Welcome to the new, innovative training program for new child protective services (CPS) professionals in the state of Wisconsin! This new program is called, “WiLearn.” The goal of implementing this new model of training is to provide new professionals with the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary to successfully assume a full caseload at a basic level of proficiency.  WiLearn is a re-imagined, efficient, and modernized method of training new CPS professionals in the state. Since our child welfare system is only as strong as the people who provide the services to children and families, we are committed to developing and providing a robust training experience.  Building a committed, confident, and competent CPS workforce is essential to Wisconsin families and it begins with supportive, effective child welfare professional training, WiLearn.


WiLearn is required for all new CPS professionals in Wisconsin whose primary functions include access, initial assessment, ongoing, or a mixture of those practice areas.  The core of WiLearn are the 8 Foundational Elements, which will account for the majority of the new CPS professional’s time in the program. In additional to the 8 Foundational Elements, WiLearn includes several additional requirements, such as Pre-Service. All of these requirements must be completed within the first 6 months of employment.   Please note a new CPS professional may be assigned up to a 50% primary caseload assignment while they are enrolled in WiLearn.  

Local Agency Work

The New Child Welfare Professional Training model emphasizes the supervisor's role in supporting new child welfare professionals’ professional development. The model includes activities that enhance learning, structure on-the-job application, and build the professional/supervisor relationship. These activities include:

  1. Structured on-the-job application of skills learned in formal training
  2. Job shadowing
  3. Additional supervisory oversight
  4. Learning assessment
  5. Agency- or county-specific training

Process Utilized

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) is partnering with the Wisconsin Child Welfare Professional Development System (WCWPDS) to develop and implement WiLearn.  Utilizing this partnership, a conscious effort has been made to include county and other stakeholder voice during the initial planning stages as well as throughout the overall development.  Feedback from county and other stakeholders directly informed the overall framework and parameters of WiLearn (See FAQ below for details).  Additionally, the WCWPDS Steering Committee is an oversight body made up of 10 county representatives, tribal representatives, DCF staff and university staff.  This group meets quarterly and has informed the design process since the idea was initially proposed.


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