ALIGN - Advance Learn Innovate Grow Network View Loaded
Preparing and supporting Florida’s child welfare workforce from classroom to casework to competent leadership.
Advance Learn Innovate Grow Network (ALIGN)
ALIGN is a learning community that offers holistic support for child welfare professionals and advancement opportunities throughout their career. Joining this community includes support through training and onboarding, opportunities for specialization through Advanced Certification courses (AdCert), as well as ongoing mentoring and coaching.
The ALIGN community will offer myriad specialty areas for the child welfare professional to take courses, learn about relevant issues, and gain experience in problem solving to become more confident in their approach and feel supported throughout their learning pathway.
The AdCert courses will facilitate the implementation of a cohesive and progressive path of professional development that meaningfully connects to their pre-service training. The program will provide to DCF a university-led, evidence-based, trauma-informed, engaging training that will increase workers’ preparation and self-efficacy to handle the complexity of their caseloads. This ongoing program will engage child welfare workers and give them new knowledge, technical assistance, and support throughout their advancement up the career ladder. This will allow them to build expertise and specialize, ideally resulting in both improved worker job satisfaction and advanced and diverse competencies within the workforce.
Currently, there are three professional certification pathways under development. Research is clear that substance use disorders, domestic violence, mental health, and the concomitant trauma are often the leading reasons that families enter the child welfare system. The field is also recognizing that while there are adverse childhood experiences, there are also positive experiences that can be identified as strengths. We now understand that it is important to be not only trauma informed but also trauma responsive.
Well-being & Resilience
Coaching is a leading component for success when implementing training and professional development activities. Coaching has been shown to have positive benefits for supervisors who participate and can assist in mitigating the vicarious trauma that can occur for case managers, CPIs, and respective supervisors working with families in Florida’s child welfare system. Coaching will be integrated into the training opportunities and certification pathways for the workforce. The Institute has convened a workgroup that will design a regular and ongoing coaching/reflective supervision initiative that meets the unique needs of the workforce in each of the circuits or regions.
Currently, there is a technology-driven intervention under development. This intervention, MyALIGN, is designed to engage child welfare workers and streamline their access to resources, networking, coaching, and enhance their overall well-being.
The first three AdCert topics (Resilience and Trauma, Domestic Violence, and Understanding Substance Use Disorder), will serve as the foundation of all future professional certification options.
Our subject matter experts meet regularly with our DCF and CBC partners to ensure that the preservice curricula serve as the foundation for the prerequisite courses, and the prerequisite courses prepare the learner to be successful in the advanced certification courses. The development of content for the first certification pathway is guided by this collaboration.
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