Child Welfare Case Manager Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the cut off period and requirements for grandfathering in Case Managers and Protective Investigators?
The FCB will accept applications for certification through reciprocity (grandfathering) from October 1, 2011 through September 31, 2012 at no cost to the applicant or employer. Applicants will be required to complete an Application for Certification through Reciprocity. Please see the application for details.
- Does the certification and recertification process take into account supervisors qualifications?
Initial certification requires that direct supervisors sign-off on specific field-based work experiences. The Child Welfare Advisory Board will recommend criteria for serving as a qualified supervisor for certification purposes. Recertification requires completion of annual continuing education units (CEUs) and there is not a supervisory role in verifying CEUs.
Supervisor-level credentials will be included in the grandfathering program. The FCB will be developing supervisor specific credentials in early 2012.
- Will FCB allow for multiple certifications i.e. Case manager, Investigator, Supervisor, Adoption Specialist, Independent Living?
The FCB will be establishing credentials for Protective Investigators, Protective Investigator Supervisors, Case Managers, Case Manager Supervisors, Licensing Counselors and Licensing Counselor Supervisors. The need for credentials in these three disciplines for specialists, as well as credentials for other child welfare disciplines, will be established if a need is identified.
- Will FCB maintain a provision for decertification?
Yes. Individuals may lose their certification if they grossly break the FCB code of ethics or if they fail to renew their credential.
- How often will each case manager be required to apply for re-certification?
Child welfare credentials are valid for a two-year period and must be renewed every two years.
- In what capacity will the current Performance Assessment be utilized and will FCB use a Performance Assessment?
The FCB will not continue to use the FBPA as an assessment instrument. The FBPA is not psychometrically valid or reliable for credentialing purposes. However, all FCB credentials require proof of work/field experiences. We expect that the Child Welfare Advisory Board will establish an alternative to the FBPA.
- Will a case manager be required to pay for recertification during inactive status?
A credential may remain on inactive status for a maximum of three years. While on inactive status, no fees are required. Reinstatement of an inactive credential requires payment of a reinstatement fee, payment of the current renewal fee and submission of current CEUs. After three years of inactive status, a new application must be completed and all current certification standards must be met.
- How many credentials can I hold?
The FCB does not limit the number of credentials that a professional can hold. During reciprocity, the FCB issued all of the credentials that the applicantís employer verified. At renewal time, the individual will determine how many credentials to keep, as there is a separate renewal fee for each active credential.
- Is the FCB issuing supervisor or specialist credentials?
Currently, the FCB is only issuing supervisor and/or specialist credentials in a limited capacity. These credentials are issued to (1) individuals certified through the reciprocity process, and (2) individuals who were in the process of earning the supervisor or specialist certification prior to January 1, 2012.
- When will the FCB start issuing supervisor or specialist credentials to other employees/certification applicants?
A date has not yet been determined. Current efforts are focused on the development and implementation of credentialing programs that identify and measure attainment of the core competencies necessary to safely and competently perform as a protective investigator, case manager and licensing counselor.
The FCB believes that once individuals demonstrate attainment of core competency, the employer should be able to determine where to best deploy certified professionals. Certification does not measure a personís ability to supervise others Ė it does measure a personís knowledge and skill base in a given field.
FCB believes there should be progressive credentials that indicate increased competency rather than discipline specific credentials that are focused on job titles. For example, instead of developing a credential ladder of Protective Investigator, Protective Investigator Supervisor, and Protective Investigator Specialist, there can be a Protective Investigator I, Protective Investigator II, and Protective Investigator III. Certified professionals move from Level I to Level II or Level III based on their increased experience, knowledge and skill base, and other measures. Employers would determine if they are going to require staff to hold certain credentials in order to hold specific positions (for example, one employer may decide that supervisors must hold a Level II or Level III credential in order to supervise staff, another employer may decide that supervisors must hold at least Level I certification and complete agency supervision training in order to be eligible to supervise staff.)
