Professional Development and Training

Professional Excellence

Professional Excellence is an exciting training track designed to target the training needs of the Division staff that have been in the field at least 18 months or longer, or have completed their new worker training requirements. This training promotes advanced knowledge and practice skills of the Division professional.

All Professional Excellence courses are based on a comprehensive assessment of the Division staff training needs which includes input from the CFSR.
Professional Excellence classes are under the umbrella of Professional Development Training and will count towards the yearly 20-hour requirement.

Our Mission

The Professional Excellence Program is dedicated to providing the Division professionals with the knowledge base to effectively work with the complex situations they face. It is the program’s mission to provide current research and practice skills to Division veteran staff through innovative professional development courses and activities.



Professional Excellence classes are available by request and can be scheduled in your local area. To request a class or for any further questions, please email request to: Tanya Davis,


All DFCS training courses listed on the online training and registration site, qualify for professional development hours. 20 training hours are required annually July 1st.-June 30th.

Who can attend Professional Excellence professional development courses:

  • All DFCS staff employed with the State of Georgia for 18+ months
  • Newly employed DFCS case managers who have completed the new worker training courses required within the first two years of their hire date
  • OFI supervisors and case managers are encouraged to attend courses of interest to them

Click on the title of each course to view a description of it.

This training is a one-day workshop for DFCS staff who have been selected to be Field Practice Coaches for new case managers. Social Services Supervisors may also participate. Field Practice Coaches must have an approved application from Education and Training in order to take this course. Participants will become familiar with the sequence of activities a new worker completes leading to certification and the role of Field Practice Coach to mentor and coach the new employee through the training process. Participants will have an opportunity to assess and practice their coaching skills. The Field Practice Coach Program was initiated to support and expedite the training process for new case managers as they progress through Georgia’s Child Welfare System, and this course is required for eligible staff to become certified as a Field Practice Coach. To access the Field Practice Coach manual that contains the training guide and the forms to apply to be a coach, click on the following link The user ID is: FPG and the password is: FPG.
Human Trafficking is a growing problem both nationally and in Georgia.  Because DFCS employees come into contact with a wide variety of people, they may be one of the first people to observe that someone needs help. The Human Trafficking online course provides important information on this topic, and will assist DFCS staff in identifying and assisting people who may be possible victims.  The Division has mandated that all State Office, Regional Staff, County Directors, Program Administrators, Supervisors and Case Managers complete this training course. This course is available on the DFCS online training system.
This course is designed for staff who observe, interview, assess risk, place, and treat child and adolescent victims of maltreatment. Information on current research and best practice regarding interviewing and eliciting information from children and youth will be presented. Participants will collect a variety of interviewing tools in their “bag of tricks” for use when talking with children. Specific tools that require instruction will be fully demonstrated. Participants will leave the training with a host of new tools and interview aids to assist them in their daily practice and work with children/adolescents. This course is recommended for Social Services staff.
Do you desire practical tools that you can use when assessing caregivers and children? Then, this class is for you. It will teach you observation skills that will help you assess a family’s strengths and challenges as well as observe the connections and the "dance" between caregivers and their children. You will learn tools that researchers and practitioners have developed to help you sharpen your skills in observing families with children from infancy to youth. You will learn the skills to observe, document and create effective recommendations for family systems. This course is recommended for Social Services staff responsible for assessing and working with families.
This course focuses on the importance of fathers in children’s lives, the current research related to father involvement, and how this information can be applied throughout the child welfare continuum of services. The course includes strategies for identifying, locating and engaging fathers in the casework process, and is designed to equip case managers and supervisors to work successfully with fathers in a wide range of family situations and structures.
This course is designed to help participants answer the question, “What is going on with this teen and what can I do to help him/her?” In the first section of the training, Talking about Teens, participants learn about adolescent development and behaviors, potential feelings of teens involved with DFCS, and specific health and development issues that teens experience. In the second section, Talking with Teens, participants learn how to effectively engage teens in order to help them make positive movement toward a healthy adulthood. Topics include: communicating with teens, using a positive youth development approach, permanency, and case management strategies. This course is recommended for Social Services staff.
If your work environment could use a boost, then why not have a FISH Philosophy workshop in your office? This fun and enjoyable workshop will encourage staff to explore their attitudes, challenge them to be there for their internal and external customers while making their day, and promote a positive work environment. Staff will leave motivated and energized! This workshop is recommended for all DFCS staff.
This course is designed to educate Social Services supervisors on the primary and secondary traumatic stress aspects of their work. Participants will assess their own personal and professional care and develop an understanding of how to manage direct and secondary trauma. Participants will also learn how to help their staff members manage the responses related to traumatic stress in their work. The course includes instruction on the nature of traumatic stress as well as individual coping skills and social support strategies that, if implemented, may reduce the negative impact on work performance and individual worker well being. This course is recommended for Social Services Supervisors and Field Program Specialists.
This course is designed to provide management’s approach to implementing and maintaining the Family Centered Practice Model. It begins with an overview of the model and identifies requisite standards that affect practice. There are 7 standards of practice that apply  including Agency Management and Leadership; Policies and standards; Qualifications, Workload and Professional Development of Staff; Array of Services; Information Systems; Agency Coordination within the Community and Quality Assurance.
This 4-day course prepares participants to become approved facilitators for Family Team Meetings.  The curriculum covers the basic what, why and when of Family Team Meetings.  Participants will gain a basic understanding of the skills required to facilitate an FTM, including the principles of the change process, skills for building a trusting relationship, family dynamics, and forming partnerships for positive change.  Participants also practice the skills needed for effective facilitation.
This is advanced training for Agency staff who are responsible for the FTM process at the county, regional or state level. Participants may include FTM facilitators, co-facilitators, coordinators, supervisors, Field Program Specialists, and administration. Advanced skill training is offered in facilitating Family Team Meetings that may include the following issues: Family Violence, Substance Abuse, Family Conflicts and Mental Health Issues. In addition, participants are given the opportunity to network with others across the state who share similar job responsibilities.
This course is designed primarily for Social Services Case Managers who do not facilitate or co-facilitate FTM's. The 2-day classroom training encompasses:

