Vol. 13, No. 1 September 2011
Using Webinars to Support Child Welfare Practice in North Carolina
Since it began building North Carolina’s child welfare training system in the 1990s, the Division of Social Services has worked hard to offer county departments of social services training that is accessible, responsive to their needs, and effective. The webinars the Division has sponsored over the past several years have been part of this effort.
CFT Facilitator Forums
CFFACE builds forums in response to participant requests, practice trends, new policies, and statewide, national, and international practice guidance. These forums provide a combination of information, skill development, and a supportive place for discussing CFT practice. Recent well-attended online forums included The Changing Landscape of Facilitation, where facilitators discussed practice trends and their effect on CFTs, and Back to Basics: Building Successful CFT Facilitation.
CFFACE also offers online CFT policy events open to all North Carolina county DSS social workers, not just facilitators. Recent events included a session on the CFT documentation form and working with American Indian tribes.
If you’d like to be notified about future CFT facilitator forums or policy events either in person or online, contact Marianne Latz (firstname.lastname@example.org; 919/513-3828).
Series to Enhance Practice
As the chart below indicates, these 90-minute events focused on many topics, including family finding, foster home licensing, and prescription drug abuse. Presenters used evidence-based information to provide participants with tools they could immediately apply in their work with families. For each event handouts and a post-event follow-up documents were provided. Click on a webinar title in the box below to access the webinar slides, handouts, and follow-up documents for that webinar.
Webinars in this series were extremely popular, with most attended by more than 300 people. A total of 2,207 individuals registered for the six child welfare webinars offered in 2010-
Webinars in this series are integrated into the Division’s online learning portal, www.ncswlearn.org. North Carolina child welfare professionals register and attend via their ncswLearn.org account. In addition, individuals’ participation is included in their ncswLearn.org training attendance history.
Benefits and Impact
In North Carolina, child welfare staff have praised webinars for giving them access to quality presentations. They also like the fact that webinars reach so many people at once, including many who would not be able to attend traditional classroom training due to workload, budget constraints, and agency size.
In some agencies, entire units attend webinars together, which lets everyone hear the same material at once, ask questions, and focus on transfer of learning. As one person put it, after the webinar “We are together, so . . . we are able to talk about the webinar and how we need to change, implement change, and how it can be used in our cases.”
This focus on transfer of learning seems to be widespread. In 2010-11, 97% of those who completed a Jordan Institute for Families post-webinar satisfaction survey said they intended to use what they learned in the webinar in their work with families and children.
What the Future Holds
Oxford English Dictionary. (2011, June). Accessed August 30, 2011 from http://www.lib.unc.edu/
Welsh, E. T., Wanberg, C. R., Brown, K. G., & Simmering, M. J. (2003). E-learning: emerging uses, empirical results and future directions. International Journal of Training Development, 7:4.
© 2011 Jordan Institute for Families