The University of West Florida Division of Continuing Education has been proud to operate the Child Welfare Training Program since July 2006. This program trains Child Protection Professionals to recognize indicators of abuse, abandonment and neglect within families, and provide services to create safe environments for children.
Professionals looking to enter into the field of social work as Family Services Counselors or Child Protective Investigators must first attend the training at UWF in order to become Certified Child Protection Professionals. The Florida Department of Children and Families, FamiliesFirst Network, Children's Home Society, Families Count, Florida Baptist Children's Home and many other community providers send employees to this program for training. Over 200 counselors and investigators have been certified by this program and the number continues to grow.
The program consists of two Phases. Phase One includes classroom and online instruction, structured field activities, and the final exam needed to continue to Phase Two. Phase Two consists of 4 trainer contacts, 3 Case Work Practice Groups, and a test case.
The Child Welfare Training Program is proud to do its part in helping the families in our community grow stronger and providing children with a safe and nurturing environment where they may grow and thrive.
Once a new child protection professional is hired, she/he is required to begin training at the first available opportunity. A new hire is unable to carry a case load until Phase One is complete and the final exam has been passed. Phase One consists of the following:
Phase One of the Child Protection Professional Training lasts 10 weeks. This class is composed of both classroom training and field days. Classroom days are from 9:00am to 4:00pm and take place on the University of West Florida Pensacola Campus. Field days provide opportunities for trainees to work in their offices and practice what they've recently learned in the classroom in a "hands-on" environment.
As of January 1, 2012, all child protection personnel must be certified by the Florida Certification Board.
Phase Two of the Child Welfare Training Program consists of Casework Practice Groups. These groups focus on the areas graded when submitting a test case for certification purposes. Groups are half days and each is specific to criteria for both counselors and investigators. Each trainee attempting to reach certification must first attend 3 of the casework practice groups. These sessions require trainees to bring examples of their work for peer evaluation in order to improve the quality of their work and establish statutory guidelines.
***Trainees may not bring examples of their work from the case files that they are intending to use for their test case for certification.***
Child Protective Investigator groups focus on:
Family Services Counselor groups focus on:
Casework practice groups are scheduled on a regular basis throughout the counties in Circuit One. To attend the groups, please contact the trainer conducting the group either through e-mail or telephone. To view the available scheduled groups, please use the link below: