New child welfare training center opens in Pittsburgh.PITTSBURGH -- Child welfare professionals and foster parents from across Pennsylvania now have the opportunity to receive training at a new state-of-the-art facility, which opened June 22 in Mechanicsburg.
The University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work (SSW SSW
Noun 1. SSW - the compass point midway between south and southwest
sou'-sou'-west, south southwest ) administers the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Training Program through its eight regional training centers, of which Mechanicsburg is the largest. Edward Sites, a professor at Pitt's SSW and principal investigator Noun 1. principal investigator - the scientist in charge of an experiment or research project
scientist - a person with advanced knowledge of one or more sciences for the project, noted that "this is the largest state child welfare training program and has been called the most comprehensive, integrated, and sophisticated program of its kind in the nation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Noun 1. Department of Health and Human Services - the United States federal department that administers all federal programs dealing with health and welfare; created in 1979
Health and Human Services, HHS ."
That department and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare are the program's major funders. The 40,000-square-foot, two-story building accommodates 80 faculty and staff as well as wireless training and conference facilities for up to 500 people.
Under law, child welfare professionals are required to have 20 hours of annual training. The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Training Program offers 350 workshops in child sexual abuse Child sexual abuse is an umbrella term describing criminal and civil offenses in which an adult engages in sexual activity with a minor or exploits a minor for the purpose of sexual gratification. , substance abuse, mental health, adoption, and other specialty areas. Pitt also trains some 9,000 foster parents a year. In addition, Pitt will provide technical assistance from the facility to 67 county child welfare agencies child welfare agency Child psychiatry An administrative organization providing protection to children, and supportive services to children and their families across the state.