Evaluation of Family Preservation and Reunification Programs: Interim Report. 4.2.4 Training

01/08/2001

In FY1996 all Child Protective Service (CPS) workers, around 2,000 field staff statewide, participated in a full day of training on the philosophy and practice of family preservation services. The intent of the training was to encourage a conformity of type of cases referred to FPS around the state and to train new workers. The training emphasized that child safety is paramount. CPS and FPS workers should only consider or continue family preservation services if there is minimal safety risk to the children in leaving them in their own homes. Separating children from families and creating new temporary or permanent families was emphasized as good practice in some situations. The training reviewed the basics of family preservation assessment, interventions and referrals, and the techniques that are used with families.

In New Jersey, there has been consistency in the content and philosophy of training of FPS workers. Since the inception of FPS in New Jersey, Behavioral Science Institute (BSI) conducted the training sessions for new workers at the 13 programs in the state. In March 1998, the state ended their contract with BSI. According to the FPS administrator, it was felt that the BSI program was too generic and that a New Jersey-specific program was needed. The Family Preservation Institute, a joint program with Rutgers University, began training in September 1998.