6.0 Major Accomplishments

6.3 Program Testimonials

The Professional Development Program sets high standards and strives to be a premiere continuing professional education program for those who work in, with, or for the public sector. PDP has become known for both the high quality of its work and the excellence of its people. Comments that were received from constituents over the past year clearly reflect the outstanding nature of its programs and the exemplary accomplishments of staff in meeting PDP’s high standards of excellence in the delivery of its various programs. Highlighted below are samplings of kudos that recognize the high-quality work of PDP during the past year.

6.3.1 ODepartment of Temporary Assistance Training

“I want to let the PDP team know that the March 2017 Eat Smart New York Conference was a great success…These events take a lot of behind-the-scenes work and your team makes it look effortless. All of their hard work is what makes the ESNY training event such a valuable experience and useful to all of the participants. Thanks to all of you!”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Training Contract Manager

[Regarding Time Limits and Time Limits Tracking training]
“Thank you so much! You are very good at your job…You were one of my trainers last year… When I see your name or hear your voice I feel relief and know it will be a good training (regardless of the subject matter).”

— From a social services district employee and trainee

“The Staff Development Coordinator wanted to let us know that her trainee from last week’s Institute for Temporary Assistance Programs came back to the office and said how great our training was, and how the trainers and materials were awesome. She also complimented us on how smooth everything went with the travel, the hotel, the meals, and the training site. Her staff attends many trainings and she said we really know how to put it all together.”

—From a social services district Staff Development Coordinator
as communicated by a PDP colleague

[Regarding the Hearing Officer Procedural Training Institute]
“What I have reviewed has been right on point… I’m very pleased…This is super exciting… This is the product I hoped to see…Thank you for two years of hard work leading to this…I’m incredibly impressed and proud and thankful.”

— From the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Director of Administrative Hearings

[Regarding a range of training programs for Hearing Officers]
“You do a lot for us and really good work. We thank you for your professionalism and effort.”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Supervising Hearing Officer and trainee

6.3.2 Department of Computer Training Services

DCTS courses and trainers are routinely recognized by trainees and sponsor staff for their accessible approach and applicability to trainees’ needs, along with their knowledge and support of OCFS and OTDA programs and applications. Increased interactions with trainees, both during instructor-led training and asynchronous web-based training, was appreciated by trainees. Related comments include: “I LOVE these simulations! Thank you!” and “This is great! The level of interactivity makes for a really deep learning experience.” For traditional classroom training, facilitated distance learning, and reference materials, feedback was also very positive, focusing on the informative and effective training materials and delivery. Such comments include: “This was the best training class that I have ever taken in DSS. Very hands on and informative with the materials as a step by step process.” and “Content was clear and concise.”

6.3.3 Child Welfare

[Regarding casework documentation]
“We had [a child welfare trainer] at our agency last week (3/23) for the FASP Safety and Risk Assessment training, and it was received very well by our social work staff. Our staff thought that the training was very helpful, and [she] was a great trainer with knowledge and energy to keep up with all the questions that came from them. We just wanted to express our appreciation for coordinating this training with us, and we look forward to a future opportunity to work together again. Thank you again,”

— From a LMSW Assistant Director of Quality Improvement

[Regarding Child Forensic Interviewing training]
“Thank you for being so great throughout this whole process, and for providing our professionals the opportunity to take such a wonderful training. On behalf of myself and our agency, we sincerely thank you for all your hard work and appreciate all that you have done.”

— From a Community Educator, Suffolk County Child Advocacy Center

[Regarding Statewide Adolescent Services training]
“On behalf of OCFS, thank you so much for your presentation at the July 19, 2016 NYPWA workshop on Serving Transitional Youth: Effective Collaboration Practices for Foster Care and Adult Services Caseworkers. It was gratifying to see the packed room, the fact that we quickly ran out of handouts, and it was good to hear that subsequent to the workshop, NYPWA requested the copy of the Powerpoint for further distribution, as there had been numerous requests for the presentation from local commissioners. We appreciate your sharing your best practices and your experience and expertise.”

—From the Director, Bureau of Adult Services,
NYS Office of Children & Family Services

[Regarding Statewide Adolescent Services training]
“Thank you for providing a wonderful 2-day training for our staff. The evaluations were great and the participants seemed to really enjoy themselves.”

