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The Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy would like to announce the selection of the Southwest Regional Learning Center, which will be located on the Southwest Minnesota State University campus in Marshall. This location will have the benefits found on a college campus, which includes campus resources, dining, and ease of parking. Academy staff will be on campus in Marshall, and the surrounding counties are eager to collaborate with this regional site, which will help focus on the learning needs of rural child welfare work. While the training space at this site will not be available for several months due to renovation, in-person training will launch in April at an alternate location on campus.

Through legislation that passed in 2019 calling for the establishment of the Training Academy, it was determined that four regional learning centers and a metro-based training facility were to be created. Despite the pandemic and delays associated with that, regional and academy partners have brought energy and commitment to the planning and development process.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) process allowed agencies across the state to apply for consideration to be a regional learning center. Agencies that are selected to host a training site then enter into an agreement with the Training Academy, which provides funding and on-site renovations. The Training Academy has also hired a Regional Training Supervisor, Stacey Steinbach, to oversee the regional sites and hire regional trainers for each. Kristin Malin has been hired to be the regional trainer for the southeast learning center.

Currently the Northwest Regional Learning Center, located on the Detroit Lakes campus of Minnesota State Community and Technical College, is complete and ready for training. We hope the limitations of in-person training during a pandemic will be resolved by spring 2022, and that we will be able to share additional learning opportunities once they are available. Announcements about the northeast and southeast regional learning centers are coming soon.

The Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy is a collaboration between the Child Safety and Permanency Division at the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW) at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Our mission is to train, develop, and support the skills, expertise, and wellbeing of Minnesota’s child welfare workforce while nurturing a commitment to equitable child welfare practice. Learn more about our history here, and visit our website anytime: If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to contact us.