Child Welfare Supervisors
Supervision influences just about every aspect of the Child Welfare arena. Supervisors set the tone and expectations in the work environment; they ensure how policies are followed, and what practices are used. Supervision has been found to be the single biggest influence on employee retention. However, many supervisors, while chosen for the position of a supervisor based upon their good work as a caseworker, don't receive formal training in supervision. The UND Children and Family Services Training Center and the Children and Family Services Division of the Department of Human Services have long believed that effective supervision leads to be better outcomes for children and families.
Child Welfare Supervisor Training Opportunities
The training and development of Child Welfare supervisors is a key component to the recruitment, training and retention of quality workers which leads to those positive outcomes.
Leadership Academy for Supervisors
The Leadership Academy for Supervisors ( LAS) is a blended learning program for experienced child welfare supervisors. The core curriculum consists of six online modules each followed by a face to face or webinar activities, (Leadership Academy for Supervisors Learning Network or LASLN), where participants can network with facilitators and other learners to discuss and reinforce what has been covered in the previous module. The curriculum entails 30 contact hours of training and includes two tracks: a personal learning plan to develop leadership skills and a change initiative project to contribute to a system change within the agency.
North Dakota has completed their first cohort of the Leadership Academy for Supervisors with nine participants successfully completing all of the modules and creating change initiative projects that have supported North Dakota’s Jurisdictional Change Initiative: “Building our Child Welfare Systems Capacity Through Supervisory Mentoring and Training. “
The LAS is a free web- based leadership training for experienced child welfare supervisors. We make every effort to schedule the face-to-face sessions around the Human Service Zone Supervisor’s meetings in Bismarck to reduce the time commitment and travel expenses. There is a commitment needed by the individual as well as the agency to support the process and the requirements.
Leadership Academy for Supervisors Contact
Interested or have additional questions? Contact Rachel Behm at 701.777.6089.
Foundations of Supervision
The UND Children and Family Services Training Center acknowledges the importance of supervision in child welfare and we believe that good supervision can lead to better recruitment, training and retention of quality workers leading to better outcomes for children and families. The Training Center, along with the Children and Family Services Division, has developed a comprehensive foundation training for supervisors.
Child Welfare Supervisor Foundation Training consists of four sessions:
Administrative Supervision in Child Welfare
Supervisors will be able to manage the feelings and duties related to making the transition to management while responding effectively to staff and their needs. Participants will examine their own leadership style and identify where changes or accommodations, may be necessary to enhance effectiveness. Team development and group cohesion is also imperative in worker success, and supervisors will identify group stages of development and strategies to address group conflict effectively. Participants will learn the four types of feedback and basic steps in providing that feedback effectively.
Educational Supervision in Child Welfare
Learning the style of each worker and learning to adapt how we teach and develop staff is a critical skill for supervisors. Supervisors will learn strategies that will enhance the learning and development of workers and how to facilitate the transfer and integration of knowledge and skills to the job. Supervisors will learn the importance of, and how to, create an environment that promotes education, individual growth and professional development.
Leadership & Supervision in Child Welfare
The supervisor is essential in providing staff with the vision of the agency, and is a main determinant on how the staff will weather the ongoing change conditions. Participants will identify the four change conditions and how they impact staff and how we can ensure that continued growth is the outcome. Participants will also learn about the four domains of strength-based leadership as well as the difference between management and leadership, and why both are important. Lastly, leadership is also a critical factor in the recruitment and retention of quality staff, participants will learn strategies that will assist in both areas.
Basics of Clinical Supervision in Child Welfare
Supervisors will learn the importance of personal templates and how they influence the decisions made by employees. Strategies to address templates that may be negatively impacting practice will be identified. Supervisors will also learn the importance of individual and group supervision and how both can be effective. Strategies in scheduling, preparing, and presenting will be identified. Lastly, we will address the importance of how supervision can be an integral piece to workers conducting quality contacts with families and how to promote critical thinking as they address safety, permanency and wellbeing.
Another important aspect to Supervision Training is the idea of Transfer of Learning: taking the information that we learn back to our agency and implementing it into our daily practice. How many of us attend training with every intent on making changes in our practice and approach, only to get back to our office and due to time and demands, simply do things the “same old way”. To practice Transfer of Learning there will be a webinar scheduled for participants 4-6 weeks after each sessionto talk about how we have implemented the changes at our agency. This will also provide us with time to discuss and receive support from other supervisors about barriers, what has worked, and what has not. Allowing us another opportunity to learn from each other.
Supervisor Training Contact
Rachel Behm, LMSW
UND CFSTC Training Coordinator