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Provider Training

Module I (Staff who have contact with DCS clients or client records)
  • Agency must:
    • Meet State, Federal, and DCS contract requirements
    • Discuss Duty to Warn with all staff
    • Provide confidentiality training to all staff

NOTE:  All requests regarding a client's case should be directed to DCS/Probation case information

Resource:  Agency supplied training


  • Staff must be able to act professionally:
    • When working with other agencies/service providers
    • During CFTMs and other meetings
    • In all social media interactions
  • Dress professionally - follow agency dress code

Resources:  Professionalism

  • Agency must:
    • Incorporate the importance of boundaries into supervision
  • Staff must:
    • Be aware of boundary expectations regarding social media with clients and sharing information
    • Understand common ethical standards and how to establish boundaries when working with clients
    • Be aware of agency policy on ethics and how to access it

Resources: Ethics

Refer to the body of moral principles or values governing or distinctive of your professional licensure and/or education, such as the National Association of Social Work Code of Ethics; The Mental Health Counselors Code of Ethics; The Marriage and Family Code of Ethics, etc.

Abuse/Neglect/Hotline Reporting (Required Resources)
  • Staff must:
    • Understand specific agency policy on making a report
    • Understand IC 31-33-6 (being a mandated reporter); this should be an ongoing discussion within the agency
    • Review Hotline Intake Questions and have them accessible
    • Understand the DCS Structured Decision Making Tool
Resources: Structured Decision Making Tool Intake Guidance Tool   Website for hotline training ( Choose Don't Wait! Make the call. Report Child Abuse and Neglect in Indiana and this will begin the training)

Cultural/Socioeconomic Diversity Training

  • Staff must:
    • Be able to define cultural diversity
    • Understand cultural perspectives
    • Know how to work with different cultures
    • Realize how culture influences behaviors
    • Recognize one's own prejudices/biases and stereotypes
    • Be familiar with DCS policy regarding cultural awareness

Resources: Cultural Diversity 


  • Staff must:
    • Treat all clients with dignity and respect
    • Understand increased risks within the LGBTQ population
      • Mental Health
      • Substance Use
      • Decrease in Permanency and Stability compared to other populations
      • Increased Homelessness compared to other populations
    • Understand the dynamics of a youth's disclosure of gender and/or sexual orientation
      • Create a comfortable environment
      • Use open-ended questions with neutral language
      • DO NOT disclose for a youth - confidentiality
    • Be familiar with DCS Policy, Service Standards, Family Functional Assessment, and Practice Guidebook language and expectations

Resources:  LGBTQ Practice Guidebook

Module II (Staff who provide direct service to DCS clients)
DCS 101:  DCS TRAINING (Required Resources)
  • Staff must:
    • Understand State Statutes
    • Be familiar with the role of DCS, DCS specific language, and the chain of command
    • Be aware of the Child and Family Team structure and how to communicate with the team
    • Understand stress factors for families
    • Know how to discuss the initial referral
    • Be familiar with the QSR Process and know the provider's role in the process
 Resources: DCS 101

DCS Legal and Testifying (Required Resources)

  • Staff must be knowledgeable in the following areas:
    • Hearing Types
    • Preparing for Testimony
    • Direct Testimony
    • Cross Examination

DCS Legal and Testifying

Review Service Standard and DCS Policy 

  • Agency must:
    • Review standards with each new employee
    • Update staff when changes are made to service standards
  • Staff must:
    • Know how to access service standards
    • Be knowledgeable regarding timeframes and expectations of service
 Resource: DCS Service Standard (Attachment A)
Critical Thinking Skills
  • Staff must:
    • Know how to collect and assess evidence skillfully and impartially
    • Be aware of their own biases and understand how life experiences, culture, and values impact problem solving
    • Demonstrate active listening
    • Demonstrate the ability to find unique solutions for complex problems.
    • Think critically to increase positive outcomes for families

Resources: Using Critical Thinking Skills to Impact Decision Making Helping Workers Develop Critical Thinking Skills

Responding to Clients Who are Suicidal  

  • Staff must understand:
    • How to develop appropriate safety plans
    • Risk factors associated with clients
    • Agency policy on how to respond to a client who is suicidal
    • Resources including crisis line, suicide hotline, and where to locate additional resources

Resources: Responding to Clients Who are Suicidal

Trauma Informed Practice

  • Staff must:
    • Know the definition of trauma and what it means to be trauma informed
    • Be familiar with DCS and agency policies and procedures regarding trauma informed care
    • Understand how to recognize Trauma

Resources: Agency Supplied Training

Mental Health
  • Staff must:
    • Know signs/symptoms of potential mental health disorders
    • Understand the impact trauma may have on individuals with mental health disorders
    • Realize that stressful life events may impact mental health
    • Understand the link between mental health disorders and suicide
    • Be familiar with models of treatment and recovery
    • Understand cultural competency in treatment and management of mental health disorders
    • Understand the effects of mental health disorders on interpersonal relationships, family dynamics, isolation, social network, parenting skills, endangering behaviors
Resources: Mental Health  (Primarily modules 3 and 4)
Substance Abuse
  • Staff must:
    • Be able to recognize signs of substance use
    • Know how to work with clients who have substance abuse issues
    • Be familiar with substance abuse treatment and related services
    • Understand relapse prevention and how to appropriately support sobriety
    • Realize the impact of substance abuse to the family in the home
    • Understand the importance of the environment and support persons
Resources: Substance Abuse

