DPHHS organizes “Child Welfare 101” training in Great Falls



GREAT FALLS – The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) hosted a “Child Welfare 101” training session in Great Falls on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at Great Falls College-MSU.

A press release from DPHHS says Child Welfare 101 brings together all the key community partners that make up the child protection system and examines how the different roles work together to keep children safe and strengthen families. Participants included judges, county prosecutors, public defenders and special advocates appointed by the court.

“Communication and understanding between all entities involved in child welfare is essential to successfully serving children and families in Montana,” said DPHHS Director Adam Meier. “The child welfare system is complex and we really need to all work together to improve the system as a whole.

Erica Johnston of DPHHS explained: “It is important to recognize that child welfare and child welfare workers are only one part of a system that is necessary to ensure safety. children and family strength in Montana.

The training included a two-hour introduction to collaborative security. The DPHHS says the collaborative safety model is grounded in safety science, behavioral analysis, forensic interviews and is locked into a trauma-informed lens. The model creates a culture of accountability, addresses underlying systemic issues, and sees people as the solution.

The DPHHS has started to integrate collaborative security into its day-to-day efforts since Meier became the agency’s director earlier this year.

“It is moving away from a reactionary approach towards a comprehensive process that addresses systemic factors so that together we can make critical progress to promote safe outcomes,” Meier explains. “This approach has been championed by safety-critical industries including healthcare, aviation and others.”

Listening sessions are held after the training to give participants the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to help improve the child protection system.

Johnston said: “This is a complex system that shows that there is more than one actor, and until we use this framework and present it to all stakeholders involved in the process, we will not be able to have an impact on the results. “

Training sessions were also held in Bozeman and Kalispell last week and will end in Billings tomorrow.

Click here to visit the DPHHS website for more information.


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