General Blog Posts

Alison Book Appointed as Director of Human Services

UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education (CPE) is pleased to announce Alison Book has formally been appointed as director of CPE’s Human Services division. Book replaces Susan Brooks, who recently retired as director and chair after a 35-year career. Book now serves in a dual role which includes continued oversight of the Northern Academy (one of California’s five regional training academies for child welfare professionals).

“Embracing the Power of Community”

In July 2022 UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education Human Services hosted the 17th annual National Tribal TANF Institute. This year’s institute, held at the Hilton Sacramento Arden West hotel, saw over 230 attendees from 40 tribal agencies across 13 states. This Institute was the first to be held in-person in three years.

The theme of this year’s Institute, “Embracing the Power of Community,” recognized and celebrated the inherent strength that exists within native communities.

Partnerships for Well-Being Institute Opens Up Dialogue to Cultivate a Trauma-Informed System of Care

By listening and learning from others’ experiences, creating a trauma-informed system of care becomes more attainable in a way that strengthens the voice of the child, youth and family. Hosted by UC Davis Human Services, the Partnerships for Well-Being Institute provided a valuable opportunity for providers and professionals serving children and families to share perspectives. More than 620 people attended the conference, including practitioners in child welfare, behavioral health, early childhood, education and probation as well as other specialists serving children and families.

Beating Exhaustion and Job Stress

Over the past two years, human services professionals have gone from experiencing pandemic stress, to pandemic fatigue, to finding a “new normal” as they regain their footing in daily work life. On May 24, 2022, the Northern Academy at UC Davis Human Services hosted a free, full-day virtual event devoted to discussing the challenges of work and life stresses and how to find workable solutions to mitigate this stress.

National Conference on Coaching Inspires Human Services Professionals to “Cultivate a Growth Mindset”

Despite challenges faced with COVID-19 over the past two years, the coaching of staff (and their clients) continues to play a critical role in health and human services––now more than ever. Hosted by UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education–Human Services, the 2022 National Conference on Coaching in Human Services provided a valuable opportunity to bring together professionals from across the nation to develop and support coaching programs that benefit human services professionals, their organizations and the clients they serve.

Putting Learning into Practice

According to UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education–Human Services instructor May Orr, supervisors are the most critical factor in the transfer of learning for the staff and teams they lead. Beginning this fall, UC Davis Human Services is rolling out a new tool to help its training participants transfer what they’ve learned in class into practice at their organizations. To support the goal of increasing learning and skill development, each course offered through a county contract will now include a Supervisor Transfer of Learning (TOL) Tip Sheet. 

Tribal Professionals Convened to Learn Skills and Celebrate their Culture at the 2021 National Institute

This past July saw UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education—Human Services host the 16th National Tribal TANF Institute. The virtual conference hosted 230 participants from 44 tribal and governmental agencies from across the U.S.  and featured an expanded schedule, with 40 workshop options. This year’s theme was “Empowering Our Spirits”, centering the importance of cultural values to provide the basis for healing, rejuvenation and growth.

Partnerships for Well-Being Institute—A Virtual Success

Despite the challenges that COVID-19 brought, the Partnerships for Well-Being Institute successfully wrapped up its final day as a virtual conference on June 3, 2021. Though it was initially scheduled as a three-day in-person conference in June 2020, UC Davis Human Services quickly pivoted and revamped it into a three-part series of one-day virtual conferences in June 2020, December 2020 and June 2021. More than 1,600 people attended at least one of the virtual Institutes, breaking the record for attendance at any past conference.

Building Trust to Build Immunity

UC Davis Surgeon Dispels Myths about COVID Vaccine among Communities of Color

As COVID-19 vaccinations become more readily available, it may seem like we are close to the end of the pandemic, but the race is not over yet. Many Americans are wary of the vaccine, and as vaccine hesitancy persists, the progress toward herd immunity slows.

Healthy Davis Together: A Model for COVID-19 Safety

As the country fights back against the spread of COVID-19, UC Davis has done its most to protect its students and staff from rising case numbers. In fact, its partnership with the City of Davis, known as Healthy Davis Together, aims to expand its shield from the UC Davis campus to the Davis community as a whole. By providing free rapid testing, contact tracing, isolation housing and masks, this initiative has successfully slowed the spread of COVID-19 in Davis by identifying and containing infection before it can spread.

A New Learning Curve for Human Services Trainers

Upcoming Training for Trainers Institute emphasizes new techniques to optimize virtual teaching and learning

Knowing how to engage people in the learning process—particularly in a virtual environment—is more important than ever before. And while some training techniques work for both in-person and remote-learning settings, many others do not transition well in a virtual learning environment.

Facilitating a Transparent Future for Data

New interactive dashboard makes big data user friendly


There's no doubt that the shift from physical to virtual operations over the past year has been a challenge, but it has also enabled our services to become more accessible and inclusive.

UC Davis Human Services' Evaluation team has supported California’s Department of Developmental Services (DDS) for many years. Research services such as evaluation and data analysis help to reveal critical insights into how well DDS’s services are providing for Californians with developmental disabilities. 

Measuring the Success of Virtual Learning

New Visual Tool Shows Student Ratings from Human Services Virtual Trainings


The COVID-19 pandemic caused a sudden and overwhelming shift in the way we do business—providing classroom-based instruction, county-based training, state and national conferences, one-on-one coaching and other workforce development services to human services professionals throughout California and across the nation—but it did not shift our mission of changing practice and transforming lives.