  • how case managers can engage families and their informal support system to prepare them for working with the FTM process
  • how to develop individualized family plans, built on underlying needs and functional strengths, within the context of the family team meeting setting
  • documentation of the FTM in SHINES
  • following through with providing services and continued work with the family to complete plans
This workshop is designed to provide frontline case managers with practical skills to effectively communicate complex and difficult information to children and teens. Techniques and strategies for matching interview skills with a child's social and emotional age, skills for interviewing young adults with ADHD, anxiety, depression and developmental disorders will be addressed using videos, scripts and hands-on practice.
Children involved with the child welfare system are likely to have experienced both acute and chronic trauma in environments characterized by adversity and deprivation. It is important for child welfare workers to recognize the complexity of a child's lifetime trauma history and to not focus solely on the single event that might have precipitated a report. This 2-day course gives child welfare workers a broad overview of child traumatic stress, examines the impact of trauma on children in the child welfare system and provides tips on working with providers who deliver trauma-informed care.
Quality Improvement (CQI) Facilitators in their region. This course examines a specific model for performance improvement and the process of performance consulting, including conducting performance analysis and using this analysis to choose and implement appropriate interventions for change. The course also examines how facilitators take a collaborative role with their team and other staff in the CQI process.
This course is the second in the training series to prepare designated DFCS staff to take a facilitative role in the continuous quality improvement (CQI) process by acting as performance consultants within their region. This course focuses on the development of basic group facilitation skills. The course consists of a sequence of instructional segments followed by small group experience and individual practice of a specific aspect of facilitation.
This course provides an overview of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).  It addresses the three areas Georgia is targeting to educate staff on CAPTA compliance.  The three areas include Babies Can't Wait referrals, representation for children in care and requirements for reporting CDNFSI.
This course is designed to increase staff members’ ability to help ensure that children’s well-being needs are met. It focuses on how knowledge about child development, child trauma, educational issues, and children’s physical and mental health needs can be applied to case management activities and used to positively impact well-being outcomes across program areas. The course includes relevant policy and practice and provides strategies and resources to help staff address child well-being needs.
This course is designed to help case managers increase their knowledge and skills related to children being treated with psychotropic medications. Although psychotropic medications can be an important and effective part of a child’s mental health treatment, the use of this medication with children requires careful oversight and monitoring. The course includes relevant policy and practice and provides strategies and resources to help staff take an active role in treatment planning, provision, and monitoring.
This training is designed to provide participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully use the legal system to protect and serve children. Part II (Day two) builds on the legal foundation information presented in Legal Issues I (Day 1).  This class provides an opportunity for participants to apply what they learned in Legal Issues 1 to a mock-trial setting. Each participant will have an opportunity to role play the case manager and prepare his/her case for witnessing in court in order to further develop court skills.
This course will provide staff who have been charged with delivering training in the agency with core skills needed to be effective classroom trainers. Items covered in the course include:
• An introduction to adult learning principles and how they relate to training delivery
• Specific tasks to prepare for training and create a positive classroom environment
• Using specific techniques to increase training effectiveness
Part I - This webinar, participants receive an overview of the Partnering with Dads sequence, including training activities, participation expectations, and how to access online course materials. Participants have the opportunity meet their instructor and to ask questions about the course.

