Training Programs

The Child Welfare Institute's (CWI) training programs utilize training as an opportunity to engage critical constituents in dialogue and practices to inform ongoing change for Rhode Island's professionals who work with children, youth, and families.

CWI's training programs include:

New Hire Core Training

Family Service & Juvenile Corrections Services

Core Iā€“ Initial training program for newly hired Family Service Unit Social Caseworker II's, Child Support Technicians, and Juvenile Corrections Services Probation and Parole Staff. This program provides new staff with classroom training, technology training, coordinated supervision and support during their six month probationary status. Staff receives a comprehensive array of child welfare and juvenile corrections training topics combined with the assignment of a graduated caseload for the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to their work with families.

Rhode Island Training School Pre-Service Academy

The Rhode Island Training School Pre-Service Academy is designed to set a solid foundation of knowledge and best practices in juvenile corrections as well as the facilities' policies and procedures for all its participants. All recruits have been subject to a background check, drug screen and physical fitness assessment. After a recruit has successfully completed the six week academy they will be able to perform and or have acquired skill sets in all of the following areas:

  • secured facility concepts
  • behavior management
  • suicide prevention/intervention
  • policy and procedures
  • physical and mechanical restraint
  • transporting youth offenders
  • substance abuse
  • mental illness
  • cross gender supervision
  • first aid/CPR/AED
  • street gangs
  • fire safety
  • report writing
  • emergency procedures
  • physical fitness

For more information, contact Catherine Pitassi at or 401-456-4627.

Intermediate/Advanced Core Training

Core II–Ongoing professional development for all staff within the RI Department of Children Youth & Families. This program also provides in-service trainings for current DCYF staff across various divisions.

Core III–Ongoing training program for DCYF staff across various divisions. This program includes more advanced topics, specialized topics and current trends/issues in child welfare.

Sample of CWI Training Topics

  • Child Abuse & Neglect
  • Safety and Risk
  • Family Centered Practice
  • Fatherhood
  • Child Welfare & Diversity
  • Child & Adolescent Development
  • Assessment & Service Planning
  • Out of Home Visitation
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Domestic Violence
  • Systems of Care/Wraparound Practice
  • Mental Health
  • Addictions
  • Engagement & Interviewing

For more information, contact Catherine Pitassi at or 401-456-4627.

Core Supervisory Training Program

The Core Supervisory Training Program is open to DCYF supervisors in all divisions. Developed collaboratively by the Child Welfare Institute and the University of Rhode Island Center for Human Services (Outside LinkUniversity of Rhode Island Center for Human Services), the program focuses on building positive relationships through self awareness, collaboration and strength-based supervision. Experiential techniques are used to teach and model the methodologies of Appreciative Inquiry and Positive Leadership and build skills in the following key areas:

  • Supervisory Roles and Responsibilities
  • Strengths-based Supervision
  • Building Positive Relationships through Self & Worker Awareness
  • Staff Development and Coaching
  • Meeting Planning and Facilitating
  • Change Leadership
  • Supervising for Continuous Quality Improvement
  • Values and Ethics in Supervision
  • Managing in a Multi-cultural & Multi-generational Environment
  • Managing for Performance and Personnel Issues

The program is structured in modular form and customized to fulfill 60 hours of training.

For more information, contact Catherine Pitassi at or 401-456-4627.

System of Care – Wraparound RI

The Child Welfare Institute (CWI) is the training and certification partner for Rhode Island's Department of Children, Youth and Families' (DCYF) system of care transformation process. Within the DCYF model a system of care is defined as "a set of values and principles that provides an organizing framework for system reform on behalf of children, youth and families." With DCYF's model, the SOC is informed by the philosophies and practices associated with high fidelity wraparound. DCYF's SOC uses a service delivery approach that is team-based, individualized and family driven and meets the needs of children, youth and families across the continuum of being at risk of becoming involved or who are involved with RI's child welfare system.

In this capacity as the training and certification entity, CWI oversees curriculum development for child welfare and community staff. In addition, CWI has constructed a tiered certification process including:

  1. System of Care & Child Welfare Training
  2. Wraparound RI Training
  3. Wraparound RI Practices (as defined by the National Wraparound Initiative)

CWI is pleased to be partnering with DCYF and Seet Consultants, LLC in its System of Care transformation process.

For more information, contact Catherine Pitassi at or 401-456-4627.

College Internship Program

The Child Welfare Institute (CWI) in collaboration with the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) has developed an internship program. The College Internship Program offers students from Rhode Island and other local colleges and universities the opportunity to have experience in a public child welfare and partner agencies. Interns receive specialized training and are placed in various roles within CWI, DCYF and partner agencies.

For more information, contact Catherine Pitassi at or 401-456-4627.

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Page last updated: July 5, 2012