6.0 Major Accomplishments

6.2 Program Accomplishments

PDP produced a number of program accomplishments in all areas. The following is a wide-ranging summary of milestones that PDP realized during the past year, which illustrates its many achievements in meeting program deliverables.

6.2.1 Early Childhood Education and Training

The Educational Incentive Program (EIP) provides scholarships to child care providers for professional development activities with the intent to build provider knowledge, skills and competencies in order to improve the quality of child care in New York State. Income eligible child care providers may receive assistance for credentialing activities, college credit-bearing coursework and non-credit bearing training. During this report period, 7942 awards totaling $4,338,212 were made to eligible child care providers.

Early Childhood Education

In 2015 PDP was charged with the development of an Event Approval process as an integral part of the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Division of Child Care Services (DCCS) Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Plan. The plan indicates that: All trainings paid for by EIP must be reviewed. Review includes training topic categories, training hours, quality of writing, description, goal(s), and learning objectives.* to ensure that participants in the EIP scholarship program receive training that supports the goals and regulations of the NYS OCFS.

PDP completed the design and development of the Training Organization Portal and Administrative Portal on schedule. In addition, PDP successfully executed a pilot, conducted seven regional forums with 100 participants representing 98 different organizations from across the state, and performed a soft opening of the EIP Event Approval Portal in October 2015 to support the transition to the Event Approval requirement. These efforts culminated in the official launch of the EIP Event Approval Program in December 2015.

As of June 2016 the EIP Event Approval team has received a total of 776 unique trainings through the EIP Event Approval Portal which has resulted in 650 approved trainings and 1,236 scheduled offerings of EIP scholarship eligible trainings for child care providers.

The EIP Event Approval team has continued to work closely with training organizations to refine the design of the Training Organization and Administrative Portal, develop resources to support training organizations, identify areas for enhancement in the program, and provide direct support to end users. In addition, the EIP team worked closely with the New York Pyramid Model Statewide Leadership Team to support the launch of the Pyramid Model statewide training initiative.

Going forward the EIP Event Approval team will continue to identify refinements to the system as new integrations are made to expand the portal management system to encompass the Medication Administration Training and Health and Safety Training programs. PDP continues to streamline data sharing with the Aspire statewide professional development registry operated by CUNY and continues to work toward increasing the variety and level of the trainings available.

Early Childhood e-Learning

The Early Childhood Education and Training Program provides a variety of eLearning courses to support child care providers in working towards their training credit hours. The e-Learning courses, funded by the Office of Children and Family Services, offer child care providers the opportunity to take the training based on their schedule, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Infant Brain Development is the newest addition, making 14 e-Learning trainings available to child care providers. During this reporting period, over 100,000 child care providers participated in these trainings.

Early Childhood Webcasts

High-quality early childhood programs depend on teacher effectiveness, and decades of research have shown that to be effective, early childhood practitioners must develop specialized knowledge, skills and practices. PDP’s Early Childhood webcasts allows providers to learn from experts and other child care providers while networking and sharing the experience with other professionals. These trainings consist of a live broadcast, discussions with panelists including national and state experts as well as child care providers, opportunities for interaction at each training site, activities that apply to what providers have learned, extensive handout and resource materials, and training credits for continuing education.

Early Childhood Education Webcast

The following Videoconferences were presented during this reporting period: Town Hall Meeting: Managing Challenging Behavior, Child Abuse and Maltreatment with a Focus on Understanding Brain Injury and Prevention, Moving and Grooving in Your Child Care Program, Identifying and Helping Children Who Have Experienced Trauma and Addressing Challenging Behavior: An Overview of the Pyramid Model. Over 3500 participants attended these trainings at over 70 sites across the state.

* Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Plan for New York State FFY 2016-2018, Draft, p. 155

6.2.2 Licensing Training Project

The Licensing Unit completed another series of Forums for OCFS. The 2015 OCFS Regional Forums took place in the fall of 2015 in Albany, Rochester and Brooklyn, NY. There were close to 400 participants attending the day’s events. Each location provided a professional development day of Plenary Sessions on Investigations and the NYS Lean Initiative, six (6) workshops, from which each participant attended two; Regulations Roundtable, Child Care Facility System (CCFS)— The Next Generation, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Personal Safety, Continuity of Care and NYS Registry—Aspire. A keynote speaker addressed each session and offered strategies for impacting the work environment in a positive way that leads to a collaborative spirit and more productivity.
A Train the Trainer (TOT) was completed On October 14, 2015 with Child Care Resource and Referral trainers who are authorized to provide training needed for the owner/operators of multiple family/group family child day programs. The approved training in Supervision and Management must be taken only once by all owner/operators.

The new Federal requirements from the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) began to impact the work of the unit at the end of 2015 and all of 2016. All Health and Safety-related training was cross-walked with new federal requirements. Needed curriculum needed updates were identified and development of a new curriculum developed for day care centers and school-age programs was initiated. In addition, our project sponsor, OCFS, requested a new Health and Safety course for DCC, SACC and Legally-Exempt Group Directors. That course is being developed at the end of the 2016 year.

