Recommended Training

The Foster Care Coordinator plays a unique role in child welfare. You will wear many hats in this position and be responsible for some or all of the following: screening and assessing foster parents for licensure, managing compliance of administrative code, recruitment, retention and training of foster parents and placement support and consultation. We are here to support your efforts by providing you with quality learning opportunities to assist in your professional development and thereby benefiting the families you will be serving.

Just as your role in the child welfare system is unique, so is your access to training opportunities and resources to support your ongoing professional development. The WCWPDS is a part of the training collaborative to offer Foster Care Coordinators an array of training topics and professional support. WCWPDS-Madison and WCWPDS-Milwaukee offices partner with the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) and The Coalition for Children and Families to develop and provide caseworker, Foster Care Coordinator, and caregiver training across the state.

In addition to the required “SAFE Structured Analysis Family Evaluation Training” for new licensors, the following learning opportunities offered through WCWPDS are recommended to support the many responsibilities of the Foster Care Coordinator role.

Face to Face Courses

Web-based Courses

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Engaging to Build Trusting Relationships - Hybrid (10.5 Hours)

Building a professional relationship with prospective and licensed foster parents is an essential part of your role as the Foster Care Coordinator. This 10.5 hour training will provide you with an opportunity to enhance your relationship skills to build trust and engage with your families. These skills will improve your ability to gather information from families while using the SAFE home study tool.

This training can be accessed in PDS Online.

Placement (2 days)

At times, Foster Care Coordinators act as a mediator between the child welfare team members by offering foster parent support and placement consultation. You may find yourself interpreting child welfare procedures and policies to help foster parents understand the rationale behind decisions. Vice versa, you will have discussions with caseworkers about foster family’s needs and strengths. The Placement training will introduce the experience of placing a child, the factors that must be taken into account when making a placement and review techniques to prepare children, parents and caregivers for placement.

This training can be accessed in PDS Online.

Trauma Informed Practice - Hybrid (10.25 Hours)

A significant majority of children and adults who become involved in our child welfare systems have been affected by trauma. Trauma can have a lasting impact on the well-being and functioning of children, adults and their families. For you, the ability to understand the effects of trauma on children, adults and families and to identify and address the specific trauma related needs is critical when screening potential foster parents and supporting them as they care for children affected by trauma.

This training can be accessed in PDS Online.

Case Practice with American Indian Tribes (2 days)

This training presents the reason and legislative intent of the Indian Child Welfare Act, as well as the process for workers to follow in complying with ICWA in Wisconsin. Participants will learn to facilitate the implementation of ICWA. They will learn to identify and access resources needed to implement the law. Participants will learn about Indian cultures and how to work effectively with American Indian families. They will learn to work collaboratively with tribal partners and offer culturally specific services to American Indian families.

This training can be accessed in PDS Online.

Making the Most of Family Interaction (2 days)

Family Interaction between children in out-of-home care and their parents is essential to achieving permanency and improving outcomes for families. Yet, it can be an emotionally raw and vulnerable experience for children, parents and foster parents. This training will help you coach and support foster parents so that they can successfully manage family interaction.

This training can be accessed in PDS Online.

DCF 58: Kinship Care Coordinators (1 Day)

Some Foster Care Coordinators are also responsible for the Kinship Care program. If this applies to you, please consider taking this training. It is recommended for both new and seasoned Kinship Care program staff. The focus is on DCF 58 Policy, eligibility of caregivers and children, appeal & review rights, waitlist, and the annual assessment. Contract allocation & determination, KCTS, documentation requirements is reviewed. What makes this course invaluable is the face-to-face format which encourages sharing of information it offers all attendees.

This training can be accessed in PDS Online.

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Foster Parent Pre-Placement

This training can be accessed on the Foster Parent Pre-Placement training page.

Permanence and Placement (Case Worker) Pre-Service

In order to provide placement support and consultation, you must have a working knowledge of the importance of permanency for children in the child welfare system. The Permanence Pre-Service module will introduce you to what the child welfare system has learned about a child’s need for a permanent home and the consequences when that home is not a reality. This training will introduce and discuss permanency planning considerations important for planning family re-unification, adoption or foster care and strategies for concurrent planning

This training can be accessed in PDS Online.

Confirming Safe Environments

Part of the child welfare responsibility assumed when placing a child in out-of-home care is to assure that the placement is safe for this child at this point in time. Child Protective Services, Child Welfare, and Juvenile Justice workers are required to complete Confirming Safe Environments (CSE) training to address that responsibility.

As the Foster Care Coordinator, you may or may not be responsible for this function. You should consult with your supervisor. However, it is recommended that you complete this training to gain an understanding of the tool because foster parents are subject to the assessment.

More information about this training is available on our website.

Child and Adolescent Needs & Strengths Tool Training & Certification Exam

The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Tool is an assessment strategy designed for decision support and outcomes management. Individuals who complete or rate a CANS are required to be trained and certified in its use. Click here to access more information about the CANS Tool Training and Certification Exam.

Understanding Child Sex Trafficking in Wisconsin

Sex trafficking of children and youth is a growing concern nationally and in Wisconsin. Sex trafficking of minors has been identified, investigated and charged in most, if not all, counties within Wisconsin. It is both an urban and rural issue.

This course is designed to provide crucial information to child welfare workers to support the identification of and responses to instances of child sex trafficking.

Information about this training can be accessed through our website.

Subsidized Guardianship

Subsidized Guardianship is a permanency option that transfers legal authority to a relative or like-kin guardian without terminating parental rights and allows the guardian to continue receiving a monthly subsidy.

This training offers the Foster Care Coordinator a review of the eligibility requirements and prepares the Foster Care Coordinator to provide support to foster parents going through the Subsidized Guardianship process.

Information about this training can be accessed through our website.

Independent Living: Building the Path to Independence

Although this training is intended for foster parents, it provides the new Foster Care Coordinator an understanding of life skills, and the importance of these skills for children in out-of-home care. You will be able to support foster parents while they teach children, of any age, skills that build a path toward independence.

This training can be accessed through our website or in PDS Online.

Keeping Kids Safe from Identity Theft

Children in out-of-home care are particularly vulnerable to identity theft because their personal information is frequently shared with multiple agencies, caretakers and individuals, making it less protected and more accessible.
The Federal Child and Family Services Improvement Act followed by the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act require all children in out-of-home care are required to have an annual credit check and mandate a remediate process, as needed. The purpose of this training is to inform case workers of their role in keeping youth identities safe and correctly documenting remediation efforts.

Information about this training can be accessed through our website.

Additional Training and Professional Development Resources

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Wisconsin Family Connections Center

The Wisconsin Family Connections Center (a collaborative program that merged the former Foster Care and Adoption Resource Center and the Wisconsin Permanency Support Center) provides information, connection, referral, training, and support to Kinship/Relative Caregiving Families; Foster Families; Families Post-Permanency, including reunified families, guardianship families, and adoptive families; and professionals serving and supporting all of the above.

Wisconsin Family Connections Center

Regional Foster Care Coordinator Meetings

Many Foster Care Coordinators have other child welfare duties in addition to licensing and supporting foster parents. On the other hand, you may be the only person in the agency responsible for licensing and supporting foster parents. DCF recognizes the need for additional professional consultation. The Bureau of Regional Operations (BRO) organizes the Regional Foster Care Coordinator meeting, which you are highly encouraged to attend. Contact the Child Welfare Coordinator for your region to learn about the next meeting by following this link.