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What type of staff training should Service Coordinators obtain?

North Bergen Housing Authority (North Bergen, NJ)

North Bergen Housing Authority
(North Bergen, NJ)

Service Coordinators should be trained in the skills needed to run a successful ROSS program. Some grantees obtain local or online trainings for their Service Coordinators and other property staff who work with residents. ROSS program regulations allow program funds to be used for training and travel related to the Service Coordinator’s professional and/or program development. ROSS training and travel funds may not be used for other grantee staff. Service Coordinators may travel to attend out-of-state training conferences. However, prior approval for all expenses relating to training and travel must be obtained from the HUD Field Office or Area Office of Native American Programs.

Trainings can focus on a range of topics, including:

  • ROSS Program administration – Can ensure that program staff are aware of, and up to date on all requirements and regulations associated with the ROSS program. In addition to policy changes, topics may include ethics and confidentiality, record-keeping and reporting, grants management, and preparation of communications or outreach materials;
  • Skills building – Designed to enhance Service Coordinators’ skills needed to support ROSS program participants, such as conducting needs assessments, goal-setting for residents, case management practices, and helping participants overcome barriers. Service Coordinators can also use grant funds for specialized trainings to deepen their professional expertise in cross-cutting areas – such as trauma-informed care and crisis management, motivational interviewing, and co-active coaching. Trainings can also cover specialized topic areas that may be relevant to ROSS program participants, such as mental health, substance abuse, financial literacy, and digital skill-building; and

Building specialized skills

See Working with Residents, in this guide, for links to more information on building specialized skills in areas such as trauma-informed care, motivational interviewing, and co-active coaching.

  • Trainings to support working with specific populations – Service Coordinators should seek trainings that enhance their capacity to work with specific populations. For example, trainings for Service Coordinators who work with elderly people can help them better identify and address cognitive challenges associated with the aging process. Specialized training can help Service Coordinators work more effectively with families by helping Coordinators recognize signs of spousal or child abuse, design programs for special-needs youth, and address issues faced by single parents.

ROSS Service Coordinators can look to a variety of sources for external trainings (see textbox).

Training providers

Sources for external training include:

  • Local councils on aging or senior centers, home health providers, hospices, or nursing homes.
  • National industry organizations or trade associations focused on service coordination, housing, and/or aging.
  • Local hospitals for training on disease prevention and health-care topics.
  • Colleges and universities with programs in early childhood development, counseling, gerontology, social work, and substance abuse/rehabilitation counseling programs.
  • Organizations focused on the prevention, treatment, or management of specific diseases or conditions.

Drawn from HUD’s Service Coordinator in Multifamily Housing Program Resource Guide