adult hands and child hands holding a beaded cloth

ICWA Specialist Program

Could your county benefit from a robust ICWA training rooted in relationship building, collaborative engagement and shared learning? Our individualized ICWA Specialist regional training may be an ideal professional development opportunity for your child welfare workforce.

About this Regional Training Program

UC Davis Human Services’ Resource Center for Family-Focused Practice (RCFFP) in partnership with the California Tribal Families Coalition (CTFC) and the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), now offers a regional ICWA Specialist Training Program for county child welfare agencies. The training program is designed to provide a specialized workforce to serve in Indian specialty units, liaison positions and other specially designated tribal service positions within county child welfare agencies, including all levels of leadership.

Program Details

Each program will begin with a cohort of approximately 15-20 participants from two counties and trainers from the CTFC team. The interactive, online instruction and practice sessions will occur weekly over a 6-week period. Participation requires a full commitment to attend all 6 full-day training sessions and—in an effort to engage county leadership in the training experience—there are options for county leadership to audit the course as schedules allow. We know that having leadership actively engaged makes for the most effective training outcomes.

This curriculum incorporates online instruction, experiential learning and practice sessions, culminating in an exit exam.

Like any other specialized area of practice, ICWA requires advanced skills and deep, specific knowledge to achieve true implementation. This program is structured to be inclusive and applicable across all child welfare programs and within all levels of leadership.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who should be recruited in my agency as potential ICWA Specialist trainees?
  • We recommend having trainees who represent all levels of the workforce/leadership (social workers, supervisors, program managers, directors) and across all programs (Emergency Response, Ongoing, Permanency Planning, Placement/RFA). Having ICWA Champions at all levels and in each program makes for a more sustainable ICWA mentoring workforce.
  • What about other agency professionals who aren't explicitly named as the target trainee audience?
  • Special consideration will be made for course "auditors" who perhaps can't make the entire commitment but are interested and motivated to participate such as county counsel and child welfare directors.
  • Can tribes and ICWA representatives access the training?
  • Yes, tribes and their ICWA representatives are always welcome to audit the training when it is being hosted in their region. This makes for a more robust training experience for all and is part of the curriculum design. As trainings get scheduled regionally, our training team will outreach to tribes in the region to offer ways to be participants, co-trainers, learners and more.