CCFSQATraining Stock 0476Imagine the stress of knowing that every time the phone rings, a child’s life could be in danger. This is reality for South Carolina Department of Social Services intake practitioners. After recent changes to its reporting systems, DSS has been receiving more reports of abuse and neglect of children and vulnerable adults than ever before. Last summer, DSS turned to the Center to ensure their expanded ranks of intake practitioners were equipped to answer every call.

Dedicated to have new hires answering phones as soon as possible, DSS demanded training that could be developed quickly. The duties of intake practitioners demanded a training that didn’t cut corners. From gathering details to assessing reports, practitioners have to be critical thinkers and expert communicators, all while treating reporters with compassion and respect. Within four months, the Center delivered its Intake Hub Training, an exhaustive, four-week course utilizing simulations and custom-designed assessments. Training participants worked through rigorous practice scenarios involving audio recordings based on real intake calls. The Center scored each participant with detailed rubrics, giving DSS supervisors a road-map to improving practitioners’ on-the-job skills.

Understanding that time was of the essence, the Center coordinated its staff to create flexible cross training, bringing together trainers from Child Welfare, Adult Protective Services, Economic Services, and even some of the Center’s research staff. Their collaboration produced an ambitious sequence of role-playing practice sessions. Participants received an immersive training experience with individualized feedback. “I loved how interactive the trainers were,” one participant noted. “They allowed us to connect as a class and focus on learning in a fun environment.”

The innovative design and successful execution of Intake Hub Training showcases the Center’s responsiveness and logistical elasticity. To learn more about the Center’s achievements in designing solutions, please contact Beck Sullivan, Senior Program Manager, Curriculum and Information Design (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

[Pictured: Stephanie Payne, LMSW, one of the lead trainers for the Intake Hub Training.]

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