Verbal De-Escalation Techniques

Staff must understand and utilize Verbal De-Escalation Techniques:

  • Realize the impact of body language, tone of voice, and word choice when communicating with clients
  • Know how to react in a crisis situation
  • Be knowledgeable of the agency policy on physical restraints
  • Be aware of common triggers of aggressive behavior

Resource: Verbal De-Escalation

Family Engagement/Rapport Building
  • Staff must:
    • Be able to engage and build rapport with families
    • Be able to successfully transition into a new case
    • Understand the importance of communicating with DCS
Resources:  Tips for Supporting Parents in Visits; other Agency Supplied Training
Protective Factors

Protective Factors are the foundation of the Strengthening Families Approach. Extensive evidence supports the common sense notion that when these Protective Factors are present and robust in a family, the likelihood of abuse and neglect diminish. Research also shows that these are the factors that create healthy environments for the optimal development of children. The 5 Protective Factors include: Parental Resilience, Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development, Social and Emotional Competence of Children, Social Connections and Concrete Support in Times of Need. Each file below describes examples of the Protective Factor listed, questions to ask in order to explore the Protective Factor, and further resources.

Nurturing and Attachment
Family Resilience
Knowledge of Parenting Skills
Concrete Supports
Social Connections
Social and Emotional Competence
Protective Factors in Reports and Assessments

Service/Case Planning

  • Staff must:
    • Collaborate with DCS staff to create a service/treatment plan that is cohesive with the DCS Case Plan
    • Complete a holistic assessment of the client/family needs
    • Be knowledgeable of and know how to access community resources
  • In regards to report writing, staff must:
    • Understand the purpose of documentation, monthly reports, and progress tracking for each client/case
    • Be able to write appropriate treatment goals and case notes
    • Use Smart Goals
    • Understand timeframes for reports (as set in the service standard)
    • Understand steps in report writing:
      • Have a goal
      • What you and the family are doing to reach the goal
      • How is the family responding
      • What is the plan for the next step

Resources: SMART Goals Monthly Report Guidance Treatment Plan Guidance Progress Note Guidance

Domestic Violence
  • Staff must:
    • Understand the dynamics of Domestic Violence, including power and control
    • Be able to recognize signs of Domestic Violence
    • Be familiar with agency policy on handling Domestic Violence
    • Understand Do’s and don’ts of working with Domestic Violence
    • Understand Triggers of Domestic Violence

Resources: Domestic Violence

Parent Education

  • Staff must:
    • Be familiar with how nutrition impacts the child
    • Understand appropriate discipline and re-directing techniques for different stages of development
    • Know how to assist families with budgeting, time management, and household maintenance

Resources: Parenting Education

Child and Adolescent Development
  • Staff must:
    • Be familiar with developmental stages and benchmarks
    • Understand proper nutrition
    • Be familiar with resources available to children
    • Understand child sexual development (what is natural and healthy)
    • Understand importance of education related to the child

Resources: Child Development Adolescent Development DCS Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standard
Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Staff must:
    • Be familiar with the Adverse Childhood Experiences study
    • Understand the impact of adverse childhood experiences on the health of society
    • Understand how adverse childhood experiences relate to maltreatment and abuse
Resources:  Adverse Childhood Experiences Connecting a Developmental Lense to the Health of Society

First Aid and CPR

First Aid/CPR Requirements for staff:

  • Understand Universal Precautions
  • Know how to appropriately respond to an injury
  • Complete CPR Training (Certification or Hands-On Training WITH Practice Component)

Resources: First Aid Resources American Heart Association CPR

Safe Sleep
  • Staff must:
    • Understand the risk to the child
    • Know safe sleep standards
    • Be able to communicate the purpose of safe sleep to families
    • Be familiar with techniques to soothe crying
    • Know how to recognize signs of unsafe sleep and  address concerns with families
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Indiana State Department of Health
Purchase DVD
Module III (Staff who work with DCS clients outside of an office setting)
Worker Safety 
  • Agency must review any policies regarding worker safety with staff
  • Staff must understand the importance of worker safety
Resources:  Worker Safety
Environmental Awareness
  • Staff must:
    • Know how to be familiar with surrounding in home, school, etc.
    • Know how to communicate environmental concerns to DCS
    • Be knowledgeable of and be able to communicate agency policies regarding environmental awareness to DCS
    • Understand that reporting environmental concerns to the FCM does not fulfill Hotline Reporting requirements
    • Be familiar with agency policy regarding how to address concerns in the home
    • Sign Environmental Awareness Form
Resources: Agency Supplied Training
Module IV (Staff who transport DCS clients)
Car Seat Training
  • Staff must:
    • Know how to properly install a car seat
    • Be familiar with car seat laws
    • Know where car seats are stored at your agency
    • Know where to locate the following information on a car seat:
      • Expiration Date
      • Age and Weight Requirement
Resources: Car Seat Training Resources
Vehicle Driving Safety
  • Staff must:
    • Demonstrate appropriate behavior when transporting a ward of the state
    • Be familiar with DCS Administrative Policy GA-1, Indiana State Law, and Agency Policy regarding texting/emailing while driving
    • Report accidents, speeding tickets, or other concerns to supervisor
    • Realize staff may be subject to a BMV check at any time
    • Sign Vehicle Driving Safety Agreement
Resources: Vehicle Driving Safety

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