The Future of the CFSTC


Ashley Marquis

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines


The College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines is highlighting the CFSTC for its many years of outstanding service. Several articles are planned to focus attention on the accomplishments of the center and its many distinguished employees over the years. This article concludes that process with a look at the future of the CFSTC.

Over the last thirty years, the Children and Family Services Training Center (CFSTC) at UND has been seen as a national model for collaboration between a state human services agency and a university. Throughout the years the CFSTC has brought about different changes and many accomplishments and appears to have a bright future for continuing the training and education of social workers and foster and adoptive parents around the state of North Dakota.

UND social work professor, Roger Johnson, said that at the time he was director in 1984 he did not imagine that the training center would stay open for so long since it was funded with grant money and that usually over long periods of time the funding is gone.

"I think it has been successful because of the strong leadership and commitment from both the Department of Human Services and the UND Department of Social Work," Johnson said. "What keeps it going is satisfaction of the product, that is the key to it being so long term and successful."

Former chair of the Social Work department, Ken Dawes, agrees that a key part of the success is the strong partnership between an administrative organization and an educational organization.

Not only does the CFSTC continue to keep a strong partnership they also have plans to expand the services they provide in the future. Current director for the CFSTC, Peter Tunseth, says in the next couple of years the CFSTC will focus more on being trauma informed and how to integrate that in all of our training.

Secondary trauma focuses on being knowledgeable about the kind of trauma children are experiencing and how the social workers actions could affect those experiences. Secondary trauma also involves understanding various traumas and how to respond to them, and how that response can contribute to the trauma. Being more informed about the issue of secondary trauma will enable social workers to make decisions that inflict the least amount of trauma.

The CFSTC also hopes to make more staff available for online training. Online assignments are required for certain classes and the foster PRIDE education program can be completed online with digital curriculum. Tunseth said he would like to expand on this aspect of the training center.

Tunseth also mentioned that the oil boom in the western portion of North Dakota has increased the need for human services in those areas and that will impact the amount of social workers needed in those areas. This could result in more training and potentially ways to deal with such growth.

"I see a continuing strong relationship with the Children and Family Service Division such as we respond to what they need and vice versa," Tunseth said.

Overall, the CFSTC has no plans to slow down anytime soon and will continue to be a vital part of the states well-being.

"It is a valuable resource that the state really wants to hang onto because of its importance," Johnson said.