Category: Institute, Trainings

Date: August 01, 2023

Positionality in Child Welfare Training

Training – Positionality in Child Welfare

Training Description

Positionality is critical for child welfare professionals to consider. Positionality refers to the social and cultural factors that shape an individual’s perspective and experiences, such as race, gender, socioeconomic status, etc. Understanding one’s positionality is crucial in child welfare as it influences how one views and responds to different situations. For example, a professional from a privileged background may need help understanding the challenges faced by families living in poverty, which may affect their ability to provide practical support.

In addition to understanding positionality, child welfare professionals need to identify boundaries around their work. These boundaries can be personal and professional and may either facilitate or limit their ability to respond to crises or manage cases effectively. For instance, a professional may struggle to maintain a professional distance from a family they have become emotionally invested in, affecting their ability to make objective decisions.

By recognizing these boundaries and understanding positionality, professionals can better manage their workload and avoid burnout. It allows them to approach their work with a more informed and mindful perspective, ultimately leading to better outcomes for the children and families they serve. Therefore, it is essential for child welfare professionals to continuously reflect on their positionality and identify boundaries to ensure they are providing the best possible support to the children and families they serve.

Learning Objectives

  • Increase their understanding of positionality and its application in daily work.
  • Identify boundaries around their work that may facilitate or limit their efforts to respond to crises or manage child welfare cases effectively.

Audience: This skills-based workshop is for beginner, intermediate, and advanced-level helping professionals.

Dates: Sept. 13th, 20th, 27th (4-hour training)

Location: TBD



Dr. Riley is an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe of New Mexico. She has worked in the field of social work for over 23 years and is currently the Director of the Native American Social Work Studies Institute. Her passion is working with people and teaching and learning new things.


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