—From the Staff Training and Development Coordinator,
Family and Children’s Association

[Regarding Statewide Adolescent Services training]
“As a result of the Bullying Training I attended, I am going to move forward with a Bullying Prevention Committee in the agency. Thanks again for introducing us to … a great trainer!”

— From School Supervisor, Berkshire Farms

6.3.4 Licensing Training Project

[Regarding follow up on recent desk aid changes]
“Thank you. We appreciate the follow-up you always do. We actually used your name yesterday as an example of people who do this automatically provide follow up on assigned tasks.”

— From OCFS Home Office Staf

[Regarding Leadership Role]
“I have been a trainer since 2001. I have had the pleasure of training under both previous Health and Safety Lead Trainers. I would like to acknowledge you, for your support and guidance in helping me provide quality training to future child care providers in the Western New York area. The Professional Development Program will surely thrive and grow under your dedication and commitment to the organization.”

— From Health and Safety Trainer

[Regarding training attended]
“Thank you for responding so quickly. And for the record I was amazed at how knowledgeable you are with the Child Care Subsidy. I’ve never been at a training where the instructor was so on point and didn’t have to “get back to us” with answers to our questions. Kudos to you!! Thanks again!!”

— From OCFS Home Office Staf

[Regarding training attended]
“Just wanted to say THANK YOU for training us newbies and putting up with my incessant questions! While I know it *is* your job, I appreciate the excellence in which you do it. I don’t think we take the time often enough to appreciate someone who is good at their job. Looking forward to continuing to learn from you!”

— From Columbia Co DSS Training Participant

6.3.5 Public Service Workshop Program

“… the greatest instructor that I’ve ever encounter for a training session. He could captivate and interest the audience the entire class…in addition to the fantastic instructor the course material was also fantastic. Some I’ve seen from other training courses but none as strong and detailed as this. This is one course that I truly feel that I have learned something (many things in this case), and that it’ll be used in my everyday work life. Some of what we learned I already started using and additionally in conversations at work I can pick up on words and phrases that I wouldn’t understand as fully as I do today. It was especially helpful when former graduates of this course came in and stated how these techniques work in the real world and some of the ways they’ve been implemented. Overall, I feel this course is fantastic and anyone that is or considering taking the responsibility of being a leader should take this course.”

— From a Leadership Development Program Participant

“After completing this course, I now have a much clearer perspective on what it takes to be a leader. One cannot be a leader without a voluntary following regardless of job title or position. How to begin a project, communication plan, or problem solve always has to have a definition of “success”. The process to achieve success is a finite, definable method; that if followed, encompasses all of the necessary steps to achieve success. [The trainer’s] ability to clearly communicate with each person is amazing. He made dissecting each topic presented memorable, by providing personal examples and how they apply to the LDP process.”

— From a Leadership Development Program Participant

“Thanks to the LDP, I have sharpened my project management skills as well as my effective communication skills. As a direct result of the training, I now exercise better time management. I better invest the time I used to spend putting out fires, to now focus on the overall management of the unit. The benefit identified thus far is that the unit has become more efficient and raised the bar on employee performance with the intended result of sharpening their skills and preparing them to be the future leaders of tomorrow”

— From a Leadership Development Program Participant

“…she [ITU e-learning instructional designer] and all of you make our lives easier. Your team does good work and are a great resource for NYS.”

— From NYS Training Director, GOER

“The dynamic facilitation which allowed participants a safe space for introspection, acknowledgement of opportunities for growth and plans for improvement of skills.”

— From a participant in the Nurse Leadership Training Program in Buffalo

6.3.6 Instructional Technologies Unit

“Through the creativity and ingenuity of the programmers/developers at the Professional Development Program, OTDA was able to expand access to its course catalog and other materials on TrainingSpace to the HRA [New York City Human Resources Administration] target population. Access is now available through an alternative account/registration application, allowing NYC HRA staff improved access to OTDA’s vast library of policy, procedural, and error-reduction online courses.”

— From the Associate Director,
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

“I wanted to say a big THANK YOU for all of the outstanding work that you did for the 2017 ESNY Training Conference. The event was a huge success and it is because of all of you and the amazing work and dedication you do to support the sponsor. From the design of the TrainingSpace site and database, to all of the logistics and coordination, the brochure design, preparing for onsite with badge printing/stuffing to day of assistance and then registrations to HSLC – you make it all look so easy! Thank you!”

