Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Great Expectations: Implementing a High-Stakes Testing Program in Maine


This paper describes the initial inception and development of a child welfare pre-service testing program in Maine. In 2007, the Maine Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) and the University of Southern Maine began to develop a high-stakes test that child welfare trainees must successfully complete prior to securing employment in the regional offices. The purpose of the program was to ensure that trainees graduated with sufficient mastery of child welfare fundamentals, and to increase credibility of the profession and training program. One of the main objectives of test development was to create a comprehensive set of assessment tools that could reflect the considerable range of job expectations on the typical caseworker. This came to include a knowledge test, skill assessment and field practice review. This paper will review the early accomplishments and challenges in developing a multi-]layered testing program.

Publication Type: 
Report (Conference Paper)
Publish Date: 
January 1, 2009