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Child Protective Services: A Guide for Caseworkers

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About the Course:

This course is based on a manual that examines the roles and responsibilities of child protective services (CPS) workers. It describes the purposes, key decisions, and issues of each stage of the CPS process: intake, initial assessment/investigation, family assessment, case planning, service provision, evaluation of family progress and case closure. The manual also covers strategies for casework supervision, training, and support. Appendices include a glossary of terms, resource listings of selected national organizations, state toll-free telephone numbers for reporting child abuse, and the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics. 8 tables and 173 references.

This course is based on the reading-based online, Child Protective Services: A Guide for Caseworkers created by DePanfils, Diane, Ph.D., M.S.W. and Salus, Marsha K., M.S.W. in 0.


Office on Child Abuse and Neglect U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Publication Date:


Course Material Authors

DePanfils, Diane, Ph.D., M.S.W.

Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she teaches social work practice and child welfare research courses in the Master’s of Social Work program and research seminars in the doctoral program. She is also co-director of the Center for Families, an interdisciplinary partnership between the schools of social work and medicine and the department of pediatrics. Over the past 30 years she has provided child welfare services at the local level as a caseworker, supervisor, and administrator; worked as a consultant at the national level conducting program evaluations and providing training and technical assistance to social workers and other disciplines; and conducted extensive studies related to the delivery of child protective services and the prevention of child maltreatment. She is co-editor of the Handbook on Child Protection Practice and is a former president of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children.

Salus, Marsha K., M.S.W.

Social work consultant who has worked in the child welfare field for 27 years. She began her career as a CPS worker and supervisor. She has developed several national curricula for child welfare workers and supervisors. She developed a number of preservice and inservice training programs for child welfare workers and supervisors in a variety of states. For example, Ms. Salus developed a 12-day core supervisory training program entitled “Mastering the Art of Child Welfare Supervision,” which she has delivered throughout the country. In addition, she has provided training on all aspects of family violence to multidisciplinary audiences around the country. Ms. Salus has assisted state and local CPS agencies in program development and program evaluation and has worked with several states to establish standards of practice for child welfare supervision.

Course Creator

Keith Gibson, Ph.D.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially psychologists, counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about the roles and responsibilities of child protective services workers. It is appropriate for all levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Explain the theory and practice of child protective services, including aspects of the helping relationship.

  2. Identify the responsibilities of child protective services.

  3. Describe the early phases of child protective services processes, from intake through family assessment.

  4. Evaluate the processes of case planning, service provision, and family progress assessment utilized by child protective services.

  5. Identify the types and processes of case closure procedures utilized by child protective services.

  6. Differentiate between supervision, consultation, and support in child protective services practices.

Use our CE Approvals tool to look up your state requirements and how can help you meet them, or log in to your member account to show approvals relevant to your licensure.

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American Psychological Association (APA)

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CE Learning Systems is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CE Learning Systems maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

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Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)

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NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC)

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Exam Questions

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Course Retired
Course Number 101259
8 credit hours
Log in for credit hours relevant to your licensure.

  • Reading-Based Online
Exam Fee: No Longer Available
4.45 out of 5
60 members have taken this course