6.2.3 Child Care Subsidy Project

The Child Care Subsidy Project completed curricula, piloted and presented training at the end of 2015 in Legally-Exempt Provider Enrollment Training. a revision after almost three years of no training. The revised draft Guide to Enrollment accompanied all training materials and was used as the foundation for the revisions to the curriculum, including participant materials. This course ended up being a total of three days in length due to the changes in the Guide.

To help participants fully understand the connections between program policy and procedures and CCFS operations, a Child Care Subsidy trainer joined the PDP’s CCFS training team to provide guidance on decision points in processing enrollment applications and in the legally-exempt process.

Project staff began work on the 10 Hour Legally-Exempt Child Care Provider Training to address the new federal requirements as well as to continue to provider legally-exempt providers with quality professional development opportunities that can increase their subsidy payment for child care. PDP will develop two courses for legally-exempted providers under this project. These courses will be distributed to all Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies and the two unions who represent in-home care providers: UFT and CSEA. These entities have been previously authorized to deliver PDP courses for the legally-exempt provider population.

6.2.4 Medication Administration Training (MAT)

Despite a staffing vacancy for much of the year, PDP was successful completed all MAT training and monitoring requirements under our contract. In 2016, the curriculum was updated and new video was shot and produced. Materials were developed in Spanish for use by Spanish bi-lingual trainers. Changes were also made to the Regulator’s Guide to MAT to provide greater focus on regulatory task of providing guidance on MAT regulations to child care providers.

6.2.5 Health and Safety Training

As referenced earlier, a significant amount of curriculum development was required to meet new federal requirements. Development of Health and Safety training for both Day Care Center, School-Age Child Care staff and their directors was initiated this year. Video segments originally shot for the Family Day Care/Group Family Day Care curriculum updates was repurposed to enhance the new curricula developed for the various audiences.

6.2.6 Targeted Training to Support LDSS

Project staff have been partnering with the Office of Children and Family Services, Local Districts of Social Services, and Provider and Voluntary Agencies to improve the experience that children and families have in New York State’s Child Welfare System. Each region in New York State has a specialist who focuses on implementing the new Child Welfare Practice Model.

In this effort, the project has trained over 500 individuals in the Principles of Partnership, a framework for building and maintaining effective partnerships to strengthen program effectiveness and efficiency. In addition, project staff have focused on assisting districts in making decisions based on sound data. Based on data about disproportionate minority representation (DMR) in the child welfare system, project staff has completed some intensive Race Equity Learning. The project has also assisted in redesigning the child welfare training framework to focus on caseworker competencies. This has included a paradigm shift with the focus of assuring the entire child welfare workforce gets the right training at the right time. Project staff is also assisting with ensuring new federal legislation on Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families is addressed adequately in the training plan.

6.2.7 Public Service Workshops Program

Under the PSWP, PDP continue to provide classroom and online training for New York State employees on behalf of the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations. Accomplishments during this reporting period include:

Leadership Development Programs

During this timeframe, PDP coordinated and delivered another Leadership Development Program (LDP). A record number of applications (nearly 400 for just one program delivery) were received for the forty slots available. The program began September 11 and concluded on December 10, 2015 with the graduation of thirty-nine participants, representing twenty-three NYS agencies. Based on Level 1 evaluations, the program was highly rated (4.6 out of 5) with 100% of respondents agreeing that after attending the program they felt more prepared to exercise greater leadership within their organization. Further, 97% of respondents agreed that they would recommend LDP to their colleagues. Level 2 self-assessments showed an overall average learning gain of 34% among participants and based on the pre-post self-assessment knowledge and skill levels, there was a 43% learning gain in their interpersonal and personal skills required for successful leadership, and a 50% learning gain in their ability to apply strategies to better manage barriers and difficult circumstances in their agency. During this same period, PDP also began work associated with the coordination and scheduling of two additional Leadership Development Programs for 2016.

Nurse Leadership Development Program

PSWP delivered one three-day Nurse Leadership Development Program during this timeframe in October 2015 in Binghamton, NY. Thirty-four (34) nurses from a variety of state agencies including OMH, OPWDD, DOCCS, OASAS, SUNY and DOH Veterans Homes completed the workshop. Some participant comments:

“The experience of the presenters was very helpful to get me to come out of my Bubble and move forward with my leadership abilities. I was able to network with several different representatives from facilities across the state.”

“The instructors were friendly and very informative. The material was presented in a creative way and encouraged collaboration with colleagues.”

PSWP Workshops Delivered

Fifty-two (52) workshops were delivered during this timeframe (85.5 training days) to 1054 completed participants. The overall level 1 workshop evaluations averaged 4.39 out of 5 (4.63 instructor average) and 37% average self-reported learning gain across all workshops.

