Colorado Department of Human Services Training Academy
Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ
1. Q:REHIRES: When hiring a new caseworker or supervisor that was previously employed in another Colorado County, do they need to complete the Pre-Service Training?
A:If the new caseworker or supervisor’s last date of employment in a Colorado County was less than four (4) years ago AND they completed the required CORE training in their previous position, they are considered a rehire and are not required to complete the Pre-Service Training. For all others, they are required to complete the Pre-Service Training. If the length of time from the last county employment as a caseworker/supervisor is more than one year, the rehire must complete computer-based training.
2. Q:PRE SERVICE TRAINING SUBSTITUTION: How does a County receive a substitution of training for a caseworker or supervisor that is moving from another state child welfare system to a Colorado County?
A.Substitutions are available to new hires, as long as their last date of employment in another state child welfare system was less than four (4) years ago (similar to a rehire). The RTS will need copies of the certificates to show completion of the training they received in the previous county or state, as well as a list of competencies that were trained to in that County or State. The new hire may not register for the pre-service academy until the substitution information has been received and reviewed by the RTS.
3. Q.How do you “Colorado-ize” a new hire from another state that is receiving a substitution of training?
A:7.000.61 – H
The hiring County is responsible to ensure that the new hire is able to perform Colorado specific practices. The RTS may recommend the worker attend certain modules of the new worker academy or other trainings in order to assist the worker in becoming familiar with Colorado child welfare. The new hire must complete the Computer Based Training as a part of their employment in Colorado.
4. Q:Is Trails Navigation Training a pre-requisite of the Caseworker Pre-Service Training? If so, when will it be offered?
A:Trails Navigation Training is not a pre-requisite for the new caseworker training Academy. New hires may attend it as they are able, however they may not attend Trails Training while attending the Academy.
5. Q:Can a newly hired or promoted Caseworker or Supervisor attend other trainings while attending the Academy?
A:No, it is strongly recommended that caseworkers and/or supervisors attending the Academy wait to complete other trainings. Since the certificate provided by the state is dependent upon successful completion of the Academy and is time limited, attending other trainings could have a negative impact on state certification.
6. Q:If a Lead Worker in a county has attended Supervisor CORE prior to the change with the Academy, can they be promoted into a supervisor position without completing the Supervisor Pre-Service Training?
A.Yes, as long as they completed Supervisor CORE less than four (4) years ago.
7. Q:Can a County send a student intern through the Caseworker Pre-Service Training if they have not yet been hired by the County?
A.Yes. In the situation where a student intern has not been hired by a county, but the County wants to have them attend the training so that when a position is available, they would be eligible for hire and have already completed the academy, they may do so. That County would sponsor the student intern and would need to submit in writing their commitment to the state (via Regional Training Specialist) to providing opportunities for the new hire to complete all required Academy assignments, including CBT, OJT, etc…
8. Q:Can a County send someone through the Caseworker Pre-Service Training if they have not yet been hired by the County?
A.Yes. In the case of a student intern, please refer to that section. In the case of a new hire (not a student intern) that is a potential candidate but is not selected for a position, the hiring county may suggest they attend the academy without pay or reimbursement. That county would sponsor the new hire and would need to submit in writing their commitment to the state (via Regional Training Specialist) to providing opportunities for the new hire to complete all required Academy assignments, including CBT, OJT, etc…
9. Q:Is certification through the Academy a requirement for employees hired for specific positions such as “Foster Care Coordinator”, “Family Therapist”, “Kinship Caseworker”?
A:Yes. The job duties that require certification are outlined in Rule 7.000.61 I. The employees that perform these duties must receive training through the Academy. If there is any question about a position, the County may provide a job description to their RTS for clarification.
10. Q:Can Case Aide’s or Screeners be certified through the Academy prior to accepting a position as a caseworker?
A:Yes, a Case Aide or Screener may attend the Academy in their current position. However, in order to be certified they need to complete the pre service training in its entirety, (i.e. completing CBT, all modules and OJT assignments). In order to be hired as a caseworker the Case Aide or Screener must meet the minimum educational requirements for this position along with completing the pre service training.