Part II - Online Session: In this session, participants watch videos lectures and complete individual activities in an online environment. Content includes the importance of fathers in children’s lives, the impact of father involvement on child welfare outcomes, and strategies for identifying, locating, engaging, and involving fathers. The online learning activities are accessed via Participants complete activities at their own pace over a 9-day period.

Part III -  Classroom Training: In this classroom session, participants are engaged in a scenario based learning activity and in answering the “now what” question for their own cases. This session is designed to help participants apply what they learned online to families on their caseload and to make strategic decisions on how to improve father involvement.

Who can attend Professional Excellence professional development webinars:

  • All DFCS staff employed with the State of Georgia for 18+ months
  • Newly employed DFCS case managers who have completed the new worker training courses required within the first two years of their hire date
  • OFI supervisors and case managers are encouraged to attend courses of interest to them

Recorded Webinars

To view a recorded webinar, go to the online training and registration site, log in with your eight-digit employee ID number. If you forgot your password, please click on the “forgot password” link and you will be directed to type your email address. Education and Training Webinars are located on the DFCS online training site. Click on the social services link, click on the webinar tab, and then click on the category related to the topic.  Once a webinar is viewed, you will receive access to handouts and a certificate of completion.

Click on the title of each webinar to view its description.

Family Violence/Intimate Partner Violence

In this Ask the Expert session, Kim Washington, a Domestic Violence Expert and liaison with DFCS Child Welfare Domestic Violence Programs in the Collaborative Partners Section, leads an informative discussion about connecting our families affected by domestic violence with the appropriate services and programs.  She is joined in a panel discussion by:  Jan Christiansen – Associate Director of The Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Anna Blau – Executive Director of International Women’s House; and Jennifer Thomas - Program Manager for The Georgia Commission on Family Violence.   This active and engaging discussion will help you identify the type of services available in Georgia for victims and their children both in and out of shelter, explain the Georgia & Federal law governing these services, help case managers recognize appropriate services available for batterers, and identify and address the barriers to accessing appropriate services.
Is it sometimes challenging to interview a domestic violence victim?   Then this webinar session may be just for you. This webinar will answer your questions on:
1) Barriers to interviewing a victim.
2) What to do when a victim minimizes violence in the home.
3) Determining strengths or protective capacities in a victim of domestic violence.

For this session, we are excited to bring back Ms. Kim Washington, DFCS Domestic Violence Child Welfare Programs Liaison, for another webinar on Domestic Violence.  This time we will be focused on practice issues, particularly on how to interview a client from a strengths perspective.  Our discussion is active and interactive, includes a role play with domestic violence case examples, and highlights ways to interview a domestic violence client with compassion, and how to incorporate new critical thinking skills.  In this interactive session we will be learning how to peel back the layers to find both the needs and the protective capacities of your client.