Suicide Awareness Training for NYSCOPBA

Nine (9) workshops were delivered across NYS in February and March 2016 focused on suicide among Corrections staff, the effects it has, and prevention strategies for reduction.

New York State (NYS) Rutgers Trainer Certification Program

Two deliveries of the eight-day program were held in Albany during this timeframe. Twenty-nine (29) participants successfully completed the program and received Rutgers certificates of completion. Additionally, this 40-hour program is approved by NYSED to serve as 40 contact hours for Social Work licensure/continuing education credit.

Research and Environmental Scanning

PSWP continued to focus intensely on increased environmental scanning and research efforts intended to inform a detailed, data-driven workshop plan to meet the general and occupational group-specific professional development needs of the M/C and PS&T Unit workforce across all regions of New York State, while continuing to focus efforts on M/WBE utilization. The 6-month workshop plan was not only approved by the sponsor and the NYS Professional Development Committee (PDC) but applauded for its thoroughness and illustration of a comprehensive understanding of NYS workforce development needs.

6.2.8 Department of Computer Training Services

Computer Training

PDP’s Department of Computer Training Services (DCTS) provided training, curriculum development, needs assessment, and trainee support to over 10,000 trainees through approximately 1300 offerings from July 2015 – June 2016 across a variety of computer systems, ranging from legacy mainframe systems to modern, web-based applications such as the Adult Services Automation Project (ASAP), the CONNECTIONS system, the Welfare-To-Work Caseload Management System (WTWCMS), the Child Care Facility System (CCFS), the Child Care Time and Attendance (CCTA) system, the Juvenile Justice Information System (JJIS), and the Detention Risk Assessment Instrument System (DRAIS). In addition to “off-the-shelf” training on commercial applications such as the Microsoft Office suite, PDP provided customized deliveries, tailoring examples and learning objectives to fit the responsibilities of trainees working in the area of social services. Classes are delivered through conventional and more modern approaches, using classroom training, virtual classroom environments, webinars, and self-paced web-based training.

The common thread through DCTS training and these computer systems involves support of initiatives aimed at protecting and aiding the most vulnerable segments of society. This includes training on CONNECTIONS, New York State’s system of record for child welfare casework documentation, which encompasses areas such as child protective services and foster care. Similarly, training related to Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) initiatives such CCFS and CCTA focuses on tracking licensed/registered and legally-exempt child care providers so that children in day care flourish in supportive, safe environments and so families in need of subsidized child care receive these services. Systems such as CCTA recognize and help minimize the risk of fraud by establishing clear constraints and system checks for eligibility and payments. Training on the web-based ASAP.NET system is aimed at managing casework for persons at the opposite end of the spectrum - adults, especially the elderly, in need of adult protective services. JJIS and DRAIS training looks at services provided to youth subject to juvenile justice initiatives, recognizing that youth in detention or placement cannot be treated the same as adults and have different developmental, social, and educational needs.

Training related to initiatives through the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) include WTWCMS, the State Supplement Program, and customized, tailored office automation training that is linked directly to the way OTDA staff use Microsoft Office and other computer packages. A team of field-based staff are available to respond to emerging training needs of OTDA staff at a moment’s notice.

DCTS has been at the forefront of training and system modernization efforts this year, developing and providing training tied to the use of mobile devices such tablets or smartphones, while also developing online training that is available on demand, 24/7. Such training includes demonstrations and simulations that allow trainees to experience the hands-on interactivity of a classroom-based course in an online environment which meets the needs of their own schedules and timeframes. The department’s familiarity with technology and mobile devices, as well as child care and child protectives services regulations, requirements, and policy have been at the core of training aimed at the use of the new, mobile-equipped CCFS Dashboard and Complaints module, an interface linking CCFS with CONNECTIONS data, and the use of new HP ElitePad tablets provided to child care regulators, inspectors, and enrollment agencies around the state. And as new system builds were developed within the CONNECTIONS environment, DCTS was on hand to develop and provide training so that caseworkers could appropriately use the new functionality and adapt to system changes.

DCTS expertise in the integration of policy and system training played a critical role in the redesign of the comprehensive caseworker training program formerly titled “Common Core” and now known as “CPS Foundation.” This three-part, multi-week training program needed to be quickly restructured—along with the accompanying CONNECTIONS training components—in order to meet NYS mandates for the timely completion of training for new casework staff. DCTS CONNECTIONS project staff partnered with other training providers as well as NYS program area and information technology staff to accomplish this goal.

Overall, CONNECTIONS training covered 25 unique courses, including a series of courses designed specifically for new employees, system build training, and customized training to meet the needs of special requests. In addition to OCFS or district staff, these special request offerings were aimed at staff from a variety of organizations such as the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, the Center for Human Services Research, and Emergency Children’s Services staff from the New York City Administration for Children’s Services.

