Foundations of Motivational Interviewing: Communicating to Build Partnerships

This learning program is an update of the previous Motivational Interviewing: A Strengths-Based Practice and Foundational Motivational Interviewing (MI) courses. In this course, learners strengthen their capacity to use MI towards building partnerships. Learners examine their own style of communication and how it impacts the thoughts of others regarding change. Learners demonstrate their ability to listen to the perspectives of families and caregivers to shape how questions are asked, accurately identify their needs, and help draw out their own ideas for ways to change. Using scenarios and group exercises, learners hone their ability to cultivate strengths-based conversations, model affirmations, and make effective reflections.


Who Should Attend?

Direct service staff, supervisors and managers working in Child Protection, Prevention, Foster Care and Juvenile Justice. Direct service staff and supervisors in Child Protection, Prevention and Foster Care are required to attend.


Course Benefits

Learners will:

  • Define MI in a way that underscores its guiding nature and demonstrates its guiding aspects.
  • Describe the spirit and four fundamental tasks of MI.
  • Identify and demonstrate MI OARS (Open-Ended Questions, Affirmations, Reflections and Summaries) microskills.
  • Recognize “change talk” and “sustain talk” in the context of MI and explain the role they play in supporting individuals to make behavioral change.
  • Identify how MI can be used in day-to-day work.


Course Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course.


Course Components

Once enrolled in the course, learners will complete:

  • An online pre-test.
  • A four-hour, virtual, 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 4 contact hours/0.4 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