While it is wonderful to recognize the heroes during National Foster Care Month, we must also be aware of the realities of the foster care system and be willing to make a change. A change that will allow the heroes we celebrate to shine, unencumbered by complicated, outdated processes. If we take a glance through the lens of capacity, we will find a starting point so that we can do more good for children and families.
You Can’t Hire Your Way Out of the Staff Turnover Crisis: Addressing the Realities of Staff Turnover Through Process
Turnover is an unprecedented challenge that threatens the well-being of children. But staff is hard to find, harder to retain, and we are hiring back into the same systems that haven’t addressed fundamental challenges that have existed for decades. The only way to improve this reality to rethink our approach.
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.
For more than a year we shifted work to a virtual platform out of necessity, and as we safely return to in-person activities it would be easy to sprint as fast as possible back to “the way we did things before COVID-19”. But, what if instead of sprinting we took the time to pause and reflect? Perhaps some of our new virtual practices make child welfare better.
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.
Today’s child welfare train is working as hard as ever, with more weight - tasks, oversight, budget, limitations, and expectations - continually being added, and its network of policy tracks becoming increasingly more complex. To keep early intervention and prevention on track and move toward thriving families, here are key strategies to consider.
From Safety Decision to Reunification: Crossing the reunification finish line to regain capacity and help more children and families
Permanency for kids, is one of the most risky and critical decisions made in all of government and getting to the finish line is a laborious process with thousands of factors that will influence the time it takes to get there. But when we are there, our research shows we don't run through the finish line, in fact, our system has a propensity to start walking or even crawling at this phase when in fact, we should be sprinting once a permanency decision has been made.
The new promise of CCWIS is to build systems that support and coach and help caseworkers move the work.
We can make a difference, if we only stay focused on the root of the problems.