Welcome to the website for the Family Development Training Program:
Family Development Competencies in Pennsylvania (FDC-PA)
Welcome to Family Development Competencies - Pennsylvania (FDC-PA) website. The Community Action Association of Pennsylvania (CAAP) provides the state home for the Family Development Training programs focused on the development of competencies of family workers in Pennsylvania and is responsible for coordination of training throughout the state. CAAP is a partner with Temple University who issues the Credential for Strengths-based Family Workers (SFW). CAAP serves on the Temple National Family Development Board.
A focus on supporting skill development for front line workers began in Pennsylvania in 1993, when the CAAP Board of Directors supported a system of training for family workers in Community Action Agencies. The Iowa University Family Development Specialist Certification Program supported training for more than 300 individuals throughout the state in the next 7 years. It became clear that a different process for staff development was needed to meet the growing needs of CAA staff and the other agencies in local communities that provide service and assistance to families seeking help. CAAP looked for a way to provide locally based training that could foster more long term impact and support. CAAP sought a way to provide training to re-orient practices of individuals who work in human service and education fields so that they are better able to help families achieve goals. It was clear that this kind of "help" in turn leads to families being better able to learn and implement skills needed to achieve goals they set for themselves.
In 2004, CAAP formed an affiliation with Cornell University, whose Family Development Credential curriculum and training procedures were originally developed with support of the New York State Department of State, Community Services Division using Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) funding, under the leadership of Evelyn Harris, who directed the office at that time. Ms. Harris contracted the development of this credentialing program through the Empowering Families Project at Cornell. The program grew in NY and spread to 16 other states.
Dr. Barbara Mooney, CAAP Training Director, attended appropriate sessions at Cornell University in 2004 that enabled her to come back to the state and begin the train-the-trainer approach to implementing FDC-PA in January of 2005.
The Empowering Families Project ended at Cornell University in December 2009. As of January, 2010, Temple University has taken a national leadership role in developing and expanding Family Development Training for family workers throughout the country. Temple developed a National Family Development Board made up of State Coordinators from 13 states, who act together to assure that the programs are being offered according to the principles originally established at Cornell.
Goals of Family Development Competencies training in PA
The FDC-PA program has a focus on developing the competencies that help front line workers to become more effective in assisting individuals and families as they learn to take care of themselves and support movement toward self-sufficiency. One of the goals of the training program is to support family workers as advocates for systems change that prioritizes prevention and to promote sustainable economic development that benefits those at the lower income levels.
The FDC-PA program is designed to be an interagency training for staff from all public, private and non-profit service systems. CAAP has worked with CAAs and a wide range of other agencies and organizations to meet the vision of establishing a broad-based family worker training supported through a statewide system, with national standards and local implementation.
Through the implementation of the Family Development Competencies model of service, two of the CSBG National Goals are addressed:
Goal 4 -- Partnerships among supporters and providers of services to low-income people are achieved
Goal 5 -- Agencies increase their capacity to achieve results.
The FDC-PA Program is a community-based training and credentialing program for family workers (both paraprofessionals and college graduates) which teach a strengths-based, empowerment model of practice.
Family Development Training includes 80 hours of classroom work based on the text: Empowerment Skills for Family Workers (Claire Forest, 2003), supplemental materials approved by Temple University (2003 - 2012) and professional support for the development of a portfolio to demonstrate the core competencies taught in the classroom sessions. There is a final exam at the end of the program.
Successful participants receive the Credential for Strengths-based Family Workers, which is issued in Pennsylvania by Temple University. Participants are eligible to receive a transcript for 6 college credits from Excelsior College in New York, through the National College Credit Recommendation Service.
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FDC-PA has a new brochure. Download from the bottom of the home page.