Racial Identity Development and Child Welfare



ONLINE COURSE | Instructor: Jessica Pryce, M.S.W., Ph.D.
CEs: 1.25 | Level: Intermediate

Date of original webinar: August 19, 2019, noon - 1:30 p.m. ET

This online course will examine racial identity development and the importance of understanding one’s own racial identity. Participants will learn the different stages of Racial Identity Development. This will bring awareness to how one’s racial identity impacts one’s work with families. Family separation and the trauma that lingers when a child is removed from their family will also be discussed, in addition to the ways privilege shows up in our work and what we can do to create a safe space for our often subjugated clients to be seen and heard. Finally, there will be a discussion about how to identify one’s own stage of racial identity development as well as how to engage others at different stages of identity development.

Target Audience:

Social workers and other social service providers.

Course Delivery Method and Format:

Recorded webinar, self study. All courses are hosted on SmithOnline. Login information will be emailed immediately after registration to the email address entered during registration.

System Requirements:

Attendees will need access to a computer with internet and the capability to play recorded videos.

Registration Fee and Deadlines:

Fee: $30 (one time registration fee of $5) | Ongoing

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define stages of racial identity development.
  2. Identify one’s own individual racial identity development.
  3. Describe the importance of family connection.
  4. Explain at least two ways to engage others who are at a different stage.


  • Introduction
  • Discussion of the states of racial identity 
  • Each participant recognizes their own stage and the stages of their close friends/family
  • Exercises on how to engage others who are at a different stage
  • Discussion of how racial identity impacts our interactions with colleagues and clients 
  • Q & A

Instructor Biography:

Jessica Pryce, M.S.W., Ph.D., is a faculty member at Florida State University and is currently the executive director of the Florida Institute for Child Welfare. For the past 10 years, she has been involved at multiple angles of child welfare (direct practice, teaching/training and policy and research). She has published on child welfare-related topics such as, training and education, racial disparity and anti-poverty practices. Pryce has presented research at 30+ conferences both nationally and internationally. She is the author of several op-eds focused on racial disparity and effective strategies to impact racial disproportionality within child welfare. Her TED Talk on “Implicit Racial Bias in Decision Making” has since been viewed over 1.2 million times. Pryce has worked on the frontlines of child welfare, conducted primary research, been a policy advisor to Florida’s legislature and taught graduate level courses in child welfare. Pryce has held positions of child protective caseworker with the Department of Children and Families, as well as deputy director of the University at Albany's New York State Education Consortium. In 2019, she received a 5-year appointment to the Advisory Board of the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, where she consults and advises on leadership and workforce interventions around the country. She currently sits on the Florida Dependency Court Improvement Panel alongside judges and advocates who are working towards a more trauma-informed approach within the judicial system. She has maintained and cultivated a commitment to the wellbeing of vulnerable children and families, the sustainability of the child welfare workforce and effectively addressing inequity. Her paramount goal includes re-building and leading a child welfare system that focuses on strengthening families instead of pulling them apart.

Completion Requirements for Recorded webinars and online courses.

To receive a CE certificate, you must complete the entirety of the recorded webinar or recorded video presentation. Partial credit will not be awarded to those who attend only a portion of the class. For recorded webinars and online courses, participants must complete an evaluation and a post test, noting the length of time to complete the course. Participants must earn a minimum score of 80 percent on the post test in order to earn CEs. Retesting is allowed up to five (5) times. If a passing score is not achieved, CEs will not be awarded. Links to the evaluation and post test are available in SmithOnline. Participants must also complete an attestation of completion for each fully completed course. A copy of the attestation is available in SmithOnline. It is attendee’s responsibility to contact their state licensing board/certification boards to determine eligibility to meet continuing education requirements.

How Will a CE Certificate Be Awarded?

Upon completing the course evaluation and successfully passing the post test, participants will be emailed their online certificate​ within 30 days of course completion​. ​Participants should save and/or print ​the certificate upon receipt for ​their records. Receiving the CE certificate is contingent on submitting attestion, completion of the evaluation and passing the post test.

Continuing Education Credits and Accreditation

Social Work CE Credit: The Smith College School for Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and is therefore authorized to provide CEs as a postsecondary institution accredited by CSWE in many states. Courses offered through the School's Program of Professional Education are awarded continuing education credits in accordance with Continuing Education Regulation 258, CMR, 31.00 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Smith College School for Social Work, Office of Professional Education SW OPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0169. If outside these states, please contact your licensing board for accreditation information regarding your state. Association of Social Work Boards database of social work licensure requirements. This course does not offer ASWB ACE credit. 

Psychology CE Credit: Co-sponsored training events for psychology CE credit with Smith College School for Social Work. Amego Prepare​ is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Amego Prepare maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Due to changes in continuing education requirements for NY licensed psychologists, APA CE Sponsor credits may not be accepted for re-licensure at this time. Please check the NY Psychology Board regulations for CE requirements currently in effect.

Further information on policies and CE accreditation can be found here.

Mary Curtin | Manager of Professional Education

Lilly Hall, 23 West Street, Northampton MA 01062

sswpe@smith.edu | 413.585.7970