Do you have domestic violence cases on your caseload? Have you questioned whether the children in that home are resilient?  Are there protective capacities that might allow them to remain in this home?  Listen in as Judge Peggy Walker from Douglas County, and Kim Washington from the Collaborative Partners Unit, share in an open dialogue about child resiliency in domestic violence/intimate partner cases.  You don’t want to miss this opportunity to hear from experts in the field, openly sharing their broad experience and knowledge, and answering questions from DFCS employees, Private Providers, & Foster Parents in Georgia.  You will be guaranteed to have a very rich and rewarding experience from listening to this session  

Substance Abuse/Addiction/Recovery

In this Ask the Expert Webinar Session, Dr. Jan Ligon, Assoc. Professor at Georgia State University, and Mr. Shawn Brown, Licensed Counselor and Professional Excellence Program Trainer, will be facilitating a discussion about families affected by Substance Abuse.  Instead of just focusing on how to get help for the substance user, they will be discussing the value of the extended family, how the substance abuse affects the family as a whole, and will have as its primary focus the goal of providing useful skills that case managers can share with their families.   We all know that engaging the family can help improve the child’s chance at quicker permanency, improve the well-being of the family, and ensure the safety of the child.  You will leave this session with a set of skills that can be shared with your families - tools that will help the extended family choose a more healthy response to the substance user in their life.
Do you have mothers on your caseload struggling with substance abuse issues, and in need of addiction treatment services?  Do their children need to accompany them to care?  Join Dianne Cleveland Sharp (DHS), Shirlonda Hambrick-Taylor (DBHDD), and Julius Simmons  (DHS/TANF Unit) to learn about the partnership between DFCS and DBHDD that can help you connect the mother to services she needs. These services are made possible via a contract between DFCS, DBHDD and Ready for Work (RFW) Providers and are no cost to the client. During this webinar you will hear the success stories of 2 mothers who received services through RFW Residential programs and how they are currently living sober.  Also you will hear from a SS Supervisor who helped to connect/refer one of the mother’s on her caseload to services in a RFW Residential Tx facility.  
Listen in to Dr. Deitra Hawkins, and Neil Kaltenecker from the GA Council on Substance Abuse as they discuss practical ways to help those in recovery. This is a very exciting time for people in recovery, their families, and others who want to help people feel free to talk about the alcohol and drug problems they are experiencing. By talking about these problems, we can begin to reduce stigma, and make a difference in how people think about addiction and recovery. Being able to talk about substance abuse from a science-based perspective will help people feel OK about asking for help, and getting treatment if they need it. It will also help us educate and motivate the people we work with, family members, the general public as well as policymakers to treat people both in active addiction, or personal recovery with dignity and fairness.  Understanding addiction and recovery and highlighting 'what helps' offers a strong message of hope. 

Health and Safety

Can you describe an Asthma Action Plan? If not, then this is the webinar for you! Join Bob Harwood, a registered respiratory therapist and clinical assistant professor at Georgia State University as he provides an Asthma 101 session so that you can better understand the risk of asthma, and ensure the wellbeing of children on your caseload in OFI, family preservation, foster care, and adoption cases.  After this session you will be able to help your families affected by asthma by being able to:  Describe asthma and the common triggers of asthma, understand drug delivery devices and how to clean these devices, and describe an Asthma Action Plan.
Do you have a teen on your caseload that you worry about?  Do you know teens with reckless behaviors, but you just aren’t sure how to talk to them?  Then this is the webinar for you!  You will experience a lively discussion around what teens think about sex and contraceptives, how to engage your teens in the “difficult” conversations around sex, and how to engage them in the process of taking personal responsibility for their own sexual health.  Our panelists include:  Diane Kelly, RN & Public Health Family Planning Nurse Consultant  who works with teens and understands how they think about sex, contraceptives, and taking care of their bodies;  Felicia Tuggle from the PREP program (Personal Responsibility Education Program) works with teens in the top 10 high risk areas in GA with the highest teen pregnancy rates; and Kristin Sanchez, the ILP Director for DFCS who works with teens in foster care to connect them with health resources, and engages them in conversations around their health and sexual development needs.
Did you know that motor vehicle crashes continue to be the number one cause of injury to children over age 1 year? This is something affecting our children in Georgia, and is a place where we can affect change.  Please join Ms. Wende Parker and the DPH Child Occupant Safety Project staff as they review the four steps for securing children safely in the car. Knowing what resources are available in your community is a key component for collaboration and service. Staff will identify common misuse scenarios where DFCS staff and caregivers can learn what to look for with any age child. Remember- together we can save lives.
Did you know -infant sleep-related death is a major contributor to Georgia's higher than national average infant mortality rate? Many of these deaths are due to unsafe sleep environments that are potentially preventable.

