CAI Training Resource Center

Training Opportunities and Programs

CAI has been providing innovative, high quality education, training and technical assistance services to agencies that serve low-income communities since 1979. Over the past three decades, CAI has evolved into an internationally recognized and respected organization that continues to adapt and improve, using innovative strategies to address emerging issues that impact vulnerable populations globally. Committed to providing collaborative and strategic services, CAI focuses on connecting the perspectives of all concerned—from managers and funders, to grantees and clients – to build a better service organization.

Currently CAI offers a wide range of training and technical assistance services that can be adapted to your organization's needs.

Training Programs

“16 and pregnant”: Providing Services to Adolescents

Adolescence is a time of growth – both physically and emotionally. Though many adolescents (ages 12-21) may be mature in appearance, due to developmental issues, they function differently than adults. Adolescent development impacts behaviors as well as how individual's process information and make decisions. This one-day training provides additional guidance on understanding adolescents and present strategies for maximizing staff interactions with teens as it relates to healthy behaviors.

Basic Nutrition for Front Line Staff

"What are whole grains? Why do I only get low-fat milk in my food package and not whole milk?" Have you ever been asked a question about nutrition information and had no idea what to say? This one-day training program provides support staff with basic information that will improve not only their knowledge about nutrition but also their ability to effectively interact with participants. Join us for a fun interactive day to learn about food and its impact on health!

Breastfeeding…It’s What We Do! Basic Competencies for All Staff

This training helps build staff awareness, skill, and competency in the ability to provide breastfeeding support and encouragement. This program covers:
• The national health objective goals for breastfeeding.
• How to identify best practices for establishing a good milk supply.
• The role of all staff in promoting, supporting, and protecting breastfeeding.
• How to move mothers from worry to confidence.

Cultural Diversity

This one-day training program focuses on how culture can impact the messages we send and receive. Trainees learn about how to build rapport with and engage participants in meaningful conversations and avoid "cultural collisions". The training also examines common threads throughout cultures as a method to increase cultural competency.

Enhancing Customer Service

The most important goal of all service providers is to have a satisfied customer. Satisfaction is often measured by interpersonal relationships with staff and staff's ability to manage dissatisfied customers. Another important aspect is the extent to which the service is convenient to the customer. In this one-day program, trainees identify and examine those elements that lead to participant satisfaction with services and explore how to enhance the participant's level of satisfaction with the clinic experience. Trainees learn and practice skills that can enhance customer service, including:
• Communication skills for different methods of communication (face-to-face and telephone).
• Identification of and response to participant feedback that is both positive and negative.
• Setting and maintaining a participant-centered environment that is both user-friendly and convenient.
• Communicating messages appropriately and sensitively in order to encourage and support participants.

Finessing the Front Desk

The pulse of every agency is the front desk area. It's where families are greeted, phones calls are managed, and participants arrive for appointments and wait to be seen. With so much activity, front desk staff must feel comfortable juggling many responsibilities, while still ensuring the clinic runs smoothly and participants are satisfied. This training highlights tips for managing this challenging yet crucial task. As a result of this program, attendees will:
• Apply best practices in front desk management.
• Increase skills in handling challenging participants.
• Manage telephone responsibilities.
• Discuss methods to maintain clinic flow.

Improving Communications with Spanish Speaking Participants

Hola. ¿se habla español? If you have ever felt at a loss with how to communicate with your Spanish-speaking participants, this training is for you. You will spend one day immersed in the Spanish language and culture. Using experiential exercises, role-plays, repetition, games, and practice conversations, you will learn:
• Common greetings and polite expressions.
• How to talk to participants about nutrition and medical information.
• How to help families with forms.
• And much more!

Interviewing Skills for Behavior Change

This two-day training focuses on developing trainee skills in using various techniques to engage and support participants through behavior change. Using the spirit of Motivational Interviewing, an evidence-based strategy that has been proven effective in increasing participant motivation and commitment for behavior change, trainees learn how individuals are motivated to change and the role providers can play in this process. Fun interactive activities will be used to practice techniques for supporting participants in developing outcomes-based behavior change plans.

