with your questions or concerns at