11. Q:How does a Caseworker/Supervisor “make-up” a missed class/module?
A:If a caseworker or supervisor attending the Pre-Service Training misses less than one (1) day of classroom training, the training provider will determine how to make up the missed time, so that the trainee may continue with their cohort. This is to be determined by circumstances. If a caseworker or supervisor attending the pre-service training misses more than one (1) day of training, (whether planned or unplanned), they will need to pick up the remainder of their training with another cohort.
12. Q:If a Caseworker or Supervisor is not able to complete the Academy because of their position terminating at one Colorado County and another County hires them on, are they able to complete the academy and be certified?
A:Yes, if the Caseworker or Supervisor is re-hired into another Colorado County within six months of their previous employment in the other Colorado County, they may be re-enrolled into the Academy where they left off at the earliest available module/cohort. Please speak with your Regional Training Specialist for more details.
13. Q:What happens if a caseworker or supervisor goes on FMLA and is not able to complete the Academy?
A:If someone starts the Academy as a new Caseworker or Supervisor and then goes out on FMLA and is not able to complete the Academy, they may be re-enrolled into the Academy where they left off at the earliest available module/cohort within six-months of the time they started the Academy.
14. Q:Do hourly (non-exempt) employees need to receive certification?
A:Yes, the certification of Caseworkers and Supervisors applies to job classification and descriptions. It does not exclude non-exempt employees.
15. Q:Do contract employees need to receive certification?
A:Yes, the certification of caseworkers and supervisors applies to job classification and descriptions. Regardless of the time frame for which the employee is hired, they are required to be re-certified.
16. Q:When caseworkers or supervisors take time off for maternity leave or FMLA, do they still need to receive the forty (40) hours of in-service training in order to be certified?
A.No, the requirement for in-service hours will be pro-rated based on the time during that fiscal year that they were working in their position.
17. Q:Do part time employees need to receive the full 40 hours of in-service training during the fiscal year for certification?
A:No, they only need to receive the same percentage of hours that they are employed in child welfare. (i.e. If someone is a half time caseworker/supervisor then they only need 50% of the certification hours = 20 hours). The employee must indicate time spent in the child welfare position on their training log.
18. Q:Do employees that have split time between child welfare and another program, i.e. eligibility or adult protection need to receive the full 40 hours of in-service training during the fiscal year for certification?
A:No, employees that split their time between multiple program areas will not need to receive the full forty (40) hours of in-service training. They will, however, need to receive in-service training hours, but on a pro-rated basis. Counties must be able to verify percent of time worked in child welfare to determine pro-rated hours.
•For example, if an employee is a generalist and splits their time between adult protection, child protection and TANF eligibility they will need to pro-rate their time in child protection and apply that to their in-service hours. In this case if these responsibilities were split equally, in thirds, then the caseworker would need to receive 33% of in-service training hours, which would be 13 hours in the fiscal year.
The employee must indicate time spent in the child welfare position on their training log.
19. Q:Can the Computer Based Training (CBT) qualify as in-service training for the certification?
A:Yes, the Computer Based Training (CBT) qualifies as in-service training. Below is the list of requirements in order to receive in-service hours for CBT.
•Caseworker CBT: An experienced caseworker or supervisor may receive eight (8) hours of in-service training for completing all 5 modules with a minimum of a 70% score on each lesson in each module. You must complete ALL modules to receive in-service training hours. The caseworker or supervisor has to have taken the CBT at least three (3) years prior to the time when they are taking the CBT again in order for the hours to count towards in-service training.
•Supervisor CBT: An experienced supervisor may receive four (4) hours of in-service training for completing all 4 modules with a minimum of a 70% score on each module. You must complete ALL modules to receive in-service training hours. The supervisor has to have taken the CBT at least three (3) years prior to the time when they are taking the CBT again in order for the hours to count towards in-service training.