Please join Ms. Kim Washington with the Collaborative Partners Section as she facilitates an interactive discussion about safe sleep habits with Carol Ball from Maternal Child Health.  They will be discussing the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) guidelines for infant bedtime/nap time habits.  A great tool for staff working with infants, including child welfare, health care, & childcare workers, along with caregivers of infants from birth to 1 year old

Do you really know the harmful effects of secondhand and third hand smoke? In this "Ask the Expert" webinar session, Dr. Cam Escoffery, Assistant Professor, at Rollins School of Public Health, and professionals from Emory University present an innovative process to prevent secondhand smoke exposure to children and nonsmokers in the home. They will present the benefits of a smoke-free home and walk you through a 5 step approach to encourage smokers to smoke outside the home. Also, you will hear from Shade' Owolabi and Brooke Genkin who have coached over 200 people to create smoke-free homes with favorable results.  They will role play examples of coaching scenarios for an interactive discussion. This webinar will provide you with skills to assess the secondhand smoke risk to children in the home and offer coaching tips with the 5 steps to help families make the decision to create a smoke-free home and smoke outside.

Teen Topics

Take time to listen to two teens tell about their experiences in foster care, and from those shared experiences, how you can help other teens transition successfully from foster care to adulthood.  They will also be sharing with other youth mentors, and program managers that have been part of that transition. The session is facilitated by Anthony Reeves, GA EmpowerMEnt Regional & Court Improvement Coordinator, and our panelists for the session are:   Victoria Salzman with Georgia Youth Opportunities Initiative, an innovative public/private and adult/youth collaboration; Kristin Sanchez,  GA ILP Director; and Shaquita Ogletree, a Youth Support Coordinator with (MAAC) – Multi-Agency Alliance for Children.  The panelists will be sharing additional information on the exciting initiatives, programs & services available for the teens on your caseload.

Whether you are a case manager in Child Protective Services or Permanency, teens on caseloads bring with them many challenges, and we often bring with us judgments about teens in care.  ILP Director Kristin Sanchez with the GA Division of Family and Children Services will be fielding tough questions about teens on your caseload and/or teens that live in your home.  Benefitted by years of experience working with teens, Kristin has developed a straight talk approach to working with teens.  She will be sharing her successes and challenges in working with teens, informing us about differences in the “teenage brain”, and helping us to add helpful tools to our toolbox for engaging teenagers on our caseloads.

Psychotropic Drugs/Trauma/Mental Health

In this lively webinar discussion, we open the phone lines and chat panel for all participants to ‘Ask the Medical Expert’ any burning question they may have about psychotropic medications, and what they need to know to serve the families on their caseload.  Dr. Alka Aneja, DFCS Medical Director, and Ms. Ursula Davis, Systems of Care Section Director answer questions from DFCS staff, foster parents, and private providers.  This discussion begins our series with Ms. Davis outlining the role of the Systems of Care Unit, and the impact that the recent ACF (Administration of Children & Families) Information Memorandum has on the work we do with children & families in Georgia.  Look for 2 more sessions in this series, which will more clearly outline specific psychotropic medications, their classes, the pro’s and con’s, and the red flag indicators to protect Georgia’s children.
Does your mind go buzzzzzzz at the thought of Psychotropic Medication?  A recent memorandum from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has charged us to ask the tough questions about Psychotropic Meds.  With this charge comes a greater importance for understanding classes of medications, their side effects, & the questions we should be asking medical professionals, pharmacists, and families.  Listen in and take advantage of hearing DFCS Medical Director, Dr. Alka Aneja discuss the categories, indications & side effects of medications specifically for depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
This is the last archived version and part III of the webinar series on psychotropic medication. Dr. Alka Aneja focuses on psychosis, mood disorders, autism, and PTSD. She will be discussing both their indications and side effects, and will also highlight the red flags surrounding use of these medications in children. She is joined by Ursula Davis from the DFCS System of Care Unit.  This is an interactive session to answer questions about what you as DFCS staff should know, and how to apply this knowledge to the work you do with children and families.   
Have you ever wondered "What exactly is complex trauma, and what makes a trauma 'complex' ?"  It is a commonly asked question among many of our DFCS staff and foster parents.  With this in mind, we created this webinar with you in mind.  Instead of a power point focused presentation, we provided a round table discussion around complex trauma that will involve you and your experiences in working with children in Georgia.  At this webinar round table you will be joined by Brandy Rogers, LPC & Clinical Program Specialist from the DFCS System of Care Unit, and Dr. Wendy Hanevold a psychologist and specialist in working with clients with Complex Trauma.  We hope listening into this pre-recorded discussion will help to answer your many questions, and set the ground work for breaking through barriers to help the families you serve.  
Can you recognize the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder? What are effective means of communication with children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder? Are you aware of available treatment resources? Carolyn Tully, Leading Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (B.C.B.A) and Autism Director of Laurel Heights Hospital will share answers to these questions and many more in the upcoming interactive Autism Webinar
The presenter blends his personal and professional experience to address the very high prevalence of trauma in the population we serve across the child welfare system and beyond. With an informed collective understanding of trauma, more people will find their path to healing and wellness, along with a greater public commitment to trauma-informed programs, services, and systems for survivors, we prevent, lessen, and mitigate a wide range of health, behavioral health and social problems for generations to come.
Join us for this informational and interactive webinar to learn more about ADHD, and it's prevalence among youth in care.  Dr. Visser has been the lead author on research related to generating population-based estimates of ADHD, rates of medication treatment among youth with ADHD, and factors associated with ADHD medication treatment.

