September is Child Welfare Workforce Development Month. While recognizing the need for ongoing development, we must make sure we are looking to developing ways to support child welfare workers by building capacity.
An unplanned and underfunded strain on unemployment insurance agency systems will inevitably happen again; the question is not if, but when. So how can you ensure you are maximizing the capacity of your existing trained staff and serving as many customers as possible with the resources you have every day?
Fueled by increasing demands to improve federal measures and strengthen parental engagement activities and at a time when programs are experiencing significant staff attrition, decreasing budgets, and stagnant collections, child support programs are under extreme pressure to rethink how they serve children and families.
To effectively prepare for, navigate, and manage redetermination and associated program backlogs that will undoubtedly develop in the coming weeks and months as agencies unwind PHE, here are five critical steps agencies can take.
Our child welfare systems can feel like we are in a game of Jenga. We are attempting to grow and expand our systems by moving pieces one by one - while stretching our limited capacity. But with each move, the entire system risks collapse, particularly with worker shortages.
Strategies to create a system that is aligned, prepared, and has the capacity needed to meet demand…regardless of the month, 365 days out of the year.
Emerging Stronger When the Public Health Emergency Ends: How Agencies Can Make Room for the Upcoming Wave of Renewals and New Customers
When the public health emergency (PHE) and pandemic waivers come to an end, agencies must renew all existing Medicaid recipients. For many agencies already struggling with staff capacity to meet existing demand, they will no doubt be overwhelmed. To help agencies prepare for and tackle the wave of renewal workload, we offer specific steps that agencies can take to meet this increased demand.
Redefining Social Worker Appreciation: How to create a system of capacity rather than a position of sacrifice
What if, instead of working so hard to appreciate the sacrifice, child welfare leaders took a long look in the mirror to see why social workers must sacrifice work-life balance in the first place? Maybe the question isn't about how we appreciate social workers well. Maybe the real question is how we get off the hamster wheel and create system capacity, so appreciation is reserved for a job well done, not to make up for a personal life lost.
The goals associated with Family First are both noble and needed. If we do not fix our capacity crisis in child welfare, we may never see the results we hope to achieve.
Never Getting Behind Again: How One Child Welfare Agency Used the Pandemic to Transform Their Work to Help Children and Families
How the Indiana Department of Child Services used the pandemic to transform their work to help children and families.