20. Q:Can State meetings/workgroups/committees (i.e.: meetings facilitated by state staff) count towards the 40 hours of ongoing in-service training for certification?
A:No. Participation in any workgroups and meetings (state, county, community, etc.) do not count toward in service training hours. Trainings must have content presented with objectives identified for trainees.
21. Q: Can reading a book count towards in-service training hours?
A: No. Simply reading a book cannot count toward in service training hours. Hours spent in a facilitated group activity related to a book may count towards training if there is documentation of a lesson plan with objectives and competencies with an attached sign in sheet. Please contact your RTS for more information.
22. Q:Can a Caseworker or Supervisor count their college courses as ongoing training for their certification?
A:If you attend a class through an accredited University or College you may count those hours towards your in-service hours. Each credit hour will count for four (4) hours of in-service training (1 credit hour = 4 in-service hours). These hours will only be counted upon completion as verified by transcripts.
23. Q: What does the Caseworker/Supervisor do with their “training log”?
A:Each employee performing the duties of caseworker/supervisor must complete and turn in their individual training logs at the end of the fiscal year. The employee/County is responsible for maintaining the supporting documentation for the log in their files for auditing purposes. Caseworkers and supervisors, who have completed all forty (40) hours of in-service training within the fiscal year, should submit all of the information (spreadsheet containing training specifics, documentation and sign-in sheets) to the Division of Children and Family Training. Only send training information that is not provided and tracked through the State department’s centralized registration system. The address to submit this information to is Division of Children and Family Training, 3550 W. Oxford Avenue, Third Floor, Denver CO 80236. Upon receipt of the appropriate documentation, the Child Welfare Training Academy will issue the required certification within thirty (30) days.
24. Q: Does Reading a book count toward in service training?
A:No. Just reading a book does not count toward training. However, if a County or a team/unit gives an assignment to read a book and in addition the group has an assignment based on that book with a collaborative review, than that may count. These situations must have adequate documentation on objectives/competencies covered and must be reviewed and approved by the RTS.
25. Q: For folks that are both a foster parent and a caseworker, can they count their hours from foster parent training?
A:Sometimes. It depends on what that training is. Foster parent training is liberal and lose for what will count and child welfare training is stricter. These folks will use the same qualifications for counting training hours as any other caseworker/supervisor.
26. Q: How do Interns that are not hired on maintain their certification?
A:That certification is good for one year just like any new worker that completes the pre service training. After that time, they must be responsible for providing the state with training logs in order to maintain their certification just like any other caseworker/supervisor. Graduate Students can use those hours toward training 4:1.
27. Q: Do Directors need to receive an initial certification regarding training and educational requirements? If a Director does not meet the minimal educational requirements to perform child welfare supervision can they still function in this capacity?
A:If a Director is performing child welfare casework or supervisory duties, they will need to meet the educational and training requirements of a child welfare supervisor.
If an incumbent experienced caseworker, supervisor or any staff person (Director included) performing the duties and responsibilities of a child welfare caseworker or supervisor, does not meet the minimum educational requirements, and did or did not fulfill the mandatory training requirements, the county department must make application for a waiver as defined in rule Section 7.000.61, G, 5(12 CCR 2509-1).
If the incumbent experienced caseworker, supervisor or any staff person (Director included) performing the duties and responsibilities of a child welfare caseworker or supervisor meets the minimum educational requirements, but did not fulfill the mandatory training requirements prior to March 1, 2010, the County department must contact it’s Regional Training Specialist to make arrangements for it’s staff to meet this requirement.
Any incumbent experienced caseworker, supervisor or any staff person (Director included) performing the duties and responsibilities of a child welfare caseworker or supervisor, who does not meet these minimum qualifications, was promoted into a child welfare position through the County Merit System and has not completed the mandatory training requirements prior to March 1, 2010, will receive his/her initial certification after the county department has established an approved plan with their Regional training specialist for it’s staff to meet this requirement.