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Children's Services News



November 30, 2015

Social Worker simulation exercise benefits children and families


Riverside- Answering a knock at the door, “Susie” told the social worker she was doing her best to care for her children.  What followed was an exchange of questions and answers as part of a simulated investigation into neglect.

Educators, managers and social workers with Riverside and San Bernardino County Public Social Services participated in a day-long simulation training to collaborate for the well-being of children and families across the region. “Simulation training has proven beneficial to other professions and now, we are able to provide this training to our staff as well,” said Todd Bellanca, Interim Assistant Director Children’s Services Division Riverside County DPSS.

Actors played the role of family members, youth, and others who may be interviewed in a case.  Facilitators helped trainees through scenarios as if they were moving through the steps a social worker would take on a real case. The purpose of the simulation was to provide feedback, encouragement and teambuilding with a goal of keeping children safe and families supported.

Bellanca said “Riverside County has partnered with San Bernardino County and Public Child Welfare Training Academy (PCWTA) in the creation of a Sim-Site training facility. This cutting edge training tool will assist DPSS in the development of a well trained workforce, benefiting the families and children we serve through enhanced client engagement, risk and safety assessment, and critical thinking.”

The Child Welfare Simulation Site Open House is a program of the Academy for Professional Excellence at San Diego State University School of Social Work in collaboration with University partners, CSU San Bernardino, Loma Linda University and CSU Fullerton.