CWP Training Wraps Up Spring 2019 session

Posted: June 10th, 2019

A group of 13 Tikinagan employees completed the Child Welfare Pathway (CWP) training series this last month.

The training began in January and ran bi-weekly until May 22, wrapping up with an end of year exam followed by a celebratory lunch.

The CWP training series is part of a process to authorize new child protection workers. The purpose of authorization is to standardize and enhance the delivery of child protection services, so that every family in Ontario can expect the same service. It covers areas like legal framework, child development, intake and investigation, and self-care.

“We follow the program and ensure employees understand the standards set out by the government of Ontario, but we try to shape the series and ensure Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin and key concepts like customary care and case conferencing are understood, especially during discussions,” explains Rodney Howe, Training Service Manager who is also a co-trainer for the series.

While Tikinagan rarely involves the court system and operates under its unique service model (Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin), the agency is required to provide this training so that employees are familiar with provincial standards and leave the series as provincially-authorized child protection workers.

Joining Howe as trainers were Debbie Michaud, Ramona Sawatzky and Tikinagan Trainer Derek Donio. Sawatzky is from Kenora Rainy River Districts Child and Family Services (KRR), which celebrated two of their employees finishing the CWP training alongside the Tikinagan staff.

“I want to thank our trainers. The trainers clearly understand our service model and are quite respectful of that,” Howe said. “I think that’s the beauty of reflecting the partnership that we’ve developed with KRR and trainers like Ramona. It goes to show how relationships can be built between a native agency and a non-native agency. This goes beyond the CWP training, as we have other training we combine groups with and enjoy a positive working relationship with KRR.”

The Tikinagan employees are all fairly new at providing frontline services and came from throughout our service area to Sioux Lookout every two weeks for two-day sessions over a period of 16 weeks. It involved over 150 hours of learning while employees continued to learn on the job.

“This training was a huge opportunity to learn more in depth the fundamentals of the work I do on a daily basis and understand the big differences between Tikinagan and mainstream CFS,” said Bettina Rodriguez, CWP grad and Child Care Worker at Tikinagan.

For Tikinagan Child Care Worker, Rose McKay, this experience was also educational and made her more aware of what other positions do at Tikinagan.

“I eventually want to try other job titles here, and CWP covered every position and what the responsibilities are. It made me really aware of what a lot of people at Tikinagan have to do and it was really good for me to learn because I didn’t have a lot of information about other positions before,” McKay explained.

McKay was also a former child in care with Tikinagan and having been an employee now for two years she explained how her experience led to into this career path.

“It was actually because I was a child in care that I considered also being a child care worker. Because I noticed when I was in care and working with my child care worker I found her really supportive and someone I could rely on. And that’s what gave me the idea to do what she does and be the kind of person she was,” McKay said.

She added that her advice, as an employee and a former child in care, is for employees to always be patient with families and also practice self-care.

“Be patient and learn to take some time for yourself. Because it is an overwhelming position and just learn to be patient and try to be understanding of each family’s and child’s situation,” she added.

The CWP graduates were: Laila Aho, Berda (Bertha) Baskatawang, Virginia Campeau (KRR), Kitty Duchene (Levesque), Dinah Kakekagumick, Bradley Korman, Jennifer Kwandibens, Lisa Makela, Nessie Mawakeesic, Rose McKay, Kristen Penner (KRR), Natasha Quequish, Bettina Rodriguez, Janine Smale and Alysha Wesley.

“I think we had a really great group in the CWP training and want to thank all of them for their time, dedication and commitment to Tikinagan and Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin,” adds Howe. “I also want to thank our staff in the training unit for their time and dedication to supporting this training and making it a positive experience for staff going through this intensive training period. Our training unit staff often go above and beyond, and we appreciate their hard work.”

Tikinagan typically offers two series each year, to ensure new staff obtain their authorization within six months of employment. The next training session is due to start this August.