Simulation Training for New Children Social Workers in Los Angeles County
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM: Breakout
Social work has an established tradition of using experiential learning in the form of role plays and field internships. In this tradition, simulation training programs are increasingly being developed in public child welfare (PCW). Simulation training has been shown to be effective in other disciplines for facilitating the transfer of knowledge from training to the job.

Los Angeles County DCFS has led the way nationally in the development of simulation training for child welfare workers. All new social workers have the opportunity to participate in four days of reality-based, intensive training that provides the space for practical application of skills learned during their thirteen-week DCFS Academy classroom training. Trained, multi-disciplinary facilitators use a Socratic approach and offer the student participants opportunities to provide peer feedback and self-reflection. This offers students the ability to ask questions in and encourages them to probe deeper into issues, consider alternative interpretations of information, question their assumptions, analyze and consider all possibilities and alternative points of view and think through potential consequences of their decisions.

In this presentation the authors will: 1) describe the development and current state of the simulation training program for new workers in Los Angeles, 2) review results of the initial evaluation of the extent to which the participatory learning engaged by simulations is related to key outcomes (i.e., child welfare knowledge and skills), and 3) discuss lessons learned and next steps.

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