Child Welfare Training Collaborative
The Child Welfare Training Collaborative (CWTC) offers training to community partners (e.g. DFCS, law enforcement, placement providers, early care, education, behavioral health, juvenile courts, pediatric health providers, Court Appointed Special Advocates, and other community and government organizations) throughout the state of Georgia. Bringing everyone to the same table creates an opportunity for community partners to have a shared understanding of issues facing children and families and also strengthens collaborations to promote better outcomes for Georgia’s children.
CWTC is a partnership between the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services and Georgia State University’s School of Social Work Professional Excellence Program. Training is available to any community in the state at no cost to participants.
Bobby Cagle, Director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, introduces the Child Welfare Training Collaborative:
To facilitate collaborative partnerships among community organizations and provide training, which enable stronger relationships with families and promote better outcomes for children.
Stronger collaborative partnerships for healthy families.
The following are the beliefs that guide our work:
Community Oriented: We believe strong children and families rely on a community of partners to support them. This community is comprised of everyone who works with children and families in a professional or volunteer capacity, including DFCS, law enforcement, placement providers, early care, education, behavioral health, juvenile courts, pediatric health providers, Court Appointed Special Advocates, and other community and government organizations).
Collaborative: We believe children are safer and families are healthier when everyone in the child welfare system/community collaborates to solve problems, and provide services and support.
Accessible: We believe that geography should not limit access to resources and make our trainings available in any community throughout the state of Georgia.
Trauma Informed: We believe a trauma-informed approach is best practice in child welfare and approach all our workshops from a trauma perspective.
Quality: We believe our partners deserve access to the highest quality learning experiences available. Our content is based on established evidence-based and evidence informed knowledge and best and promising practices in the field.
- Develop a series of learning opportunities focused on crucial areas of knowledge related to child well-being including best practices and processes of effective service delivery to children and families.
- Provide shared learning opportunities to community partners who work with children and families throughout the state of Georgia to increase knowledge and understanding of topics, ability to apply knowledge to practice, and to create a shared understanding of topics among partners.
- Assist Georgia with creating a trauma informed child welfare system by providing trainings on trauma, secondary trauma, and approaching all other subjects from a trauma perspective.
- Promote collaboration among all community partners to enhance working relationships and efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery.
- Create statewide training information site to assist in locating opportunities to expand learning and move toward trauma informed practice methods.
Amy has had the privilege of serving in the child welfare community for over 21 years. Her experience includes her work at Bibb County Department of Family and Children as a Foster Care and Family Preservation Case Manager, First Steps and Healthy Families Coordinator, Parenting Instructor and Training Supervisor. Prior to joining the Child Welfare Training Collaborative, Amy worked at the Division of Family and Children Services State Office in the Education and Training Social Services Unit where she coordinated the Professional Excellence Training Program, supervised the IV-E Educational Program and special projects as well as supervising training and development staff. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Service Learning from Mercer University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Georgia College and State University.
Colette Nicole, M.S.W.
Colette has been working in child welfare since 2009 and brings a variety of social service experiences. Prior to joining CWTC, Colette provided direct services to families in the states of Indiana and Georgia. She also served as an advocate for women and children’s rights. Colette has worked with the Marion County Juvenile Justice System, the Marion County School System as well as the Marion County Department of Family and Children Services. She has experience as a Family Service Coordinator, Family Support Worker, Care Coordinator, Skill Development Specialist, and Grief Case Manager. In these positions, Colette provided counsel, rendered child development and coping skills curriculum, developed case plans and monitored the progression of families. She also collaborated with community partners to ensure needs of families were met. Colette earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Indiana University and a Master of Social Work degree from Clark Atlanta University.
Debra Ross, M.S.W.
Debra has been working in Social Services for over 25 years and has a variety of child welfare experience in the public and private sector. During her early professional career, Debra worked at the Department of Children and Family Services in two states where she supported efforts to reform child welfare practices, crisis intervention and provided specialized case management services. More recently, she has served as a program manager on four state contracts in which she was responsible for marketing, program evaluation, quality assurance, web-based learning and training, for families and their children. She developed, presented and managed numerous workshops to help support the continuing training need of foster/adoptive parents across the state. Because of her creative approach and innovative strategies in the field of Social Work along with years of child welfare experienced Debra have been invited to present at both the Federal and State level. Debra holds a degree in Sociology from Fisk University and a Master’s in Social Work from Fordham University.
Stefanie Turner, M.P.A.
Stefanie has worked in the public and private sectors of human services since 1990. She began her career in child welfare as a foster care care manger with the Division of Family and Children Services. In the mid-nineties she went to work with several non-profit and governmental agencies where she focused on special needs adoptions, family strengthening, training and development, community partnerships and resource sharing. Stefanie has been involved in the planning and implementation of numerous social services initiatives. She has collaborated and coordinated with Georgia’s Department of Human Services, Freddie Mac, The Dave Thomas Foundation and Fox 5 News in their efforts to recruit adoptive families for Georgia’s waiting children. Stefanie also served as the Program Director on a federal Healthy Marriage Grant sponsored by the Administration of Children and Families. Stefanie earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Auburn University and Master’s in Public Administration from Troy State University.
