Explore the types of simulation training available, the benefits, costs, and other considerations, when setting up a simulation training program.
Simulation provides a safe space for workers to practice, make mistakes, and improve their skills before working directly with families.
Simulation supports workforce development by:
Offering a hands-on process for putting policy guidance and procedures into practice
Modeling family engagement
Sharpening investigation skills
Allowing learners to recognize personal triggers and work through emotional responses
Creating opportunities to engage with and receive feedback from judges, doctors, and other system partners
Encouraging reflection on areas for development
Building worker confidence and preparedness
Watch “The Benefits” and hear more about how simulation supports child welfare workers and improves practice.
Links to Worker Retention
Evaluation data suggest that simulation training and the resulting increases in worker confidence may contribute to workers’ decisions to remain in their jobs. Listen to an evaluator from the Children and Family Research Center talk about evaluation findings from Illinois DCFS simulation training.
Simulation Training: The Benefits
“By being able to have these conversations, the workforce has developed the most important thing to have when you walk into a house–confidence.” – Deputy Director, Illinois DCFS
The need for training continues across child welfare, but students and new caseworkers still can benefit from practicing the skills required for casework after their classroom sessions have ended. This podcast discusses a virtual reality-based home visiting training currently being used by the university's B.S.W. students —Virtual Home Simulation (VHS))— which was developed by the University of Utah College of Social Work in partnership with the university's games and applications lab
In FY 2015 the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services partnered with the University of Illinois Springfield to develop the Child Protection Training Academy in order to redesign the six-week classroom training for new investigators and create an experiential component. This paper chronicles the goals of the partnership and the planning and implementation of the Academy.