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.
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.
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.
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.
The new promise of CCWIS is to build systems that support and coach and help caseworkers move the work.
Every work system has its point of constraint, and that's the place to focus on to increase the organization's capacity. You're only as good as your weakest link.
Only by addressing the capacity crisis up front, before changing practice, can the goals of Family First be achieved. At Change...
But black belts, "Lean" t-shirts and TQM posters are forever. Well, not really.