Child Safety Training
The Office of Child Safety provides training for the Child Abuse Hotline and Child Protection Services employees. The picture above is one of our first graduating classes from the CPS Academy.
The CPS Academy supports the continued professional development for CPS case managers after one year of employment. The CPS Academy provides advanced courses to enhance the skill sets and knowledge learned in pre-service and on the job experience. The training at the CPS Academy is delivered in partnership with Vanderbilt Center of Excellence, Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, and the Department of Children’s Services.
Skill enhancement is a two-day course focused on understanding that preservice is just an introduction to the CPS position. CPS staff are brought back to the classroom after completing three months of casework to further explore to the topics introduced in preservice. The training is built around staff accountability and many of the activities are developed to include the participant’s own cases and experiences. Required for all new CPS case managers around the 5 month mark of employment (or once they have begun closing cases). After completing the training, the supervisor will complete a coaching session with the staff. To complete the certification process, the participant must complete the following online training requirements: Safety Planning for Victims of Child Abuse, Improving Question Frameworks in Child Interviews, Child Development 101, Sentinel Injuries in Child Physical Abuse, and Tennessee Juvenile Court.
The Triage Team will gather additional information on severe abuse or Physical Abuse Immediate Response (PAIR) reports from the Child Abuse Hotline that would have previously been screened out. Following the initial face to face, cases will be presented at the morning CPIT meeting for the members to assist CPS in determining if a case should be assigned. The Rapid Response Team conducts initial response to determine the appropriate multidisciplinary case assignment. The Rapid Response Team will assess initial safety and risk, conduct a preliminary global assessment, refer for services as needed, or refer for further CPS involvement. Case transfer decisions must be made within 5 business days and all casework is conducted within 10 business days. This training is required for new investigators within the first 4 months of joining a Triage/Rapid Response team. After completing the training, an OCS trainer will complete a coaching session with the participant.
The CPIT Team focuses on finding out what happened to a child that caused the incident to be reported. It seeks to find out who was responsible and what steps need to be taken to ensure a child’s safety. This position works their cases in conjunction with the local CPIT team including but not limited to the District Attorney, Law Enforcement, and Child Advocacy Center. This training is required for new investigators within the first 4 months of joining a CPIT team. After completing the training, an OCS trainer will complete a coaching session with the participant. To complete the certification process, the participant must complete the following online training requirements: What Do You Do With Evidence?, Minimal Facts Interviews of Children, Child Abuse Investigations in Meth Lab Cases, & Fractures in Infants and Children: Abuse, Accident, or Brittle Bones?
The DEC Certification prepares new CPS case managers to work with families where there are concerns of drug exposure. This training will educate participants on the science of addiction, how it impacts the brain, and how that correlates to child safety. This training will also review TN drug trends and drug identification techniques. The classroom training is required in first 3 months. To complete the certification process, the participant must complete the following online training requirements: Drug Endangered Children, Chasing the Dragon, The Science of Addiction- Here's Your Brain on Drugs, Drug Identification, & The Opioid Epidemic: Moms, Babies, and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. After completing the online and classroom trainings, the participant must submit a closed DEC Case for review to complete the certification process. Cases can be submitted here: https://stateoftennessee.formstack.com/forms/allegation_certification_review
The Child Death Certification is an advanced certification training focused on best practice regarding how to investigate a child death allegation. This training focuses on practical methods and tools used to investigate a child death to ensure CPS investigators are equipped to handle the severity of these types of cases. The classroom training is required prior to working a child death/near death case. To complete the certification process, the participant must complete the following online training requirement: Interviewing Victims of Violence and Homicide – Understanding Homicide Through the Eyes of a Child. After completing the online and classroom trainings, the participant must submit a closed DEC Case for review to complete the certification process. The first case will be reviewed per the current OCS death/near death review process. Note: This training is POST certified and CPIT partners are encouraged to attend
The Child Sexual Abuse Workshop is a training that combines different community partners presenting on their area of expertise as it relates to child sexual abuse. The workshop is comprised of three levels (level 1, level 2, and level 3). Participants will have a new in depth understanding of child sexual abuse after learning about the topic from subject matter experts. The participants include new investigators and CPIT partners. All three components of the classroom training are required in the first year. To complete the certification process, the participant must complete the following online training requirements: Child Sexual Abuse 101, CPS Response to Child Sex Trafficking, It’s a Crisis for Me Too! Helping Non-Offending Parents in Child Sexual Abuse, & Maximizing Corroboration in the Forensic Interview. After completing the online and classroom trainings, the participant must submit a closed Sex Abuse Case for review to complete the certification process. Cases can be submitted here: https://stateoftennessee.formstack.com/forms/allegation_certification_review
Note: This training is POST certified and CPIT partners are encouraged to attend
This advanced certification training for supervisors is aimed at enhancing supervisory skills. The training will look at how to be an effective supervisor, supervisory techniques and tactics, effective coaching skills, and hands on examples to enhance supervisory performance. This training is required for all new CPS supervisors within the first six months of promotion.
Mandated Reporter Training
A free online training that offers the public information on how to report child abuse and neglect in Tennessee. It explains how the process works, plus policies, laws and what reporters can expect. The training is used by many public entities such as schools, child care centers and organizations that have some contact with children. Anyone who wants it, can access the training. The training was developed in collaboration with the University of Tennessee College of Social Work, Office of Research and Public Service; the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services; the Joint Task Force on Children’s Justice/Child Sexual Abuse; and the Shelby County Citizen’s Review Panel.
The Office of Child Safety continuously looks for new and innovative training opportunities for all staff. If you have a training opportunity you would like to share, or have questions about current training programs, please email the Director of Training and Development, Rebecca Bevans