— From a PDP Colleague

“I just wanted to drop you a line to say that I heard NOT ONE thing about the County Plans this year. Last year, we were inundated with calls from counties having problems. I cannot thank you enough for whatever hocus pocus you worked up! As far as I can tell, everything went great this year. In fact, it was so quiet that I almost forgot to thank you until I went through my web folder and saw a note.”

— From the Assistant Commissioner,
Office of Children and Family Services

“I just want you to know what a big help you were yesterday with all of the closures and emergency postings you did for me when I had technical difficulties. You started early, went past closing time yesterday, and started early again this morning with closings. These postings are very important to both our office and the governor’s office. Without your help I’m not sure what we would have done!”

— From the Manager, Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

“This is by far the best training we have had. Great graphics and content.”

— From an e-learning participant

6.3.7 Media Production

[Regarding Foundations in Health and Safety e-learning]
“This was a great training. I tried really hard to break it and couldn’t! To tell you the truth, I thought a five hour training was going to be tough, but breaking it up in the segments was perfect! It went by quick! Nice job!”

—From OCFS Staff

[Regarding Supporting Normative Experiences: Applying the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard]
“I will be able to apply [this information] on a daily basis for school and social activities.”

— From a Foster Parent

[Regarding Supporting Normative Experiences: Applying the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard]
“It gave us guidance on when and how we can give permission for activities for foster children.”

— From Local District Staff

[Regarding Supporting Normative Experiences: Applying the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard]
“Helpful in explaining what ‘normative experiences’ are and how to apply them to your foster child.”

— From Local District Staf

[Regarding Orientation to OCFS for Youth in Detention]
“Thank you all for an excellent product.”

— From DJJOY Staf

[Regarding Addressing Challenging Behavior: The Pyramid Model in Action Videoconference]
“Since the Videoconference our CCR&R has gotten several phone calls/emails etc. regarding the training. Everyone loved it! Our registration department would like to view it. Would it be possible to get a copy of the Videoconference DVD to show the rest of our CCR&R staff? Thank you!! This was GREAT!!!”

— From CCR&R Staf

6.3.8 Early Childhood Education and Training

“I just got off the phone with a trainer who participates with EIP and she asked me to express her absolute amazement at the smooth transition this year into the new EIP scholarship year. She said everyone was impressed by how fluid the change was, the availability of the new information for 2017, and how well organized everything is. The trainer said that everyone did an amazing job and wanted to express her thanks.”

— From an EIP participating trainer

“Wonderful! Thank you all so much for assisting with this approval. We are grateful and I am sure it will help those that apply feel more at ease with knowing their status for eligibility. We will be mindful of this in the future with presenters that are approved in specific content. Wishing you well on this wonderful Monday!”

— From an EIP participating training organization

“Again, I am so grateful our paths crossed and your support with this process is greatly appreciated! :)… The first time is always a learning process; and, your kindness, knowledge sharing, and support are much appreciated… Feeling hopeful to support New York professionals soon,”

— From an EIP participating training organization

“This is why I LOVE working with you:
A—You have a sense of humor
B—You always have a plan
C—You have a similar attitude as I do, let’s see see how it plays out, there is always a reason.
Thanks for your continued support. On a side note. My conference was so popular a colleague of mine is going to duplicate it in the lower Hudson. YEAH!!! ”

— From an EIP participating training organization

“I was awarded EIP funding for this course. Please advise me of any other documentation I am required to send. Thank you for continuing to make education a priority in NYS- It is very much appreciated.”

— From an EIP scholarship recipient

6.3.9 Training and Technical Assisance to Support Local DSS Permanency Planning

“The trainers today did an excellent job facilitating the Cultural Responsive training, their expertise in the topic really showed.”

— From the Deputy Commissioner of OCFS in regards
to the new Child Welfare Foundations Program Plan

“Thank you PDP. You did an amazing job as a facilitator. We can always count on the ROPAS when we need facilitators.”

— From the OCFS Child Welfare Foundations Program work group

“In my opinion, RELE was one of the most powerful trainings I’ve ever attended. I do believe attending and participating in the sessions has positively impacted our child welfare work here at Nassau County Department of Social Services.”

— From an OCFS Director of Services