Charting the Course

Scientific Rating:

(provisional rating)

Not able to be Rated
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:

(provisional rating)

See descriptions of 3 levels

Provisional Rating

Charting the Course currently has a provisional rating for the 60 days between: October 23, 2017 and December 22, 2017. If you would like to respond to the Scientific Rating, please submit feedback via the Contact Us page.

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Charting the Course has been reviewed by the CEBC in the area of: Child Welfare Workforce Development and Support Programs, but lacks the necessary research evidence to be given a Scientific Rating.

Target Population: Newly hired child welfare professionals

Brief Description

Charting the Course Towards Permanency for Children in Pennsylvania (CTC) is designed to provide child welfare professionals with fundamental information related to the awareness, knowledge, and understanding of child welfare-related concepts. The series educates participants about the skills needed to provide strengths-based and solution-focused family-driven individualized services to children, youth, and families involved with the child welfare system. The entire series requires 120 hours of in-classroom work and 6 hours of online Transfer of Learning (TOL) work. This course can be used to educate child welfare professionals so they can obtain any direct service worker certification that may be required by their state, as it is in Pennsylvania.

Program Goals:

The goals of Charting the Course (CTC) are:

  • Learn fundamental information related to the awareness, knowledge, and understanding of child welfare-related concepts
  • Acquire skills needed to provide quality strengths-based and solution-focused family-driven individualized services to children, youth, and families involved with the child welfare system

Essential Components

The essential components of Charting the Course (CTC) include:

  • A series of 10 in-person modules delivered sequentially over the course of 20 days (120 hours)
  • The training is designed to use a cohort experience, whereby the participants remain in the same group for the duration of the series, which
    • Promotes trusting relationships among the participants
    • Increases their ability to take risks
    • Facilitates the following learning devices:
      • Practicing new skills
      • Discussing concepts
      • Providing each other constructive and useful feedback
  • Each module includes the presentation of information, discussions, and activities designed to assist participants to understand the information and practice the skills presented
  • Prior to and after each in-person session, 20 short online transfer of learning modules (six hours in total) are provided which, through activities that are performed at their worksite and through supervised field experiences, are designed to:
    • Foster deeper understanding of the content
    • Enhance skill development
  • The in-person modules are:
    • Module 1: Introduction to Pennsylvania's Child Welfare System
    • Module 2: Identifying Child Abuse and Neglect
    • Module 3: Using Interactional Helping Skills to Achieve Lasting Change
    • Module 4: In-Home Safety Assessment and Management
    • Module 5: Risk Assessment
    • Module 6: Case Planning With Families
    • Module 7: The Court Process
    • Module 8: Assessing Safety in Out-of-Home Care
    • Module 9: Out-of-Home Placement and Permanency Planning
    • Module 10: Making Permanent Connections: Outcomes for Professional Development

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Training facility


Charting the Course includes a homework component:

Prior to and after each CTC module participants complete prework and postwork activities presented in an online module format, which also includes a pretraining and posttraining self-assessment regarding how they perceive their functioning in each of the learning objectives for the Module.


Charting the Course does not have materials available in a language other than English.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

LCD projector, DVD/VCR player, TV, and computer

Minimum Provider Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in social work related field or commensurate experience and college-level course work in social work related field

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
  • Kathleen Swain, Assistant Director
    phone: (717) 795-9048
Training is obtained:

Informal phone and in-person consultation is available upon request.

Number of days/hours:

Informal phone and in-person consultation is available upon request.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.

Child Welfare Outcomes: Not Specified

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Charting the Course.


No reference materials are currently available for Charting the Course.

Contact Information

Name: Michael Byers, MSW
Agency/Affiliation: Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center
Phone: (717) 795-9048

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: July 2017

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: September 2017

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: October 2017