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In order to meet the needs of Alaskan children beyond those entrusted to our direct care, the AK Child & Family training department, through a State of Alaska Division of Behavioral Health grant, has been providing training and technical assistance support to Residential Care Children & Youth (RCCY) provider agencies statewide since 2006. Eleven RCCY provider agencies are located throughout the state, from Barrow to Ketchikan, and may offer short-term emergency shelter as well as more long-term residential treatment. Children and Youth served in RCCY facilities range in age from newborns to eighteen year olds.

We help staff at RCCY homes and programs meet licensing & accreditation requirements by providing necessary training in de-escalation skills, managing aggressive behavior, suicide awareness & prevention, child development, trauma informed care and FASDs. We also offer courses, such as “Residential Child & Youth Care Professional,” which can lead to professional certification for direct care staff. Specialized training is offered on subjects such as early childhood mental health, cross-cultural awareness, and LGBTQ youth in care. We host an annual “RCCY Providers’ Training Summit” in Anchorage, attended by all 11 RCCY agencies, as well as by key staff from the Division of Behavioral Health and Division of Juvenile Justice.

Our training is needs-based, goal-driven, and data-informed; utilizing ongoing assessment and evaluation at every step of the training process. We know that every program is unique, and that in the training world one size does not fit all. We use ongoing data collection and solution-focused customer service to tailor our training to the needs and goals of each facility. To meet individual provider’s training needs, we travel to remote locations, develop trainings online and create new trainings. We offer traditional classroom training, web-based training through our learning management system, blended learning (combining classroom and web-based), training materials and resource lending, and nationally recognized certification in residential childcare and behavior management. We use innovative strategies to support programs, such as on-going clinical and programmatic consultation services and the development of a network of in-state experts in various disciplines within the field.

The AK Child & Family training department has dedicated staff with experience and expertise in all aspects of training, and of clinical and community interventions. The department also has an established relationship with UAA’s Clinical and Community Psychology doctoral program, and we frequently host practicum students from that program, who bring additional up-to-date knowledge and skills to our agency.