Core for Social Workers

About the Core for Social Workers Training Program

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS), in cooperation with the California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) and the Statewide Curriculum Development Oversight Group (CDOG), has developed standardized curricula in the Core for Social Workers ("Core") program to be used statewide for the mandatory training of child welfare social workers and supervisors. Instructors are experts in the field of child welfare who use a variety of teaching methods based on adult learning theory and best practices.

Who Should Attend

Core for Social Workers is intended for new child welfare services staff, staff transitioning into new job responsibilities and/or experienced workers who have not received formal training in the standardized core subject areas.

Training Structure

Core for Social Workers fulfills primary standardized core curricula requirements and includes six total modules consisting of 18 classes, 10 eLearnings and 5 field activities to be completed over a six-month period for standard cohorts or a two-month period for fast track cohorts. Classroom days are blocked together and held each month with a duration ranging from 2 to 4 days per month. Participants must complete all Core requirements (classroom, eLearnings and field activities) to receive a certificate of completion and meet state training requirements (all requirements must be completed within 12 months of hire).

Additional Training Requirement for Core: CWS/CMS Training

There is now a CWS/CMS training requirement for Core in addition to the sequence of classes, eLearnings and field activities. The CWS/CMS training requirement is fulfilled by completing the first day of our CWS/CMS for New Users training; however, it is strongly recommended that you complete all four days of the training. Students who are not from Consortium counties may register for CWS/CMS for New Users online here. Students from Consortium counties may register online here.

How to Enroll

To enroll, select the title of the course you are interested in, review the course details, then click the "Enroll Now" button. You’ll be redirected to the California Child Welfare Training System (CACWT), where you will be required to log in to your account and follow the prompts to complete your registration. If you do not have a CACWT account, please contact your county training coordinator to request a profile be created for you.

Questions? If you need help enrolling or have any questions, contact us at (530) 757-8725 or

IMPORTANT NOTE: COVID and Virtual/In-Person Classes

Due to current safety concerns regarding the coronavirus, the Northern Academy now plans to offer all training virtually at least until January 2022. However, once safely possible, Core courses will return to in-person classes based on the location designated for each cohort. Please only sign up for a Core cohort if you will be able to attend classes in person in the designated location starting in January 2022.

Core for Social Workers Training Schedules

Core 3.0

Core 3.5

Coming soon!