Seneca's Institute for Advanced Practice was created during the late 1980s to facilitate the training of employees so that the highest quality of care would be provided to California’s most severely troubled children and families. In the late 1990s the Institute expanded to train providers who work with youth in out of home care throughout the Bay Area. The agency’s merger with Kinship Center in 2011 included the merging of the Seneca Education and Training Institute with Kinship’s Education Institute. The two training departments were well aligned in the vision and goals to bring cutting edge trainings to staff, professionals and parents (kin, adoptive, foster).
The Institute’s core goal is to continually improve staff’s ability to provide excellent care that is informed by new developments in the field, including evidence-based practices and best practices. To that end, the Training Institute supports the training and implementation of evidence based practices throughout Seneca Family of Agencies and beyond. In addition, the Institute includes the National Institute for Permanent Family Connectedness (NIPFC) headed by Bob Friend who provides and oversees permanency training and technical assistance nationwide. Partnering closely with child welfare agencies, court systems and community partners, training and coaching focuses on a number of permanency topics ranging from targeted trainings on reinvigorating and sustaining learned practices to inspiring and improving practice to meet the challenges presented in order to achieve permanency for all who are served. In May 2012, NIPFC launched a new website (www.familyfinding.org) and had the honor of having the practice of Family Finding added to the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare database.