Regional Core Training (RCT) is Washington State’s foundational training designed to prepare newly hired social service specialists with the basic knowledge, skills, and understanding to begin their careers in public child welfare for the State of Washington, Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). RCT is a comprehensive training and coaching program containing multiple sessions which lay the foundation for continuous on-the-job learning and professional development critical to developing competent, confident, and effective child welfare professionals. RCT begins on a new employee’s date of hire, either the 1st or the 16th of each month.

RCT includes pre-service activities to be completed prior to the first classroom session, then eight weeks of instruction integrating both classroom and field-based learning. The third week of instruction takes place in Seattle, WA. All RCT cohorts statewide will come together for Child Interview, Adult Interview, and Court Testimony Simulation Training during week 3. Once registered, RCT participants and their supervisors will receive a detailed RCT Cohort Calendar from their assigned Alliance Coach. RCT Cohort Calendars will indicate classroom session dates, times, and locations; as well as mandatory field-based learning.

RCT consists of a cohesive developmental curriculum in which knowledge and skills are broadened and deepened, without any stand-alone sessions. New employees must complete all classroom sessions and field-based learning in order to complete the RCT course and be eligible to carry a full caseload.

RCT provides participants with blended learning opportunities, including classroom instruction, transfer of learning activities in the field, and 1:1 or small-group coaching. Woven throughout RCT are several critical concepts, integral to best practice in child welfare, and designed to maximize learning within context and with relevancy to the work:

  • Child Safety, Permanency, and Wellbeing
  • Critical Thinking
  • Trauma-Informed Practice
  • Disproportionality and Racial Equity in Child Welfare
  • Cultural Competency/Cultural Humility
  • Reflection and Recognizing Bias
  • Documentation Skills in FamLink
  • Program Specific Job Skills

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