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Child Welfare: Education to Practice

Total Credits: 1.0 including 1 Category II CEs

Special Offers
Brandi Stocksdale, MSW ‘07 |  Christopher Wirt, LCSW-C, MSW '03 |  Lori James-Townes, MSW
1 Hour 15 Minutes

Please Note: Programs with a ☾ insignia begin after 5pm or air on the weekend.


The UMSSW Alumni Association will host four virtual “Critical Convos” events in October. The “Critical Convos” events look to create dialogue and facilitate conversations on critical topics relating to social work education, research and the role of the profession in the community and beyond. Our newly elected Alumni Association Board of Directors President, Lori James-Townes will serve as host and moderator for each event. We hope you can join us for at least one if not all, this fall.


Brandi Stocksdale, MSW ‘07's Profile

Brandi Stocksdale, MSW ‘07 Related seminars and products

Brandi Stocksdale is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW-C) and was appointed Director of the Baltimore City Department of Social Services (BCDSS) in November 2020. Ms Stocksdale has held multipe leadership positions and worked in the many capacities in the field of child welfare and human services in Maryland for more than nineteen years. Ms. Stocksdale is especially proud to lead the same agency where her career began in 2002 as a social work student intern. 

After graduationg with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University o Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Ms. Stocksdale went on to earn her Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. After graduating college, she joind BCDSS as a Child Protective Services Intake and Assessment Social Worker, later becoming a Clinical Supervisor before joining the Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) as a Program Manager for Substance Exposed Newborns. Ms. Stocksdale subsequently was offered and accepted several advanced leadership positions within the Social Service Administration at DHS, culminating in her serving as Deputy Executive Director of Programs with oversight responsibility for 24 local departments. While at DHS she graduated from the Leadership Development Initiative. 

Ms. Stocksdale is committed to promoting child safety and family well-being in Baltimore City by increasing opportunities to collaborate with child and family serving providers, hospitals, schools, city government agencies and many other partners. 

Christopher Wirt, LCSW-C, MSW '03's Profile

Christopher Wirt, LCSW-C, MSW '03 Related seminars and products

Christopher Wirt, LCSW-C, MSW '03 
Director of Title IV-Education for Public Child Welfare
University of Maryland School of Social Work

Christopher Wirt is the current Director of Title IV-Education for Public Child Welfare at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Chris has been a part of the University of Maryland Title IV-E Program since 2011, where he has served in roles as a seminar leader, trainer, assistant director and acting director of the program. In addition to his work in Title IV-E, Chris teaches courses focusing on Child Welfare Practice and Motivational Interviewing.  

Before joining the University, Chris worked in direct practice for ten years in Maryland’s Child Welfare system, where he worked primarily with teenagers in foster care, followed by six years of supervising the Adoption Unit at the Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services.  

Chris has been a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) since 2018 and has offered MI Training to a wide variety of professionals, focusing primarily on using MI in a Child Welfare setting. In providing this training, he has enhanced the training with the innovative use of Standardized Clients to allow students the opportunity to learn, practice, and be tested on their clinical skills in a simulated setting.  

Chris has presented at national conferences on topics related to Motivational Interviewing and Child Welfare and has numerous professional publications, including co-authoring a chapter in Child and Family-Serving Systems: A Compendium of Policy and Practice, which is pending publication by the Child Welfare League of America and The Ohio State University.  


Lori James-Townes, MSW Related seminars and products

Lori James-Townes, MSW ‘91
President & CEO of Expand-Now


Lori James-Townes is President & CEO of Expand-Now. She also serves as an Assistant Training Director for National Association of Public Defense. Lori’s passion is adding value to others. Lori has over 25 years of teaching, clinical practice, leadership, and management experience in juvenile justice, mental health, and public defender settings. Her most recent public defender position, was Director Social Work, Leadership and Program Development, with Maryland Office of Public Defender. With over more than 800 employees, she served as one of the first Directors of Leadership in a public defender setting. While in this position, she demonstrated her ability to help others grow in the areas of teamwork, leadership, and management. She also led the agency’s social work staff, consultants, and interns.

Lori is certified John Maxwell Trainer, Coach and Speaker. She has developed programs that are now national models for other agencies. In 2015, The Daily Record Newspaper named her as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women. As a speaker, she is requested both nationally and internationally.  

Lori has held various leadership positions on national organizations and Boards of Directors. Her commitment to growth has been recognized as organizations have appointed her to serve as Conference Chair for several national conferences and training programs.  Lori also serves as a faculty member for national and regional leadership development, trials skills, training and programs, including but not limited to: National Alliance of Sentencing Advocates and Mitigation Specialist Gideon’s Promise, National Legal Aide and Defender Association, Administrative Offices of the Courts (Training Branch), MD Department of Human Services, and other private and non-profit entities.

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how Child Welfare practice quickly adapted to meet the unique challenges of the global pandemic.
  • Develop a realistic understanding of both the challenges and rewards of working in a Child Welfare agency today.
  • Participants will understand the multiple roles of Social Workers in Child Protection and the different services that are provided by child welfare agencies
  • Participants will understand the role of Social Work education in preparing students for effective professional practice in public child welfare.

Live Interactive Webinar Platforms




The Office of Continuing Professional Education hosts Live Interactive Webinars through two platforms: Zoom and WebEx.

Both platforms offer high quality and user-friendly webinar platforms for our registrants.


System Requirements:

  • Operating Systems: Windows XP or higher; MacOS 9 or higher; Android 4.0 or higher.
  • Internet Browser: Google Chrome; Firefox 10.0 or higher.

Our system is not compatible with the Safari web browser.

  • Broadband Internet Connection: Cable, High-speed DSL and any other medium that is internet accessible.

**Please have your device charging at all times to ensure that your device does not lose power during the webinar.


Course Interaction Requirements:

To participate in Live Interactive Webinars, you MUST have a device that allows you to view the presentation on screen and hear the instructor at all times. We do not allow participants to call-in from their phones or mobile devices and solely listen to the presentation. Participation in Live Interactive Webinars is mandatory.

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