Training provided through a variety of DCTS projects this year included delivery of 1:1 training sessions for persons requiring accommodations. Such training often features PDP staff teaching trainees how to use JAWS and other screen reader devices in conjunction with various computer systems and applications as part of their work responsibilities. Additionally, DCTS also provided high-end technology training in developer tools or languages such as Oracle and SQL or methodologies such as business analysis, so that New York State proprietary applications could be developed and maintained using the latest and greatest technology tools.

Computer training

The past year also saw the launch of new “building blocks” courses such Digital Literacy Fundamentals: Skills for Using Your Computer Effectively and MS Office 2010: Timesaving Tips and Tricks, which provide a solid foundation to staff who currently use MS Office while also recognizing the need for skills that will allow them to work more effectively within these applications. Our “bridging the gap” virtual classroom courses were aimed at staff transitioning from MS Office 2010 to MS Office 2013, focusing on the key changes within the core applications used by most state and local district staff - Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.

Much of the training provided by DCTS is in response to emerging needs – be it in response to regulation changes that impact system use, new system features, or major updates to systems. In response to a major update to the CONNECTIONS application, DCTS developed and delivered a webinar training in order to reach a large target population in a short period of time. More than 40 sessions of this webinar were presented to approximately 2500 trainees in a four-week period – far more than could be delivered using a traditional classroom format with limited numbers of trainers. DCTS faced a similar challenge given the integration of CONNECTIONS and Statewide Central Register reports with the CCFS complaint process. The changes were released in late 2015, with PDP given a tight training window at one of the most problematic times of the year. Given the widespread nature of the target population and the limited timeframe, DCTS provided two online versions of the course in order to accommodate staff with access to the iLinc virtual classroom environment as well as staff limited to a more generic webinar format.

6.2.9 Department of Temporary Assistance Training

The Department of Temporary Assistance Training significantly expanded its course offerings and more than doubled the number of learners served, mainly due to new program development and an expansion of programs delivered through webinars.

This past year, 10,511 trainees participated in 538 days of training (a 23% increase) through 65 different courses delivered through a variety of training modalities, including: multiple residential training institutes; a range of statewide, regional, and site-specific classroom training programs and training meetings; several planning forums and workgroup meetings; two training conferences; and e-learning programs delivered via webinar technology and in self-paced formats on TrainingSpace.org. Courses were delivered throughout New York State in support of Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) initiatives.

Traditional classroom training remained the predominant method for delivering performance-based training to social service district (SSD) workers, comprising 85% of all training days delivered. This is largely due to the broad scopes and lengths of these core programs, which range from three to 10 days in length. However, roughly half of all instructor-led course offerings were delivered through webinar technology. Because webinars support larger class sizes, 58% of all learners served participated in webinar offerings and 42% in classroom training.
Five new courses delivered through webinar technology were launched. These included:

  • 9 offerings of Administering the MMS Mental Health Screening Tool to 68 learners
  • 12 offerings of Recovery of Liens and Requirement to Provide Biennial Accounting Training to 248 learners
  • 21 offerings of Overview of the SNAP Employment and Training Program and Work Requirements to 1,838 learners
  • 24 offerings of Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) to 1,667 learners
  • 22 offerings of Documenting and Monitoring ABAWD Participation to 1,407 learners

Due to the expiration of a statewide federal waiver, beginning with January 2016, thousands of no or low income New Yorkers in receipt of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits became subject to a federal limit of three months of SNAP benefits in any three-year period unless they are participating in qualifying work activities. In response to this significant change and working closely with the project sponsor, PDP implemented a just-in-time statewide training initiative to address the professional continuing education needs of an over 4,000-person workforce, which included SNAP, Temporary Assistance, and Employment workers and supervisors. The latter three courses listed above, known as the three-course ABAWD webinar series, were implemented in a short timeframe to respond to emerging training needs.

SNAP Civil Rights was also a focus of work this year. A new course, SNAP Civil/Human Rights Designee Training, was launched and delivered regionally within the state. Also, department staff served as panelists and trainers in the SNAP Civil Rights Training webcast, which aired eight times during the period and trained thousands of state and county workers and service providers involved in the administration of SNAP. This reflected a collaboration with PDP’s Media Department.

As part of the blended learning model for Temporary Assistance (TA) and Employment worker training, the Mental Health Awareness Training program was redesigned and offered regionally throughout the state in conjunction with the implementation of the Administering the MMS Mental Health Screening Tool. A new TA Overpayments, Recoupments, and Claims training program was also designed and piloted.

In addition, department staff collaborated with PDP’s Instructional Technologies Unit on several projects. Design and development activity concluded for seven new course modules for the TA Budgeting and Coding training suite on TrainingSpace.org, as well as for a new asynchronous e-learning course, Interim Assistance Reimbursement. Lastly, in March 2016, the TA/SNAP Worker Training Path was launched. Hosted on TrainingSpace.org, the TA/SNAP Worker Training Path tool includes a sample path or menu of training programs available and appropriate for TA and SNAP workers and supervisors. SSD Staff Development Coordinators (SDCs) can use this tool to make decisions regarding training participation, and create an individualized training plan for their TA and SNAP workers and supervisors. This tool simplifies and streamlines this process for SDCs by mapping out and profiling available options sponsored by OTDA.

