Training Matters


Vol. 9, No. 2 • February 2008

Child Development Course Now Fully Online

The course Child Development in Families at Risk, which all county DSS professionals employed in the area of child welfare must take within their first year of employment, is now available exclusively in an online learning format. It is no longer offered as a classroom-based course. The fully online version of this course has three components:

1. Sound and System Check (live online session). A required one-hour “sound and system check” session introduces participants to the live online learning experience several days before the course starts. This session confirms that participants can access and participate in the course, answers any technical questions, and gives participants a chance to practice using their microphones, which they must have to participate in a live online session. We recommend that your agency’s Information Technology (IT) person is present, available, or has checked your equipment prior to this session.

2. Foundation (live online session) Course content is delivered during a 2.5 hour live online session. Foundation information about temperament, parenting styles, and positive attachment is presented and participants apply what they learn to a case study. The presenter also gives an overview of the “self-paced” online session of the course. Participants will have opportunities throughout the training to receive learner support.

3. Self-Paced (online session). After the live online session, participants have approximately one month to complete the self-paced online session of the course. This material focuses in more detail on child development theory, milestones, and practice, as well as the effects of abuse, neglect, and trauma on child development. New research in the areas of brain development and resiliency are also explored and actual case studies are used to practice developmental assessments, family-centered practice, and case planning. Participants are required to take online modules, interact with other participants through an online Discussion Forum, watch videos, and complete an online Knowledge Assessment. This portion of the course requires approximately 8-10 hours of online work.

To take Child Development, participants must have a microphone for their computers and meet the technical requirements outlined here.

This course includes a workbook that participants receive via U.S. mail before the course begins. After successfully completing all three of the course components participants receive a certificate in the mail.

Child Development in Families at Risk, which is sponsored by the NC Division of Social Services, was developed by the Family and Children’s Resource Program, part of the Jordan Institute for Families at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work.

For course times or to register for Child Development in Families at Risk please visit

Main Page

2008 Jordan Institute for Families