Training and Staff Development

SWS trainers know how to make training interesting and effective. They have real-world experience with the topics they present. They employ adult learning principles and Accelerated Learning techniques to make learning interesting and creative.

SWS training staff can build a training event especially geared to your workforce or develop a written curriculum to meet a particular need. The need for training or staff development often arises from the findings of evaluations and studies. We listen to our customers, but we also advise our customers on what we believe the outcomes of findings mean for them.

Trainings and staff development are based in adult and experiential learning and methods. Curricula are developed in close coordination with program and management staff.

SWS staff can develop a training program specifically for your organization or you can choose from one of our existing topics.

Upcoming Events



Recent Customers

  • Community Link of Charlotte, NC
  • S.C. Department of Education
  • School Social Work Association of America
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • Midlands Technical College
  • Hospice of Charlotte, NC
  • SC Upstate AHEC
  • SC Department of Health and Environmental Control
  • HOPEworldwide
  • Association for Experiential Education
  • University of South Carolina Supportive Housing Services
  • SC Afterschool Alliance
  • City of Spartanburg, SC
  • 200 21st CCLC subgrantees

Workshop Topics

Unless stated otherwise, all workshops listed are full-day events (5 to 6 hours). Events can be delivered on-site or at our training facility.

  • Professional Ethics for Social Workers and Counselors
    Should a therapist ever counsel a former lover or accept a client's gift? Some boundaries are obvious, like beginning a sexual relationship with a client, while others are less clear-cut. How do you decide when a boundary has been breached? Human service professionals are vulnerable to a wide range of ethical pitfalls. This workshop will give an overview of dilemmas in professional ethics and provide principles to "light the way" for human services professionals who are struggling in the dark with these issues. Participants will learn about ethical guidelines pertinent to several human service professions and have an understanding of ethical decision-making principles.
  • Professional Ethics for Supervisors, Managers and Consultants
    Ethical dilemmas facing "macro" social workers are somewhat different from those facing direct service workers; they are nonetheless urgent and real. Social workers who supervise others or who work independently may have few opportunities for consultation and feedback from peers about the ethical issues that often come with leadership. This workshop will present some ethical perspectives for social work managers and provide a safe environment in which to share ideas about solutions to common ethical problems.
  • Keeping in Balance: Identifying and Building on Family Strengths
    Families seeking assistance are often characterized as "chaotic," "multi-problem," or "dysfunctional." Working with these families can be frustrating for professionals and equally frustrating for the families. How can professionals find and build on positives with these families? How can you change the focus from failure to future? How can you establish and work on realistic goals? How can workers keep a healthy personal perspective? This workshop will offer some tools to reframe the situation and discover strengths in unexpected places.
  • Understanding the ADD/ADHD Child
    Is there an "epidemic" of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the US? Are medications for this disorder over-prescribed? What about the effectiveness of alternative treatments? AD/HD affects from three to five percent of all school-age children in this country. Children with this diagnosis have difficulties in functioning at school and in the community. Parents, teachers and helping professionals may become frustrated in dealing with these children, who often fall into a pattern of failure. However, with the proper interventions, children diagnosed with AD/HD can succeed in school and in life. Learn to separate the myths from the evidence in this practical workshop.
  • Brief, Solution-Focused Methods with Youth
    Solution-Focused, Brief Therapy (SFBT) is a positive and future-oriented model built on the principle of visualization. The primary thrust of the approach is to help the client construct solutions by focusing on the future, on the positive, and on what they want to be happening. This practical model is process and goal-oriented. The workshop will address how to apply the key principles of SFBT to children, pre-adolescents and their families.
  • Early Intervention with Aggressive Adolescents
    When adolescents are belligerent, argumentative and defiant, parents can feel bewildered and the helping professionals whom parents approach for assistance can feel helpless. Left unchecked, aggressive teen behavior can lead to negative consequences, such as violence, institutionalization or incarceration. The seminar will use a coordinated cognitive-behavioral approach that incorporates early intervention methods and resources. Helping professionals can employ these methods with parents and teens to intervene in the cycle of belligerent and aggressive behavior.
  • An Introduction to Facilitating Experiential Groups
    Novice group leaders will learn the basics of group process and the essential skills for facilitating an activity-based approach. Participants will build a toolkit of methods for using experiential activities with groups at various stages. These activity-oriented approaches are suitable for staff development and client groups. The workshop will be highly experiential.
