The Office of Training and Workforce Development is housed within the Division of Policy, Planning, and Measurement of the Administration for Children’s Services and includes both the ACS James Satterwhite Academy and the ACS Workforce Institute. Together they provide foundational and continuous learning for child welfare and juvenile justice direct service staff and supervisors.
On August 16, 1984, the New York City Board of Estimate mandated the establishment of a child protective services training academy. Its creation was driven by the urgent need to strengthen the ability of child welfare professionals to serve New York City’s most vulnerable families and children. Since it first opened in 1987 as a part of Special Services for Children (now the Administration for Children’s Services), the Academy has responded to the challenges of preparing a rapidly expanding workforce.
The Academy’s name was officially changed in March 1989 to the James Satterwhite Academy for Child Welfare Training to honor the memory of its first Executive Director. When the Administration for Children’s Services was created in 1995, the Academy was well established as a leader in providing knowledge and skills to child welfare caseworkers and supervisors to enhance practice and support the needs of New York City’s children, youth, and families.
In 2008, a taskforce was established to begin the tremendous task of reforming the New York State juvenile justice system. In December 2010, the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice was merged with the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. This merger expanded the scope of the James Satterwhite Academy to include the training of direct service staff and supervisors working in juvenile justice.
For more information on James Satterwhite Academy, click here to learn more about our mission.
In 2015, as part of the Mayor’s Reform Plan, the Workforce Institute was established to complement the work of the James Satterwhite Academy. The Institute is a partnership between ACS and the City University of New York (School of Professional Studies and the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work). The goal was to strengthen training, supervision and coaching of direct service staff and supervisors at ACS and its many contracted provider agencies. In response to the increasingly complex nature of the work, the Workforce Institute introduced a variety of training modalities including simulation to expand on skill development. Coaching for supervisors was identified as a priority to reinforce the transfer of learning and support critical thinking.
For more information on the Workforce Institute, click here to learn about our mission, vision, and guiding principles.
Today, the James Satterwhite Academy focuses on establishing the foundations of fundamental practice for newly hired direct service staff and supervisors and the Workforce Institute provides ongoing professional skills development of direct service staff and supervisors. The Office of Training and Workforce Development is considered a national leader in child welfare and juvenile justice training and professional development.
Together, the ACS James Satterwhite Academy and the ACS Workforce Institute provide foundational and continuous learning for child welfare and juvenile justice direct service staff and supervisors.