APS Competencies 9812The importance of Child Protective Services sometimes overshadows that of Adult Protective Services. But the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Center know that vulnerable adults must not be forgotten. This year, DSS and the Center teamed up to create a new basic training for case managers in Adult Protective Services (APS). This new training aims to improve the skills of APS case managers and ultimately improve the lives of vulnerable adults across the state.

The new training is 18 days delivered over six weeks and runs on an engine of 22 performance-based competencies. Participants master these competencies by successfully completing various intensive assessments.

To ensure that every competency is addressed in the training, members of the development team came up with a competency-by-assessment chart that shows how each assessment in the training satisfies the different competencies. For example, Assessment 3, which asks participants to create mock questions for an intake scenario, intersects with the competency about critical thinking as well as the competency about following the intake process.

The activities and assessments ensure that the competencies are put to work. On top of this, the development team devoted two of the weeks to skills practice in small groups. Group one comes in on Monday, group two on Tuesday, and so on. This way, each small group receives an intensive day of training in which participants work to hone critical interviewing skills. Between weeks, participants complete shadowing assignments to supplement what they learned and practiced in class.

APS Training Manager Courtney Foxe says the new design allows participants to apply their knowledge immediately, to “make the connection between what they’re learning and what they’ll be doing on the job.” Participants “get to work their very first case before they work their very first case.”

Congratulations to the project’s development team on completing this project. We are proud to play a special role in improving the skills of case managers and the lives of our fellow citizens across the state.