  • Advanced Group Activities Facilitation
    Experienced group facilitators will enhance their skills in choosing, conducting and constructing effective group activities. The emphasis will be on using structured activities and focused processing to further the purposes of any therapeutic or life skills group. The workshop will provide not only a theoretical foundation in adventure-based methods but will also enhance facilitation skills through live feedback and coaching. The training group will be kept small to allow for individual attention from the trainers. All participants will have leadership practice time within the session.
  • Using Animals and Adventure in Counseling
    Adventure-based counseling uses the challenge of physical risk to foster desired change in attitude, feelings and behaviors. The degree of physical risk is determined by the abilities of the client. Adventure-based counseling engages the whole person physical, intellectual, emotional and social in the change process. It does so through the careful use of planned, purposeful activities that are chosen to meet the needs and abilities of the clients. Adventure based counseling provides the counselor with a set of flexible tools to be used with almost any client population as an adjunct to or central part of the treatment process. The additional benefits of using the human-animal relationship as an adjunct to therapy will be explored.
  • Train the Trainer: How to Use Whole Brain Methods to Make Training Effective
    Be prepared to sample a smorgasbord of delights on Adult Learning. There's not enough time for a full course meal so it will be a "TAPAS" bar of sorts - a chance for you to get a "taste" of Adult Learning theories, methods and experiences to make your lessons and presentations even more effective. You will also discover how Accelerated Learning approaches can help you mobilize the learner's whole brain to increase the success of training. This workshop is designed for individuals who train others.
  • Leading Teams in Health and Human Service
    Leadership is sometimes a solo job. After all, the buck stops with you. However, as a leader, you need to accomplish your aims primarily through others. How do you lead if no one follows? Doing more work with fewer people requires teamwork. High performance teams are the obvious answer. But this will not occur naturally! Teamwork requires a different way of thinking, specific skills and techniques, and a supportive workplace culture. Discover proven ways to bring others on board, share your vision and work cooperatively with you in the long term care setting. In addition to presentation and discussion, this seminar will include participatory experiences to energize you in building effective work teams.
  • Survive and Thrive in Tough Times with Customer Input
    What do funders, consumer and other customers expect of your human services program? Knowing what key stakeholders want is a key to survival. Participants will learn about their customer chain. They will learn ways they can listen to and learn from their customers and thrive by meeting or exceeding those expectations. They will learn how to use customer information to support their funding strategy. The workshop will incorporate case material from the participants.
  • Personal Resilience in the Workplace
    Human service professionals are prone to career-related stress. Research indicates that awareness of one's values is a key factor in dealing with adversity and setbacks, including the stresses of work. The session will promote greater self-awareness and offer tools for participants to cultivate resilience in life and work. The workshop will be highly interactive.
  • Women and Management: Stepping Up to Leadership
    Leadership Theory will be examined with a special emphasis on feminist theories of power sharing. Self-assessments and small group activities will help participants explore their current leadership style. Participants will assess skill and knowledge gaps and develop plans to build on their leadership strengths.
  • Promoting Social Justice (1/2 day)
    Social work is a profession based in a core ethic of social justice. Doing his or her part towards achieving social justice is a responsibility of every social worker. This seminar will help the individual social worker explore how he or she can met this responsibility. The participants will use current events to consider issues, barriers and solutions related to social justice in the US and internationally.
  • Effective Supervision: Let's Talk (1/2 day)
    This introductory workshop will cover the basics of communication in supervision. It is designed for new supervisors who have been promoted from the ranks.
  • Understanding Military Organization and Culture
    This course is designed for individuals who are not familiar with the US military but who have to interact with military personnel and organizations as part of their job. The workshop and materials focus on the structure of the branches of the military as well as the unique cultural norms. Participants will receive a detailed handout that includes terminology and definitions.
  • The ABC's of Working in Communities on Environmental Issues
    This workshop was originally developed for personnel in a state environmental agency. It uses an experiential approach to help professionals from varied disciplines work together in teams. The content includes key concepts in the environmental movement, understanding communities, risk communication and other relevant issues.