Until further notice, individuals holding FCB certification, regardless of credential title, can be deployed in any child welfare position requiring certification so long as the employer deems the certified individual is capable of performing the job duties assigned.
- My agency just promoted a certified protective investigator to a supervisor position. The investigator holds the FCB issued Child Welfare Protective Investigator (CWPI) credential. Does the new supervisor need to earn a supervisor credential to hold this position?
No. The individual has demonstrated core competency in child welfare. It is the employer's responsibility to ensure the individual is a good fit for the supervisor position.
- We want to hire someone for a supervisor position who has never held certification in Florida. What do we need to do?
Treat the individual like any other hire without a credential. Hire the individual and assist them to earn certification in one of the three disciplines: Protective Investigations, Case Management or Licensing.
- My credential was issued through reciprocity on March 1, 2012. The credential expires on October 31, 2013. This is not a two-year period. Why is it not valid until March 1, 2014?
By statute, the FCB is required to offer a no-fee program to transition currently certified professionals from the Departmentís certification program to the FCB certification program. The FCB reciprocity program opened on November 1, 2011 and runs through October 31, 2012. Credentials awarded during this one year period expire on October 31, 2013 regardless of initial credential award date.
- If all credentials renew on October 31st of the calendar year, how does the two-year period work out for initial certification?
The certification cycle for child welfare may be slightly less than two-years when an initial certification is renewed. Credentials awarded in the first three quarters of a renewal year are set to renew at the next two-year cycle. Credentials awarded in the last quarter of a renewal year are set to renew according to the following two-year cycle.
Reciprocity Certification Award Date
Reciprocity Certification Renewal Date
On-going Certification Renewal Date
November 2011 – October 2012
October 31, 2013
October 31, 2015
Initial Certification Award Date
Initial Certification Renewal Date
On-going Certification Renewal Date
November 2011 – July 2012
October 31, 2013
October 31, 2015
August – October 2012
October 31, 2014
October 31, 2016
November 2012 – July 2013
October 31, 2014
October 31, 2016
August – October 2013
October 31, 2015
October 31, 2017
November 2013 – July 2014
October 31, 2015
October 31, 2017
- My agency is COA accredited. We want to be able to offer continuing education to both employees and non-employees. What status do I need to apply for and what are the fees?
Apply for the Accredited In-house Provider and Public Provider status. The FCB will award a single provider number with coding indicating approval for both employee and public participants. An example of a provider number for this situation is Provider 123-EP (Actual Provider Number, Employee, Public). The fee to apply for both statuses is $200, the fee to renew both statuses is $150 per year.
- My agency is not accredited, but is currently engaged in the accreditation process. How can we provide continuing education credit for events we offer/sponsor while we are not accredited?
Agencies actively engaged in the accreditation process should apply for Accredited In-house Provider status. The FCB will award a provisional provider number, which will be valid until accreditation is awarded. Upon accreditation award, the provisional designation will be lifted. An example of a provider number for this situation is Provider P123-E (Actual Provider Number, Employee, Public). Should accreditation be denied, the FCBís Child Welfare Advisory Board will review training events offered under the provisional provider status and determine if awarded hours will be accepted or rejected.
- Will FCB honor the training hours currently in Skillnet?
The FCB will accept documentation generated through Skillnet as official documentation for training hours. Training hours recorded in Skillnet can be used for initial or recertification purposes.
- Will FCB require case managers to input hours into Skillnet?
No. The FCB does not require the use of any particular Learning Management System (LMS).
- Where do you see the trainer's role in the process?
From the FCB perspective, trainers are not involved in the credentialing process. Employers select and manage trainers to provide training and other services as necessary to prepare employees to earn and maintain certification.
- Since HB279 does not require trainer certification, how will FCB ensure that case managers and Protective Investigators are receiving information that is based on statutes, policy, procedure and best practice?