Patrick Strawser, M.Ed.
Instructional Service Specialist
Pat began working professionally in multimedia and graphic design in 1999. Since then, he has worked in the print and sign industry as a graphic designer and layout artist in and around the Athens and Atlanta areas, even managing a sign production company in 2010. He is also a contract instructional designer and graphic designer, working with a diverse set of clients such as IEEE, University of Georgia, SCAC, the Progress Group, and various Atlanta-area instructional design companies. In addition to instructional design, Pat also works as a professional touring musician, composer, and music instructor at Atlanta Institute of Music and Media in Duluth, Georgia. He has also had the opportunity to serve as a youth camp counselor for English camps in South Korea and China. Pat holds a BA in Sociology from University of Georgia and a Master’s of Education with a focus on Instructional Design and Development from University of Georgia.
Jamie Bernhardt, M.S.
Instructional service specialist
Jamie is responsible for developing curriculum for the Child Welfare Training Collaborative (CWTC). He is also charged with designing workshops and e-learning experiences about the impact of adversity and trauma on child brain development and well-being. Jamie has extensive experience which includes training and design and development of multimedia learning experiences. Jamie is also a game designer. Jamie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and a Master of Science degree in instructional design and technology, both from Georgia State University. In addition, Jamie is a candidate for PhD in learning technologies, with a focus on how playing games changes the brain.
Nicolle Dally, M.P.H.
Nicole designs and implement assessments and evaluations, lead data collection efforts, and prepare reports to disseminate findings. She has seven years of evaluating programs from the planning stage through outcome measurement, project management, organizational development and strategic planning. She previously served as a Chronic Disease Program Evaluator and as a Program/Evaluation Coordinator at a public health institute. Nicolle earned a Master of Public Health (MPH) Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans.
Shelby Zimmer, M.S.W.
Shelby has worked in the child welfare field since 2009. She was previously employed as an associate at The Center for the Support of Families where she worked on training, practice model implementation, case review, and CQI projects for several state child welfare agencies and the Children’s Bureau’s Training and Technical Assistance Network. Prior to joining the Child Welfare Training Collaborative, she worked on the Kinship Care Unit and as a foster care case manager for the Fulton County Division of Family and Children Services. Shelby holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Agnes Scott College and a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration in community partnerships from Georgia State University.
The work of the Child Welfare Training Collaborative is guided by an advisory council made up of 41 representatives from 34 organizations.
Vice President of Club Operations, Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta
Director, Georgia Supreme Court Committee on Justice for Children
District Manager, Georgia Division of Family and Children Services
Dr. Elizabeth Beck
Professor, School of Social Work, Georgia State University
Director of Knowledge Management, Georgia Division of Family and Children Services
District Manager, Georgia Division of Family and Children Services
Dr. Brian Bride
Director, School of Social Work, Georgia State University
Manager of Community Outreach and Education, Amerigroup 360
Director, Georgia Division of Family and Children Services
Executive Director, Barton Child Law and Policy Center
President, Adoptive and Foster Parent Association of Georgia
Associate Project Director, Center of Excellence for Child and Adolescent Health, Georgia State University
Attorney at Law
Dr. Jordan Greenbaum
Staff Physician, Stephanie Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Medical consultant, International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children
District Manager, Georgia Division of Family and Children Services
Executive Director, Georgia CASA
Dr. Sharon Hill
Professor, Georgia State University
Judge Michael Key
Juvenile Court Judge, Troup County
Director of Field Operations, Georgia Division of Family and Children Services
Deputy Superintendent, Georgia Department of Education
Dr. Stephen Messner
The Pamela and Eugene A. Hayes III Endowed Chair for Child Protection, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Public Service Associate, University of Georgia, Fanning Institute for Leadership Development
Director of Strategic Partnerships, Georgia Division of Family and Children Services
Dr. Christie Moore
Director of Professional Learning, Bright from the Start, Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning
Commissioner, Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice
Director Education and Training, Georgia Division of Family & Children Services
Field Operations Deputy Director, Georgia Division of Family and Children Services
Executive Director, Multi-Agency Alliance for Children
Executive Director, Together GA
Executive Director, Georgia Family Connection Partnership
Child Advocacy Director, Dekalb Juvenile Court
Judge Peggy Walker
Douglas County, Juvenile Court Judge
Director, Office of the Child Advocate
Director, Get Georgia Reading
Communications Manager, GEEARS
Dr. Angie Boy
Program Manager, Stephanie Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children - Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Association Director, Georgia Association of Community Service Boards
Director, Georgia Head Start Collaboration Office, Bright From the Start, Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning
Judge Sheri Roberts
Newton County Juvenile Court Judge
Office of Prevention, Georgia Division of Family and Children Services
Grants and Program Evaluation, Newton County Juvenile Court