Motivational Interviewing: Investigative Strategies

This learning program focuses on the importance of using critical thinking skills and Motivational Interviewing techniques to gather information and make accurate assessments of children and families. The program uses game-playing elements to advance these skills by providing learners with hands-on opportunities to use Motivational Interviewing skills and apply the five steps of the critical thinking process to conduct investigations and make informed decisions in a child welfare context. Learners practice organizing and synthesizing the available information about a situation and formulating multiple hypotheses to rule in, rule out, or create new hypotheses in order to make the most informed decision and act based on the decision made. Before attending this instructor-led training, learners must complete all course prerequisites listed below and an online pre-test. 



Who Should Attend?

Direct service staff and supervisors working in Child Protection.


Course Benefits

Learners will:

  • Strengthen their motivational interviewing and critical thinking skills when conducting investigations.
  • Enhance their engagement skills to develop rapport with families and collateral sources to gather information.
  • Develop skills to recognize gaps in information gathered and identify the appropriate source(s) to make accurate assessments.


Course Prerequisites

Prior to attending this course, learners are required to have completed the Motivational Interviewing learning program offered through the ACS Workforce Institute or equivalent.


Course Components

Once enrolled in the course, learners will complete:

  • An online pre-test.
  • A one-day, instructor-led workshop.
  • An online post-test.

Completion of all components is necessary to receive a Certificate of Completion.


Continuing Education Units

The New York City Administration for Children’s Services is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0402. This course is 6.5 contact hours/0.65 CEUs. CEU credit is contingent upon completion of all course components.



Register for this course by logging in to Cornerstone, browse for the course name and complete all information.  For more information about the ACS Workforce Institute, please contact the Help Desk at or call (212) 748-1898.


Download the course flyer