It's Not Me, It's You: Working with "Difficult" People

Working together is an essential component of providing quality services in any organization. Although we relate to some colleagues quite easily, effective teamwork can be challenging with those we find "difficult." As professionals, we cannot simply avoid the individuals we find challenging. We are all responsible for finding productive ways to work together. This workshop presents a framework for staff to learn about the different working styles and explore practical strategies for engaging more successfully with others at work. Trainees will have the opportunity to explore:
• How different interaction styles can impact the work environment.
• Their strengths and weaknesses in interacting with others.
• Strategies to help that will improve their communication with co-workers.

Management Skills

Leadership and management skills are pivotal to program success. This training focuses on the skills and knowledge managers need to possess in order to grow and develop staff, including an examination of strategies for managing change. Attendees will have an opportunity to develop or enhance supervisory skills utilizing case studies and other relevant practice scenarios and will:
• Explore the differences between managing and leading.
• Examine issues of managing staff, including "difficult" or "marginal" employees, providing feedback, cross-training staff, balancing performance issues with personal life situations.
• Demonstrate coaching skills and knowledge of the steps to performance appraisals
• Strategize how to assist local agencies in moving to "greatness" over the next few years.
• Develop strategies for cross-training and task shifting to create a more cohesive work force.
• List some of the stages of organizational change and how to utilize them strategically.

Participant-Centered Group Facilitation

To facilitate group discussions effectively, staff need to be able to maximize participant involvement in identifying discussion topics and to elicit interactions among group members. This training program provides opportunities for trainees to learn and practice group facilitation skills including:
• Encouraging group participation.
• Working with group dynamics.
• Managing conflicts as they arise in the group.
• Setting and maintaining group norms and boundaries.
In addition, trainees practice using communication skills and cultural competency in a group setting.

Peer Counselor Training

Peer counselors provide a unique and effective form of breastfeeding support. This program will help get your peer counselors up-to-speed on the critical information they need to work with prenatal and breastfeeding participants, including breastfeeding basics, counseling skills, breast anatomy, birth plans, the first days of breastfeeding, latch, and positioning.

Public Health Detailing

As programs start and continue to roll-out public health detailing campaigns to build relationships with medical providers in their communities, many will find that the communication skills of the staff person(s) selected to do the detailing will have a strong impact on the success of the initiative. This program provides public health detailers with fundamental skills such as making the first introduction, integrating key messages into presentations, and using motivational interviewing techniques to engage medical providers. In addition, trainees examine strategies for identifying medical providers in their communities and discuss methods for developing record-keeping systems.
After taking this program, participants will be able to:
• Demonstrate building rapport in initial conversations with providers.
• Be able to name 3 steps in the sequence of a detailing visit.
• Develop strategies for prioritizing public health detailing efforts.
• Give examples of which materials to use in support of agency detailing goals.
• Describe how to use active listening to roll with resistance and overcome objections.

Rapport Building & Behavior Change

During this program, trainees discuss the importance of engaging participants in decision-making and will practice using key communication skills to build and enhance rapport with participants. In addition, trainees explore environmental, cultural, and socio-economic issues, using a participant-centered, strength-based approach to enhance rapport. Through a variety of activities and role plays, trainees learn and practice key skills including:
• Validations and affirmations.
• Reflective listening.
• Questioning techniques.
• Engagement strategies.
• Ways to create a positive environment.
• Nonverbal communication techniques.
Understanding the process of behavior change is also very important for staff who educate and counsel participants and promote change. An introduction to an evidence-based theory called the Trans-Theoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM), also known as "Stages of Change," will be presented. The model involves "staging" a client in terms of their readiness for behavior change, then utilizing appropriate strategies to support them through that stage.