Senate Bill 1666 passed in 2014 stipulates that the Florida Institute for Child Welfare (Institute) will evaluate the scope and effectiveness of pre-service and in-service training for child protection and child welfare employees and advise and assist the Department of Children and Families (Department) in efforts to improve such training. The Department has developed and implemented a statewide curriculum, which includes both Core (Foundational) and specialty tracks (Protective Investigations and Case Management).
The Institute opted to do a phased evaluation of the pre-service training because of the wide range of variance in training delivery systems across the state. A statewide survey of the 26 training managers was conducted to better understand the varying approaches to delivering the Core pre-service training and to assist in formulating an evaluation plan that controls for the variance. Additionally, training site observations were completed at 12 training units. A standard observation form was developed to ensure that observations were made in an unbiased manner. The site visits encompassed all six regions of the state. The intent of this phase was to focus on high-level information gathering questions regarding how the Core pre-service curriculum is delivered and who was delivering and receiving the training.
This phase of the evaluation was completed in the fall of 2017 and based on the findings, the Institute contracted with the University of South Florida to design and implement an evaluation of Florida’s pre-service training for child protective investigators and case managers.
The second phase of the evaluation began in February 2018 and will span approximately two years. The main objectives of the evaluation are to understand better trainees’ perception, learning, and performance after the pre-service training. Using as a framework Kilpatrick’s levels of training evaluation model, this evaluation will determine how much transfer of knowledge and skills has occurred following participation in the pre-service training curriculum.