6.2.10 Child Support Training and Outreach Project

Over the years the Child Support Training and Outreach Project has devised custom programming to address specific needs in any local district office located in any county in New York State. The highly acclaimed Using Reports for Effective Caseload Management, a regular course offering for this project, does this by incorporating actual case data and reports generated from the county into the course delivery. By working with the district’s actual reports, the participants, with the guidance of a trainer, make inferences regarding the efficiency of work flow based on trends in the reports for that county. Having actual information aids the discussion regarding strategic practices to utilize for improving the workers’ ability to manage their caseloads.

6.2.11 Health Workforce Retraining Initiative

With its 6th grant cycle beginning in 2014, PDP’s Health Workforce Retraining Initiative (HWRI) was awarded $1,812,560 by the NYS Department of Health to continue its two nurse training programs, Workers Trained as RNs and RNs Trained as BSN/MSN, for two more years. Created in partnership with the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), the Office of Mental Health (OMH), and the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), PDP’s HWRI strengthens the adequacy, capacity, competence and advancement of the nursing workforce in NYS. Working with partner agency representatives, facility-based educational mentors and more than 133 unique nursing programs across the United States, this program, through PDP’s oversight and management, supports approximately 200 eligible agency employees participating in nursing program study at accredited colleges pursuing either initial RN licensure, or baccalaureate or master’s degrees.

The last grant cycle concluded at the end of June 2016. PDP has proposed to continue working with OPWDD, OMH and DOCCS to shape a nursing workforce best prepared to meet the needs of their respective populations, bolster the numbers of staff available to fill nursing positions, alleviate the shortage of nurses qualified to fill nurse leadership positions, and improve the ability of agencies to recruit and retain experienced nursing staff.

6.2.12 Instructional Technology Programs

PDP holds its position as a recognized leader in developing technology-based training solutions.

For the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), PDP’s Instructional Technologies Unit (ITU) manages TrainingSpace, a training portal for social services staff in New York State. After months of planning, ITU launched TS Pass in January 2016, which allows NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) staff to register and log in to TrainingSpace. This launch, the first phase of a TrainingSpace Expanded Access project, involved significant changes to every part of the site. The change spurred a six-fold increase in TrainingSpace course registrations and completions from the previous year. In the year starting July 2015, more than 20,000 participants completed web-based trainings using TrainingSpace. In early 2016, ITU worked with PDP’s Department of Temporary Assistance Training to develop and launch the Temporary Assistance (TA)/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Worker Training Path, which allows Staff Development Coordinators (SDCs) to build customized training plans for their staff.

During the past year, ITU launched a number of web-based trainings and tools housed on TrainingSpace including: Eating Healthy on a Budget (an interactive module available to the public), SNAP Civil Rights Training, Interim Assistance Reimbursement (a wide-ranging course that also functions as a performance support system), SOLQ Confidentiality and Security Training, three new topics for TA Budgeting & Coding, Assisting Blind and Visually Impaired Clients in the SNAP Application Process training, the NYC HRA self-service reporting tool, the TrainingSpace Developers’ Guide, and Determining Eligibility for Refugees and Other Similar Populations training. ITU staff also updated a number of previously released trainings on the topics of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

ITU continued to manage both the OTDA Intranet and Internet sites, performed over 4,000 updates to the sites, and maintained WCAG 2.0 AAA accessibility standards. Throughout the summer of 2016, ITU worked closely with OTDA’s Public Information Office to design and develop a fuller implementation of the NYS web branding guidelines. The new design includes both a visual refresh to comply with NYS standards and a streamlined information architecture based heavily on analytics and user feedback. The new site is slated to launch in September 2016.

Screenshot of Information and Cyber Security Awarness course

ITU worked with PDP’s Public Service Workshops Program (PSWP) to develop and deliver high quality online courses for the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations through the Statewide Learning Management System (SLMS). In 2016, ITU developed and launched Information and Cyber Security Awareness, which received high praise from both sponsors and learners. ITU also developed alternative formats, including CD-ROM, DVD, and intranet packages, to meet the needs of agencies without SLMS access. It is estimated that over 200,000 state employees will complete this training during the current training period. Equal Employment Opportunity, Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, and Supervisor’s Guide to Reasonable Accommodation were updated for 2016. New mandated trainings developed during this period and currently under review include Language Access for Frontline Staff and Human Trafficking Awareness. Two additional courses, NYS Ethics Laws and Supervisor Accountability, are still in production with anticipated delivery next year.

