Intake (eLearning)

The Intake In-Service course, which will support new staff working at Intake to gain the knowledge and skills they need to be effective in gathering and documenting information and in screening intakes. The course is divided into three modules which occur at different times during the employee’s first six months at Intake.

In Session 1.1, Participants will receive practical information about their main job functions, and get to practice applying many of this information. Intake staff serve as the first point of contact for community members with concerns about children, and complete the first assessments of this information to determine if and how DCYF may respond. These two functions are addressed and information about the role of Intake staff in assessing child safety and in educating the community is provided. The training helps new staff to understand the differences between intake types and to identify timelines associated with each. Lastly, roles and actions outside the scope of child welfare Intake are discussed. 

In Session 1.2, Participants will learn critical information about how to make screening decisions using the standardized tools in FamLink – the sufficiency screen and the SDM for Intake. Participants will learn about the state definitions of child abuse and neglect, and the SDM Intake tool, which helps ensure accurate and consistent screening decisions for screened in CPS Intakes. During much of the training, participants will be applying what they have learned to a series of intake scenarios, and will receive feedback on their work. 

Session 1.3 will support you in identifying the most important information to gather from callers, and in building skills to focus and guide callers toward this important information, so the best possible screening decisions can be made. 

Session 1.4 will identify the problem of racial disproportionality in our state’s child welfare system, focusing on disproportionality at intake. The importance of Cultural competence for intake workers is presented, and practical tips related to Intake’s role in child welfare are provided. Participants will learn how they can work to best serve persons with Limited English Proficiency. Additionally, the training will provide guidance about Intake’s role in complying with the Indian Child Welfare Act and in supporting early identification of children who are Native American. 

In Session 1.5, participants will learn how and why to collaborate with Law Enforcement to protect children, gather information needed for good screening decisions, and meet legal and policy requirements to share specific types of reports and information. How and why to work with medical professionals to support good screening decisions and assessments of child safety is also presented. Participants will have a chance to practice both skills and receive feedback.

Session 1.6 will orient you to some basic considerations related to screening intakes which involve licensed or other state regulated facilities.  

Session 2.1 will review policy and legal requirements in screening intakes regarding currently pregnant substance using mothers and infants who were exposed to substances during gestation. Participants will consider important questions to ask callers in order to gather the most relevant information, which will support good screening decisions and capture foundational information which may be used by workers who are assigned to this family now or in the future. 

Session 2.2 will help you ask the screening questions most likely to provide you with information about domestic violence if its occurring, identify domestic violence based upon the information you have gathered, consider the impact of identified domestic violence on the child’s safety, and adequately document the information you obtain. 

Target Audience

DCYF child welfare intake staff

Course summary
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Please login or register to take this course.

DCYF staff should register for the Intake In-Service series in the Washington State Learning Center, using the links below:

These eLearnings are currently undergoing minor revisions and will be available again here at a later date. In the meantime, if you require access to these eLearnings and do not have access to the Washington State Learning Center, please email