It is the employer's responsibility to procure training from qualified sources. If applicants do not learn the information necessary to perform core competencies, they will not be able to pass certification examinations.
- What qualifications is FCB requiring from the training source i.e. qualification of the trainer/training, degrees, certificates and professional associations?
The FCB does not establish or require trainer qualifications for initial certification. CEUs for recertification purposes must be earned from a qualified provider. Qualified providers meet one of the following:
- Are an FDOE or CHEA accredited college or university.
- Are approved by another state or national certification or licensure board.
- Are offered by an FCB approved provider. Please see http://www.flcertificationboard.org/Training_How-To-Become-An-Education-Provider.cfm for program details.
- Is there any reconsideration for the certification of trainers?
Not at this time. To assist in the transition, the FCB will issue Trainer Certification credentials to currently certified trainers. These credentials will expire October 31, 2013.
- Will FCB have a policy that distinguishes between classroom and online training?
The FCB allows classroom, field and on-line training.
- Where will the test be administered, how will each applicant gain access to the test and is there a schedule of test and test sites available?
The FCB has a program to allow entities to apply to be a test site. Approved applicants are able to offer paper/pencil or on-line examinations. Test sites may set their own testing schedule. However, applicants may not take a test until they receive approval from the FCB.
- Will study guides available to candidates for testing, and if so, what is the cost?
There is no study guide at this time, but there eventually will be one. It will be written to the core competencies, not to the test. There will be a fee, but it is undetermined at this time.
- Who will be responsible for the administration of the test?
The FCB is ultimately responsible for test administration. We have a process by which employers can apply to be a testing site. Approved test sites may establish exam administration schedules according to their own needs. However, exams must only be administered to FCB approved applicants.
- Who is responsible for proctoring the test?
The test can be administered by FCB proctors or trained test site proctors.
- How long is the test(s)?
The maximum amount of time for the test administration is 3 hours (assuming a 150 item exam).
- What is the method for gaining access to test results?
Test results are only released to the examinee. The employer can request or require that an employee sign a release of information allowing the FCB to report exam results to the employer.
- Is there a test writing workgroup responsible for providing input on the tests?
Yes. All items are written by subject matter experts (SMEs) and are validated by another set of SMEs.
- When will the competencies be published?
The core competencies for three disciplines (PI, CM Licensing) have been drafted and we expect them to be finalized in November 2011.
- Is there a test writing workgroup for the Foundation and Advanced tests and if so, how can I become involved?
The FCB will be soliciting nominations for item writers. The solicitation will be provided to all child welfare employers. We expect to begin item-writing efforts in November 2011.
- Will employers be privy to the number of test retakes?
Test information is only released to the examinee. The employer can request or require that an employee sign a release of information allowing the FCB to report the number of exam attempts to the employer.
- What mechanism will you have in place to determine if the clinical supervision took place as well as determination of the efficacy of the clinical supervision?
The Child Welfare Advisory Board will recommend standards for clinical supervision, including documentation and sign-off requirements. FCB certification specialists will verify authenticity of documentation.
- Who is responsible for providing the clinical supervision?
The Child Welfare Advisory Board will recommend standards for clinical supervision, including criteria to serve as a qualified supervisor for credentialing purposes.
- Can the FBPA serve as clinical supervision?
The Child Welfare Advisory Board will recommend criteria to serve as a qualified supervisor for credentialing purposes.
Florida Certification Board
- Does our company contract with your agency for services? If so, when are we to initiate this with your agency?
The new certification process went into effect Oct. 1. Employers do not contract with the FCB. Certification is an individual process between the applicant and the FCB. The FCB is willing to discuss options to contract with an employer to provide credentialing services to a group of employees.
- Who provides Quality Assurance or oversight for your agency?
The FCB is a member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), which administers the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) certification accreditation program. FCB conducts all credentialing activities according to ICE and NCCA standards. The FCB will apply for NCCA accreditation for its child welfare programs to provide additional quality assurance to consumers of FCBís services.