Staff Development Specialist

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Job Summary: The Staff Development Specialist is responsible for ensuring that Child Welfare Professionals and other staff are trained and certified according to the state of Florida and Department of Children and Families (DCF) requirements. The Staff Development Specialist is also responsible for facilitating continued in-service training opportunities to ensure all Child Welfare Professionals maintain their certification. Additional responsibilities may include: cross training in P.R.I.D.E., Field Support/Coaching of case managers, child protection investigators (CPIs) and supervisors to ensure transfer of learning; and development of workshops and curriculum to meet the training needs of the agency, case management organizations and the Department of Children and Families CPIs and community partners. This position reports to the Director of Program Quality and Contract Management.

Responsibilities include:

  • Review and prepare material prior to each training class to ensure there have been no changes to law or policy that may impact training. Research resources and materials that will allow for the enhancement of the training including networking with community resource representatives who may be available to provide training to our trainees. Arrange for the training room/virtual environment including set up and materials.
  • Participate in required train-the-trainer sessions and other trainings to enhance performance.
  • Participate in individual and group meetings with the supervisor to provide feedback and receive new information. Meet with service and quality assurance personnel to identify training needs. Participate in staff conferences and curricula development to develop and improve training programs.
  • Provide orientation and direct training as required based on the modules developed for Pre-Service, P.R.I.D.E and In-Service training. Participate in the development and delivery of in-service training including any statewide mandatory training that may be required for the district or region. The trainer should be willing to cross train in needed areas to balance the training team when necessary.  The position requires production of Captivates (Audio/Video Recordings) for the Training Library.  Utilization of E- Learnings, Role Plays, iMeet, and Captivate videos are essential. The ability to engage the trainees through icebreakers, openers, energizers and creative methods that facilitate learning.
  • Monitor class attendance and submission of required documentation and family profiles to the appropriate contact and/or Licensing/Adoption Specialist.
  • Provide testing and additional tutoring to assist trainees if they are having trouble understanding the material. This may include make-up sessions when it is necessary for staff to miss class.
  • For Child Welfare Training, complete Field Based Assessments by reviewing cases and going out on field visits with staff to ensure they meet the state requirements. This information must also be documented in writing and reviewed in a consultation with the trainee, their supervisor and the Trainer. The Trainer must also summarize the information and document all contacts. Similar reporting and documentation requirement may be necessary for other trainings. Knowledge of the agency Model of Practice is important and will be included in the PRIDE Training.
  • Engage adult learners, utilize adult learning theory and implement instructional design principles.
  • Ensure that all new incumbents hired into a position requiring the classification of Child Welfare Professional are trained using Florida’s standardized Pre-service Curriculum, are administered the competency exam and are registered with the Florida Certification Board.
  • Ensure that all Child Welfare Professional incumbents achieve full credentialing or achieve initial certification through the Florida Certification Board within 12 months of the administering the competency exam.
  • Administer specific assessments for the purpose of evaluating the competency level of the new Child Welfare Professional or other staff.
  • Develop and monitor Individual Learning Plan(s) with the Child Welfare Professional or other staff.
  • Provide group and individual supervision and provide constructive feedback.
  • Deliver training in Florida’s automated child welfare information system, Florida Safe Family Network (FSFN).
  • Maintain, track and verify training records of Child Welfare Professionals and other staff.
  • Explicitly focus all trainings/instruction or workshops on the transfer of classroom skills to the work environment.
  • Research best practice models in child welfare and related fields. Provide a diverse array of training through the use of classroom instruction, webinars and self-paced training.
  • Ability to apply a variety of instructional techniques including role playing, simulations, team exercises, group discussions, videos, lectures to real work situations and debrief activities to arrive at learning outcome.
  • Develop and design innovative approaches to the delivery of on-going in-service trainings.  Ensure that instruction complies with Florida Statute and Administrative codes.
  • Ensure competence and fidelity in training objectives for all models and programs trained.
  • Participate in training work groups and committees that enhance the Child Welfare Professional work performance and produces positive outcomes.
  • Evaluate the impact of training on case management and other staff and ensure that evaluation data are used to identify areas where improvement is needed.
  • Maintain a pulse on state and local initiatives in order to ensure that ongoing training opportunities mirror best practice.
  • Display understanding of, and sensitivity to, service population’s cultural and socioeconomic characteristics.
  • Provide trainings in the community on an as needed basis to partners and external organizations contracted for training services.


The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in Human Services or related field.  A Master’s degree from an accredited college or university is preferred and can substitute for one year of experience.  Three years of professional experience in child welfare with at least two years in a dependency related position and formal experience in trainer/teacher related activities (developing curriculum, presentation construction, training facilitation, etc.).  Two years of documented certified protective investigation experience.  Current Child Welfare Professional certification and current knowledge of Florida’s Child Protection system.  Must have valid driver’s license and access to reliable transportation.

SMS is an Equal Opportunity/ Drug Free Work Place and does not tolerate discrimination or violence in the workplace.  Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, must notify the Human Resource Department at 1-352-244-1527. Notification to the Human Resource office must be made in advance to allow sufficient time to provide the accommodation.

Drug-Free Workplace: SMS maintains and enforces a Drug-Free Workplace program.


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