ITU extended its relationship with the New York State STD/HIV Prevention Training Center (NYS STD/HIV PTC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by managing and hosting a series of Visual Case Analysis webinars and continuing to maintain and enhance the Passport to Partner Services learning management system. ITU redeveloped the Passport course menus in HTML, replicating the look and behavior of the previous Flash versions while enabling wider access. A new “My Profile” section of the LMS was also added, allowing users to reset their passwords and/or correct their personal information.
For the University at Albany School of Public Health’s Center for Public Health Continuing Education, ITU built and deployed a new interactive continuing education credit reporting system for the Public Health Live webcasts.

For the Office of Children and Family Services, ITU continued to maintain the OCFS internet and intranet sites. ITU brought the OCFS internet into compliance with NYS branding guidelines in late 2015. In 2016, ITU launched a redesign of the Healthy Families New York project web site. ITU also worked with OCFS to begin development on a scenario-based training entitled Co-Occurring Disorders for Child Welfare Workers.

6.2.13 Distance Learning Training Initiatives

The Distance Learning Training Initiatives (DLTI), in partnership with the Office of Children and Family Services and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance creates media to support the agencies training needs.

During this reporting period, PDP’s DLTI developed seventeen webcasts and following each event, made the training available through the Human Services Leaning Center, TrainingSpace or DVD. The SNAP Civil Rights Training, Supporting Normative Experiences: Applying the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard, Child Welfare Requirements for Sex Trafficking Victims and DJJOY Requirements for Working with Sex Trafficking are trainings which reached thousands of participants using a variety of training methods. PDP’s Distance Learning Training Initiatives provided their expertise for recording live presentations for Adult Protective Services at the Elder Abuse Seminar held at Siena College in Loudonville, NY and the Adult Abuse Institute held in Albany.

DLTI created a multi-lingual looping animated video to be shown in the waiting room at the Office of Administrative Hearings for OTDA. This video includes code of conduct information and interesting facts about New York State.

6.2.14 Evaluation

During the past year, the evaluation unit consisted of one full-time Senior Research Scientist, two part-time Research Scientists, and a PhD graduate intern, who worked on an ever increasing number of quantitative and qualitative in-house evaluation projects. All routine quarterly reports and other sponsor requested evaluation projects were completed by the evaluation unit, during the past year, in a timely manner.

On July 1, 2015, the Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS), a PDP sponsor, instituted a new Synchronous and Asynchronous Participant Reaction Questionnaire evaluation form to their Web-based Human Services Learning Center (HSLC). PDP utilizes HSLC and the evaluation forms to assess trainee’s satisfaction with the PDP trainings they attend under our projects with the Office of Children and Family Services and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. The Senior Research Scientist and Research Scientist revised existing software programs to adapt smoothly to the changes and accurately provided the results in the subsequent quarterly reports to the sponsor.

A Research Scientist was hired on August 17, 2015 to work on the evaluation activities for the Public Service Workshops Program (PSWP), which is a working partnership between the NYS Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER), the Public Employees Federation (AFLCIO) (PEF), and the Professional Development Program, Rockefeller College, University at Albany. During the Research Scientist’s time in this position, she has worked on three PSWP special projects which included the Advanced Skills for Nurse Administrators Program, the Nurse Leadership Development Program, and the Leadership Development Program. The Research Scientist worked with the Senior Research Scientist and PSWP staff to prepare comprehensive evaluation reports for these projects. The reports encompassed both quantitative and qualitative data results.

The Research Scientist routinely worked on the evaluation components for all PSWP training activities which covered preparing survey questions based on course learning objectives, sending training participants online surveys, analyzing and reporting the data for use by the PSWP staff who provided results to sponsors. The Research Scientist developed an effective system to coordinate the PSWP evaluation data and worked with PDP staff to upgrade the PSWP database. These activities have helped to create a more consistent evaluation process. Starting in April 2016, the Research Scientist worked with the Senior Research Scientist and the PhD graduate student intern on a content analysis of data from 2009 to the current date regarding PSWP trainee’s open-ended survey responses to what suggested training topics they would like to see offered. A report with the results has been created and will be completed by the Fall of 2016. This report will be a useful reference for PSWP staff when discussing future training topics with the sponsors.

During the summer of 2015, the Senior Research Scientist worked with OCFS staff to evaluate their Statewide Summer Intern Program designed for current and former foster care youth. The annual internship is intended to provide youth with the opportunity to learn fundamental job skills which will enhance their future careers. The objective of the Level 2 Pre/Post Workplace Performance Appraisal Form evaluation, completed by the intern’s supervisor, was to assess the progress of the summer intern’s workplace skills over the length of their internship. Though it was a short time span between the pre and post appraisals, there was a positive change in the intern’s basic workplace skills. The youth interns, who completed a Kirkpatrick Level 1 satisfaction survey, had very high ratings for the program. Overall, based on the data, the program was beneficial for both supervisors and interns.

