On May 19, 2009, Governor Bill Ritter signed Senate Bill 164 which creates a training academy for child welfare caseworkers. The bill, sponsored by Senator Linda Newell and Representative Joe Miklosi, also requires all caseworkers to complete the training academy prior to obtaining a full child protection case load. SB 164 was to protect children and families and to ensure that all caseworkers are adequately trained.
The Colorado Welfare Training Academy will train caseworkers and their supervisors with the skills to better serve Colorado’s abused and neglected children. The academy will be run by the Colorado Department of Human Services. The academy and state legislation will standardize and mandate training across the state and recruit new child protection caseworkers. With the implementation of the academy, Colorado is among 20 other states with pre-service training academies. Studies have shown that states with training academies have seen dramatic improvements in their child welfare systems.
“In a tough economic time like this, we should all be extremely proud of this legislation and the new Training Academy,” Gov. Ritter said. “This will save lives. The academy will give child-welfare caseworkers the tools they need to protect kids and keep them safe.”
“The training academy created by Senate Bill 164 is the result of the hard work of the Governor’s Child Welfare Action Committee,” said Karen Beye, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Human Services. “The committee’s goal is to make sure all children in the public welfare system have access to quality services and to professionals with the knowledge, skills and abilities to make decisions that will help keep them safe and secure.”
Quick facts about the Colorado Training Academy
The cost of the academy per year is $700,000
The funds to support the training academy will come out of the state’s general operating fund
Initially, 400 caseworkers and their supervisors will be trained
Training will be performed online and in-person in 2010
States with training academies include: New Jersey, New York, Florida