Simulations in Pre-Service Child Welfare Training: Effects of Moving from in-person to Virtual Practice

Katie Street, Portland State University
Kirstin O’Dell, Portland State University
Kate Normand, Portland State University
Cassandra Anderson, Portland State University

This is a manuscript version of the article, submitted for publication in the Journal of Public Child Welfare.

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This paper reports findings from a secondary analysis of child welfare workers’ performance on and reaction to participating in the simulation portion of their training, before and after transitioning from an in-person to virtual training environment. Findings show a trend of increased performance on engagement skills in the in-person environment, and increased performance on practice-model questions in the virtual environment. Importantly, one area in which participants performed better in-person was gaining an understanding of the client’s cultural identity. We hypothesise this performance difference may be due to the increased efficacy of learning and demonstrating engagement skills in an in-person environment.