§ 3490.312. Training program requirements for direct service workers.

 (a)  The county agency shall establish and implement policies for orientation of direct service workers.

 (b)  The county agency shall establish and implement written policies on the assignment of cases to new staff and staff reassigned as direct service workers, including the criteria used to determine when a worker is prepared to assume responsibility for a full caseload.

 (c)  The county agency shall implement the supervisors’ orientation, training and resource manual. A county agency may implement its own process or manual provided it addresses the objectives of the manual provided through the training program and is approved by the Department.

 (d)  The Department, with consultation from its steering committee, will establish standards, a process and a program for county agencies relating to the initial and ongoing certification of direct service workers including the following requirements:

   (1)  Direct service workers include the persons providing direct services to children and families and case management functions on a full-time or part-time basis.

   (2)  Direct service workers hired on or after July 1, 1996, shall be certified under the established standards within 18 months of their date of employment.

   (3)  Direct service workers who are not in a permanent employment status as of July 1, 1996, shall be certified by December 31, 1997.

   (4)  Permanent direct service workers hired prior to July 1, 1996, are certified.

   (5)  Direct service workers hired after June 30, 1996, who are in the process of achieving initial certification may be assigned a caseload, up to the caseworker-to-family ratio of the county agency, based on the worker’s ability to handle job duties as determined by the written policy of the county agency.

   (6)  Initial certification of direct service workers shall include the following components:

     (i)   A minimum of 120 hours of CORE training.

       (A)   The content of CORE training shall be determined by the Department in consultation with the steering committee.

       (B)   The content of CORE training shall be subject to periodic review by the Department and the steering committee for continued relevancy.

       (C)   An overview of CORE training shall be communicated by the Department to the county agencies and direct service workers through a Departmental bulletin.

       (D)   Upon request by a county agency and approval by the Department, a county agency may provide the CORE training developed by the training program to its direct service workers.

       (E)   The county agency shall maintain a record of CORE training completed for certification in the employe’s personnel file.

     (ii)   A decision by the employing county agency that the worker is certified.

       (A)   The decision shall be based on an assessment of the worker’s ability to apply the principles, concepts and content of CORE training, the supervisors’ orientation, training and resource manual or its equivalent and other learning opportunities to on-the-job situations. The assessment shall conclude with a decision of whether or not the worker is certified.

       (B)   The assessment shall be in writing and reviewed with the employe. The employe shall be given a copy of the assessment. A copy of the assessment shall be maintained in the employe’s personnel file.

   (7)  The county agency shall determine the county agency’s training year.

   (8)  Ongoing certification of direct service workers, shall include the following:

     (i)   Documentation of completion of a minimum of 20 hours of training annually. For direct service workers who complete the CORE training during the county agency’s training year, the county agency shall prorate the number of required training hours that a direct service worker shall take in the county agency’s training year schedule.

       (A)   Training content shall be based on the annual administration of an assessment of individual training needs and the development of an individual training plan.

       (B)   Ongoing training, as identified in the individual training plan, may be obtained through the training program, provided by a county agency or obtained through another provider.

     (ii)   Courses from an accredited school of social work which are successfully completed by a direct service worker shall be acceptable in meeting the ongoing certification requirements.

     (iii)   The county agency shall maintain a record of training required for ongoing certification, including the needs assessment, training plan and courses attended in the employe’s personnel file.

     (iv)   The date of initial certification for grandfathered workers is June 30, 1996.

   (9)  The county agency shall provide its direct service workers the opportunity to obtain initial and ongoing certification status.

   (10)  The county agency may not allow an employe who fails to achieve or maintain certified status to perform direct service duties.



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