Join Ursula Davis as they share in a conversation about how this disorder affects many of the children in state custody and the options for treatment for the children and families we serve

Join Dr. Debora Johnson, our Medical Director, in an interactive Ask the Expert session, as she shares with us her knowledge and expertise in working with Children that suffer

From anxiety disorders.  She will be discussing the different categories of anxiety, how to recognize it in children, and recommendations on referrals for treatment and care

Engaging the Family

The PE 5100 series is the first pilot Webinar learning experience of the Professional Excellence Program.  Since it was our “pilot” we had some technical challenges, which have affected the sound clarity, however, we feel you may still benefit from sharing in the archived version.  This session provides timely information to DFCS Administrators, Supervisors and Case Managers in a webinar format. The Webinar provides a subject matter expert "SME" on the topic and encourages dialogue between the SME and DFCS staff.  The Webinar "Ask a Dad-The Real Expert" provided staff in Region III the opportunity to dialogue with a dad who successfully regained custody of his child in foster care.  The dad will be sharing his experiences working with DFCS and how staff can engage fathers successfully.  You will also hear from the case manager who successfully guided this father towards permanent custody of his daughter.  Also tools developed by Region III to work with dads are also discussed.
Do you find it challenging to engage some of the parents and children on your caseload?  Listen in to our expert, Dr. Wendy Hanevold, an engagement specialist.  You will have an opportunity to enhance your skills in this first webinar series on effectively engaging parents and children.

Our expert Dr. Wendy Hanevold will help you determine whether you are making true alliances with the members of the families you serve. Without an alliance there can be no engagement.   In this session she guides participants toward building the type of alliance that will result in better outcomes for the family as a whole. You will be sure to walk away with new skills that you can immediately put into practice the very same day.  

Grandparents raising grandchildren is a growing phenomenon in Georgia. Many custodial grandparents require resources to address basic needs.  After completing this webinar you will be able to:

  • Define kinship care and the types of caregiving
  • Identify the reasons why grandparents raise grandchildren
  • Describe the effects of parenting on custodial grandparents
  • Recognize the effects on grandchildren

Listen in to an interactive panel of experts: Dr. Deborah Whitley of Georgia State University School of Social Work, Thom Snyder of the Division of Aging Services, Hilary Leland from Atlanta Legal Aid, and Claire Williams of OFI.

Professional Excellence is partnering with Prevent Child Abuse Georgia in this unique Ask the Expert session.

You will be joining Darrell Green (Professional Excellence Program and father), Clinton Boyd (Prevent Child Abuse Georgia and father), and Shannon Self-Brown (Associate Director for Research & Development in the National SafeCare Training and Research Center) for an interactive and open dialogue about what it means to not only “Identify” fathers, but how to engage and involve them in a partnership, by helping them firmly establish a relationship with their children.

