Regional Core Training – Overview

IMPORTANT NOTICE: In response to the Public Health Emergency, the Alliance is transitioning Regional Core Training to entirely web-based instruction. Classroom-based instruction will resume at the direction of DCYF. Scroll down for more information. 

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 that 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 is simulation training. All RCT participants will get the chance to complete a Child Interview, Adult Interview, and Court Testimony Simulation Training based on the RCT Case Scenario. Once registered, RCT participants and their supervisors will receive a detailed RCT Cohort Calendar from their assigned Alliance Coach. Due to the progressive nature of the learning, all participants need to attend all sessions prior to simulation, or they are not able to participate in these activities.  If a participant misses a classroom session requiring a makeup, they will have to make up this session and the entire simulation week with a subsequent cohort. Due to this in some situation it may make sense to place a participant in a subsequent cohort if there will be a known absence. The 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 to complete the RCT course and be eligible to carry a full caseload.

Starting in May 2022, all Social Service Specialist 2 and Social Service Specialist 3 who are employed in Child Welfare Field Operations will also be required to participate in four 1:1 minimum of 2-hour Skill Acquisition sessions with an RCT facilitator preferably in person either at their office, in the field or in a training hub (but may be offered via zoom) in order to complete RCT and carry a full case load. These sessions will be scheduled following the completion of the 320 training hours scheduled in the cohort calendar at approximately 15, 45, 60 and 90 days.

RCT provides participants with blended learning opportunities, including classroom instruction, transfer of learning activities in the field, and 1:1 or small-group skill building and skill acquisition sessions. 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

Click here for the Supervisor Quick Reference Guide to RCT web-based delivery.

Click here for the RCT Delivery Model Transition to Virtual Learning Guide.