What We Do

Idaho Child Welfare Research & Training Center (ICWRTC) is a public entity that has long been a part of the Eastern Washington University College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Social Work (EWU CSBSSW).  ICWRTC was established as a partnership to support foster children and foster families (also known as resource families) as well as to provide the child welfare workforce with qualified and well trained workers. ICWRTC has evolved over the last 16 years to become a well-established contractor throughout the state of Idaho.

Because of the many individuals and working parts involved in the child welfare system, efforts are sometimes unintentionally lost in coming together with the most current and best practices to support the families and children involved.  Over time, ICWRTC has evolved to recognize and fill this gap by becoming a catalyst for collaboration within the child welfare system.  Our vision, to bring together the many hands involved in child welfare, by unifying them with one heart in the support of families has become the guiding light for our mission which is to develop and provide “gold-standard” quality programs, comprehensive “best practice” training and education, as well as developing and offering the highest levels of recruitment, education, retention and support of resource families. 

Idaho Child Welfare Research & Training Center’s central office, located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, supports the many skilled employees and contractors who carry out our vision and mission throughout the state. Because of the work we have done in providing quality programs that train, recruit and retain, develop and support our foster and birth families, ICWRTC has become an established provider to the Idaho Child Welfare community.  Currently, we have four main programs through which we serve our resource and birth families, children in care and the child welfare workforce.

Family Group Decision Making (FGDM)

ICWRTC holds a contract with Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to provide facilitation and to bring together the Department, family and resources in order to provide a child of concern with the best possible safe outcome when they have been or are in danger of being removed from the home.

Resource Peer Mentoring (RPM) and Retention

The RPM program is the recruitment effort in the state of Idaho that engages local experienced foster/adopt/kinship families to meet with individuals and groups to talk about the role of foster/adopt/kinship (resource families) to assist them through the application and assessment process. Resource Peer Mentors (RPM's) have already been through the process themselves and they provide mentoring and resources for new foster/adopt/kinship families.

RPM's help foster/adopt/kinship families become a resource family by:

  • Guiding them through the foster/adopt applicant process
  • Providing on-going support to licensed resource families
  • Connecting them with community resources and training/support groups

PRIDE Pre-Service Training

PRIDE stands for Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education. It is designed to strengthen the quality of foster care and adoption services. This training provides a standardized framework for the competency-based development and support of resource families. Consistent with the philosophy of teamwork, PRIDE training is co-facilitated by a team of ICWRTC PRIDE trainers, regional Health and Welfare staff and experienced foster parents.

PRIDE training is for people interested in becoming foster or foster/adopt families. It is geared to prepare families for the all important task of caring for children who have been removed from their homes. These training sessions also include kinship families providing temporary or permanent care for their relatives. A total of 27 hours of class time is offered in a variety of location and times. 

Child Welfare Scholars

The Child Welfare Scholars program helps to develop a highly trained workforce for students who are committed to practicing social work in Idaho in the field of child welfare. Through the Eastern Washington University College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Social Work, ICWRTC offers internships that are intended to provide the best learning environment for students in child welfare and learn "best practice" techniques.