In November 2015, the Senior Research Scientist presented the results of a Pre/Post Test item analysis report at an internal Child Welfare Project staff meeting. Over the current timespan, a growing number of item analysis reports have been requested by sponsors and training staff for many different PDP program areas. These analyses are valuable and useful for increasing instructors’ skills in test construction, identifying specific areas of course content which may need clarity and improving the overall test’s quality.

In February 2016, the Senior Research Scientist worked with PDP and OCFS staff to conduct a brief statewide online survey to assess what factors NYS child welfare programs face when youth transition out of care. This survey was one component of a global needs assessment aimed to gain a deeper understanding of the overall statewide themes regarding concerns and successes agencies encounter with their transition age youth population. The survey examined the following areas:

  • Child welfare program’s perceived level of effectiveness to provide youth independent living skills
  • Approaches that programs have found effective when working with transitioning youth
  • Overview of youth outcomes, as perceived by programs, that have been achieved at discharge for the last 24 months
  • Challenges programs encounter when working to effectively transition youth
  • Resources needed by programs to be more effective transitioning youth out of care

The survey results provided valuable knowledge about the child welfare programs, from their perspectives, regarding helping youth successfully transition out of care.
One of the Research Scientists works on the DC01: General Child Care Training/Educational Incentive Program/Career Enhancement and Medication Administration Training project. The annual Comprehensive DC01 Evaluation Report has been a priority evaluation project for DC01. This year’s DC01 report included a wider range of analyses which enhanced the standard demographic trend analysis conducted of child day care providers who used DC01 education and training programs in 2015. The report was presented by the Research Scientist on April 11, 2016 to the NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) sponsors and PDP staff. The Research Scientist provided an excellent presentation which was well received by the sponsor.

In recent years, PDP has increasingly focused on developing and conducting Level 3 evaluations of Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Training Evaluation Model. There is a pressing need to demonstrate the positive transfer of training knowledge to the workplace via data-driven evidence. This is the third year that a selection of the Early Childhood Education and Training Program (ECETP) e-Learning courses were evaluated with a Level 3 follow-up survey. In August 2015, a Level 3 evaluation survey, similar to the format used in prior years, was conducted with a sample of providers who attended two ECETP e-Learning courses: Supervision of Children and School-Age Child Care. An online follow-up self-assessment survey was sent to a sample of participants 45 days after they successfully completed the e-Learning course(s). The results indicated that the majority of survey participants felt they had increased their overall use of supervision and school-age child care strategies after the e-Learning course(s). The trend of participants increasing their use of best practices on the job after viewing the e-Learning course was also observed in results for the last three years.

To enhance the analysis, PDP examined differences between the responses of participants working in center-based care and family-based care. In addition, PDP reviewed the results for center directors as a separate group. PDP is currently in the process of conducting a more in-depth type of Level 3 evaluation which will combine the data from surveys of a sample of participants who took the Supervision of Children e-learning course 90 days after the completion of the training and surveys of their supervisors to determine if they have observed their employees applying skills obtained through the e-Learning course in the workplace.

Between October and November of 2015, PDP held three regional forums for child care regulators Regional Forum Surveys: Brooklyn, Albany and Rochester. Level 1 evaluations were distributed to participants that asked for feedback on each aspect of the forum and the results were analyzed by the Senior Research Scientist. Nearly all participants returned the Level 1 survey. There was a very high response rate and each component of the forums (plenary sessions, keynote address, concurrent workshops) obtained a high mean ratings and was well-received by participants.

Early Childhood Education filming

The Child Development Associate (CDA) credential is the most widely recognized qualification in the early childhood education (ECE) field. In order to ensure that eligible child care providers receive information about it, the Research Scientist worked with staff from other PDP units and developed a system by which a targeted email that contained a brief description of the CDA and its benefits as well as a link to the CDA page on the ECETP website would be sent out periodically. Recipients of the email are those who indicated that they were interested in the CDA and those who appeared to meet its eligibility criteria based on information provided on a demographic survey completed prior to registering for EIP and ECE-related videoconferences and e-Learning courses. Analysis of data on website traffic indicate that a number of recipients of the email about the CDA are clicking on the link to the ECETP website.

As part of the Educational Incentive Program (EIP) Event Approval process, PDP developed a system by which to evaluate a sample of approved courses. The Research Scientist, starting in April 2016, worked with members of the EIP and ITS units to establish a process that enables PDP to survey a sample of EIP recipients about their satisfaction with courses they took with the aid of EIP scholarships. PDP has begun sending out to EIP recipients emails containing links to individual surveys developed for courses that started in September and October of 2016. This Research Scientist, who previously acted in some PDP produced training videos, was requested by the NYS Department of Child Care Services (DCCS) to be the narrator for a Child Care Center video in October 2015.