Enhancing the Work Environment/Stress Management

The PE 5100 series is the first pilot Webinar learning experience of the Professional Excellence Program.  Since it was our “pilot” we had some technical challenges, which have affected the sound clarity, however, we feel you may still benefit from sharing in the archived version.  This session provides timely information to DFCS Administrators, Supervisors and Case Managers in a webinar format. The Webinar provides a subject matter expert "SME" on the topic and encourages dialogue between the SME and DFCS staff.  The Webinar "Ask a Dad-The Real Expert" provided staff in Region III the opportunity to dialogue with a dad who successfully regained custody of his child in foster care.  The dad will be sharing his experiences working with DFCS and how staff can engage fathers successfully.  You will also hear from the case manager who successfully guided this father towards permanent custody of his daughter.  Also tools developed by Region III to work with dads are also discussed.
For the first time in history there are 4 generations in the workplace, each with a preferred way of communicating. With the rise of the Millennials, (aka Generation Y, and the largest generation on Earth), and the increase in advanced technology and social media, it has become increasingly difficult to communicate in our noisy, 24/7 connected culture. You call, they email, and the others text (while sitting right next to you)! Change is inevitable but the development of next generation communication skills must be intentional.

Join Ryan Jenkins, a phenomenal speaker and Next Generation Catalyst as he helps you connect and work with varying generations in the work place.

Audience Outcomes:

  • Appreciate the irrefutable power of communication.
  • Gain the true context of each generation.
  • Understand the varying communication preferences of each generation.
  • Insights on the emerging trends of leadership.
  • Insights on the emerging trends of communication.
  • Learn the 4 key areas for effective next generation communication.

Gain tactics to empower meaningful communication across generations.

Do you have moments in your workday that you find yourself screaming "This job is making me crazy!!!!!!!" Do you need help managing the stress that comes with your work? Do you wish you were more resilient, and had better skills to combat burnout? Then take some time to listen to this session.  It is like giving yourself an early Birthday present - one that you certainly deserve. This session is led by Ms. Amy Irvin, and Ms. Lisa Faehl from Omni Vision, a Private Provider in Ringgold, Georgia.  They will walk us through steps to combatting burnout & outlining ways to build a more resilient approach to the vital work you do with families.

Policy, Practice, and Evaluation

New mandated reporter changes were made and effective July 1, 2012.   Join Mary Jenkins from the DFCS Policy Unit and Melissa Carter from the Barton Clinic for an interactive session discussing how these changes impact you and the work you do with families in Georgia.  
Do you continue to experience barriers placing some of your children?  Have some of them been on your caseload more than 2 years? Then this might be the webinar for you.  Please join Ashley Willcott, Cold Case Project Lead and a SAAG for the agency.   She will be brainstorming with you creative permanency options, addressing legal barriers for permanency, and discussing the Permanency Round Table Plus.

This archived webinar will give you the opportunity to hear the ICPC staff talk about the "Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children" requirements.  You will not want to miss this opportunity to find out how to make your job easier by learning about where you can go for information about completing the ICPC packet and for getting your application approved quickly.  This webinar is for DFCS staff who are trying to place children in foster care or being adopted in other states or are receiving children from other States, and need to make sure they are following the ICPC requirements.

Need to brush up on preparing for Court?  Learn how to be Credible, Confident, & Capable when sitting on the witness stand. Here is your chance to take advantage of a knowledgeable panel of lawyers representing DFCS. Join Vivian Egan, Attorney at Law & Senior Associate General Counsel, DHS; Ashley Wilcott, Attorney at Law, & Special Asst. Attorney General & Supreme Court Cold Case Project Lead;  & Jerry W. Thacker, Attorney at Law & Special Assistant Attorney General as they discuss how to prepare to be a witness in court.  This is a fun and lively session, which is not to be missed. This will be a great refresher training, and a helpful session to new staff.  Get tips on how to best prepare for court, how to look credible, act credible, and prepare for both direct and cross examination.

 Special topics

Join YouthSpark’s Executive Director, Alex Trouteaud, and Robin Hartinger-Saunder’s from Georgia State University’s School of Social Work, in an interactive discussion about the pervasive issue of Youth Sex Trafficking in Georgia, how it affects the families we serve, and tools and tips for both practice and prevention.  They will discuss the myths and facts around the sexual exploitation of children, and provide us with insight to the risk factors and warning signs for the children and adolescents we serve.