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Trainings hosted by NASWSI

NASWSI provides training sessions for beginner-, intermediate-, and advanced-level helping social work professionals outside of or in addition to undergraduate and graduate coursework. These training sessions empower social workers to make a positive impact on the lives of Indigenous populations.

We are excited to announce our Fall 2023 Training Series in September, October and November. Information for each training can be found on this page. Read on for more information on our upcoming trainings and stay tuned for location and registration information updates. If you are interested in attending a training, please call 505-260-6181 or email

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Fall 2023 Training Series

September 2023

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

October 2023

Training – Intimate Partner Violence Death Review Team – Skills Based Training

Training Description

This is a FREE training for tribal social workers and other helping professionals serving tribal communities. Participants with receive CEUs and a certificate of completion for full attendance and participation. Space is limited to 25 participants. This training is offered through a partnership between NMHU Native American Social Work Studies Institute and UNM School of Medicine.

Topics Covered

  • Fatality Review instruction
  • Case Reviews
  • Mapping

Audience: This skills-based workshop is for tribal social workers and other helping professionals serving tribal communities.

Date: Friday, Oct. 6th from 8:30am to 4:30pm MDT

Location: UNM Continuing Education Building (tentative)

Naswsi intimate partner violence death review team skills based training oct 2023

Training – Indicators for At-Risk Native American Children

Training Description

Native American children can be at an increased risk of experiencing child abuse and neglect, depending on their environment and circle of care. Some commonly stated indicators help identify such risks. These include frequent absences from school, sudden changes in behavior, inappropriate sexual behavior, unexplained injuries or bruises, and self-harming behavior. Other indicators may include substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and aggression.

It is essential to differentiate between risk factors and risk indicators. Risk factors are the circumstances or conditions that increase the likelihood of child abuse or neglect, such as poverty, substance abuse, and domestic violence. On the other hand, risk indicators are the observable signs that suggest the possibility of abuse or neglect. Understanding these differences is crucial in identifying and responding to child abuse and neglect.

When identifying indicators specific to a community, it is necessary to involve community members and stakeholders. They have valuable insights into the cultural norms, practices, and beliefs that can affect the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect. Developing a culturally sensitive and relevant approach is possible by working with the community.

To draft a child abuse and safety protocol that can assist with effective response systems, it is vital to consider the unique needs and circumstances of the community. The protocol should clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder, as well as the steps needed if child abuse or neglect is suspected. It should also emphasize the importance of cultural sensitivity and the need for ongoing education and training for all relevant parties. By doing so, we can help ensure the safety and well-being of Native American children in tribal communities.

Learning Objectives

  • Distinguish between risk factors and risk indicators
  • Define risk indicators for Native American children 
  • Discuss how risk indicators are typically used and guide community response to child welfare issues
  • Identify approaches to using indicators to develop safety protocols

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

Dates: Oct. 10th, 18th, 25th (4-hour training)

Location: TBD

November 2023

Training – Mapping System: A Tool for Community Safety and Wellbeing

Training Description

Mapping systems are a valuable tool for professionals who aim to maintain the safety and well-being of a community. Professionals can use a mapping system to prevent, intervene, and respond to various types of crime impacting community members’ safety. These crimes may include theft, robbery, assault, drug-related offenses, and many others.

To develop an effective mapping system for a community, professionals should first conduct an environmental scan. This involves identifying and analyzing the physical and social factors contributing to crime in a particular area. Environmental scan concepts that can be incorporated into a mapping system include identifying high-risk areas, understanding the types of crime prevalent in the area, and assessing the needs of the community members who may be affected by crime.

Once an environmental scan has been conducted, professionals can use the information gathered to create a preliminary mapping system for their community. The mapping system should include the identified high-risk areas, the types of crime that occur in those areas, and the specific needs of the community members who may be affected by crime. Professionals can better understand the issues impacting their community by using a mapping system and developing effective strategies to promote safety and well-being.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify various types of crime that impact community members’ safety and well-being.
  • Be introduced to environmental scan concepts that can be incorporated into a mapping system.
  • Create a preliminary mapping system for their community using the workshop concepts.

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

Dates: Nov. 8th, 15th, 29th (4-hour training)

Location: TBD

Training – Conducting Home Visits: Safety Assessments for Workers and Families

Training Description

Home visits are a crucial aspect of social work and other professions that require in-home services. Conducting home visits can provide valuable insight into clients’ lives and establish rapport, trust, and practical outcomes of case management. Before conducting a home visit, workers must prepare by reviewing relevant case files, familiarizing themselves with the area and culture, and ensuring they have the necessary equipment and resources.

In addition to preparation, ensuring the worker’s and families’ safety is critical to conducting a successful home visit. Workers should always inform a colleague or supervisor about their whereabouts and the estimated duration of the visit. They should also be aware of potential safety issues, such as aggressive pets or hazardous environments, and take necessary precautions to ensure everyone’s safety.

One effective model for conducting home visits is the AIDET (Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation and Thank You) Model. The AIDET Model is a communication framework that emphasizes the importance of acknowledging the client, introducing oneself, explaining the purpose and duration of the visit, and thanking the client for their time at the end of the visit. Following this model, workers can establish rapport, build trust, and communicate effectively with clients during home visits.

Challenges may arise before, during, and after a home visit despite preparation and safety precautions. Workers need to anticipate these challenges and develop strategies for addressing them. For example, workers may encounter language barriers or cultural differences during a visit. Workers can use interpreters or cultural brokers to ensure effective communication. By anticipating and addressing potential challenges, workers can conduct successful home visits and provide valuable services to clients.

Learning Objectives

  • Review common strategies for preparing and conducting home visits
  • Review and discuss safety issues in conducting home visits
  • Review the AIDET Model
  • Discuss challenges and how to address them before, during, and after a home visit 

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

Dates: Nov. 8th, 15th, 29th (4-hour training)

Location: TBD 

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