In the Spring of 2016, PDP Youth Ambassadors, funded by the NYS Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), partnered with the Youth Engagement Specialist (YES) staff on the Youth Services Statewide Project. The Youth Ambassador attended Youth in Progress (YIP) regional meetings and youth events to distribute a follow-up survey to determine if youth had attended a New York’s College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) workshop or college tour, and if so, was it helpful. The Youth Ambassador surveyed youth to see if they had information about financial aid, EOP and HEOP, and housing. In addition to conducting the survey, the Youth Ambassador was able to provide support by answering questions that the youth had. Those who attended found the activities useful and overall all youth reported a strong desire to attend college.

6.2.15 Child Welfare

Adolescent Services Training

During the summer of 2015, PDP partnered with Foster Club, a national network for young people in foster care. Four Youth Development Days were conducted across the state facilitated by Foster Club All-Stars (youth who were previously in foster care). The day started with a plenary session providing an opening activity to develop the day’s rules, expectations, and an opportunity to connect with peers throughout the Day. Three workshops were offered that gave the youth an opportunity to explore three dimensions of self: self-expression, self-identity, and personal independence.

In 2016, PDP was awarded the Statewide Youth Services Training contract. Previously known as the Adolescent Services Resource Network, this new contract utilizes a new model where Youth Engagement Specialists are co-located in each of the six OCFS Regional Offices maintaining a presence in the regions and local districts where youth are being served and a concentrated effort on a regional team approach. The contract is a two pronged approach: to provide adults that work with NYS youth in care with the training, knowledge, support, and needed job aids; and to provide youth with a voice and a role in their care and development services, training and opportunities to develop critical life skills, and the knowledge of access to the educational and vocational training resources available to them. In addition, this contract provided for the development of a social media/web strategy and presence to recruit, inform, engage and retain the interest of youth in the Youth in Progress program.

Working with Alcohol and Substance Affected Families

In response to better meeting the needs of local social service districts and voluntary child welfare agencies, PDP began converting the classroom course Working with Individuals with Co-Occurring Disorders to a distance learning format. In addition, due to the alarming and increased rate of heroin and prescription opiate medication use in New York State, PDP developed an Opiates iLinc course which will help child welfare caseworkers become more confident and competent when working with children and families who are affected by opioid use disorders. PDP had the opportunity to take part in the Opiates convening with OCFS and OASAS in May 2016.

Core Essential Skills for Experienced Caseworkers

PDP developed and provided three deliveries of a one-day engagement skills training designed to strengthen the engagement skills amongst family support specialists employed by Say Yes to Education located in Buffalo, NY. In addition, PDP provided two one-day Safety and Risk trainings for Otsego County. The intent of these trainings was to enhance each participant’s ability to accurately apply the processes and protocols set forth to assess safety and risk, choose appropriate safety decisions, and effectively respond to all child welfare safety concerns.
In 2016, PDP was awarded the statewide Core Essential Skills training contract after a successful bid. In previous years PDP was responsible for four of the six regions in the state.

Casework Documentation

PDP conducted two half-day trainings specifically to foster care caseworkers who needed further support when completing the Foster Care Issues section of the Family Assessment and Service Plan (FASP). Casework with families whose children are in foster care often involves gathering and analyzing information from multiple sources, while managing a complex array of needs, issues, priorities, decisions and timeframes. Accurate, complete, and timely recording of this information is critical to shared decision making and coordination of activities among the various decision-makers in a case at any given time, as well as for making this information available for future reference. This training was designed to assist caseworkers and supervisors who are responsible for completing, contributing to, and approving FASPs to do so in an effective and efficient manner.

HESC College Access Challenge Grant

PDP continued to offer college workshops and tours for foster care youth throughout the state. There were a total of thirty-three workshops delivered and while partnering with college staff/students, twenty college tours were conducted.
Youth Ambassadors partnered with the regional Youth Engagement Specialist staff by attending Youth In Progress meetings and youth events to distribute a follow-up survey to determine if youth had attended a CACG workshop or college tour, and if so, was it helpful. The Youth Ambassador surveyed youth to see if they had information about financial aid, EOP and HEOP, and housing. In addition to conducting the survey, the Youth Ambassador was able to provide support by answering questions that the youth had. Sixty-four youth completed a survey of which 85% indicated they were interested in going to college.

6.2.16 Department of Media Production

Media Production

The PDP Media Unit develops custom made videos and training programs to be used for broadcasts, DVD and a variety of Internet based delivery systems. Collaborating on productions is a team of producers, videographers and editors working on products to meet the sponsor’s needs.

The Media Unit developed a series of videos for the Office of Children and Family Services to help families make an informed decision about choosing child care. These videos, Child Care Options: Overview, Family Based, Child Care Center, School-age, Informal and Payment, shown on the internet and hospital and pediatric waiting rooms provide basic information about the choices and let families know where to go for additional information.

During this reporting period, the Media Unit created videos for the Medication Administration Training (MAT) and shot videos to be used for the Health and Safety Training for Child Care Providers. These products require script development, video shoots at a variety of locations, including child care programs and studio settings, graphic development and editing. The videos are used to illustrate step by step guidance providers are provide information in an interesting manner to enhance training.