In 2019, the Minnesota Department of Human Services entered into a partnership with the University of Minnesota to improve the training and development of child welfare professionals. Officially named the Minnesota Child Welfare Workforce Collaborative, the partnership unites many organizations and stakeholders to strengthen workforce development initiatives.
The Collaborative is a product of The Governor’s Task Force on the Protection of Children in 2016, which recommended improvements to child welfare training. The mid-2010s saw sharp increases in child welfare caseloads and caseworker turnover due to high profile child fatalities and increased community awareness. Turnover increased from five percent in 2013 to 20 percent in 2017. This resulted in a significantly higher demand for new caseworker training, which strained the ability of the Child Welfare Training System housed within the Minnesota Department of Human Services. In response, the Minnesota Legislature appropriated funding in 2019 to allow for the formation of the Collaborative. The funding allows for increased capacity and innovation in the way that Minnesota designs, delivers, and evaluates training for the workforce.
Together, the Collaborative and its partners shape the future of child welfare practice in Minnesota.