The roles of the child welfare supervisor in guiding practice and in retaining child welfare workers are well established in the literature. In this article, we discuss a framework for child welfare supervision that was developed and implemented in the state of Iowa with support from the Children’s Bureau through a five-year grant to improve recruitment and retention in public child welfare. The framework supports family centered practice through a parallel process of supervision reflecting these guiding principles: strength-based, competency-based, culturally competent, reflective, individualized to workers’ learning styles and stages of development, and aimed at enhancing worker skill, autonomy, teamwork, and commitment to the organization. We present key elements of the framework, an overview of implementation, and evaluation results regarding knowledge gain, use of skills, and rates of worker retention.
Key Take Away Points
- We present a detailed discussion of a framework for child welfare supervision developed through a Children's Bureau funded demonstration project on improving recruitment and retention in public child welfare.
- Development of the curriculum reflected a parallel process to strength-based, family centered child welfare practice.
- We present evaluation results regarding knowledge gain, use of skills, and workforce outcomes.
Miriam J. Landsman, PhD, MSW, is an associate professor of social work and Executive Director of the National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice at the University of Iowa. She was the Principal Investigator for the Children’s Bureau funded grant on improving recruitment and retention in public child welfare and is current the Principal Investigator for the National Resource Center for In-Home Services, part of the Children’s Bureau’s Training and Technical Assistance Network, and a member of the executive steering committee for the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute . Professor Landsman has published numerous articles on the child welfare workforce and on family-centered child welfare practice.
Lisa D’Aunno, JD, is Director of Training at the National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice and adjunct associate professor at the University of Iowa School of Social Work. Lisa is also the project director for the National Resource Center for In-Home Services, a service of the Children’s Bureau. As an attorney, social work administrator, and trainer, Lisa has worked exclusively in child welfare and child custody issues for twenty-five years. Lisa co-authored portions of the University of Iowa child welfare supervisory curriculum, “Committed to Excellence through Supervision”, supported with a grant from the Children’s Bureau. Lisa worked for 8 years as the Director of Best Practice Projects for the Illinois DCFS Office of the Inspector General, taught law and social work at the University of Chicago School of Social Services Administration, and was an assistant clinical professor in the Michigan Child Advocacy Law Clinic and co-director of the Interdisciplinary Project on Child Abuse and Neglect at the University of Michigan School of Social Work.
This project was funded by the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Grant #90CT0111.
Landsman, Miriam J. and D'Aunno, Lisa
"Developing a Framework for Child Welfare Supervision,"
Journal of Family Strengths:
1, Article 10.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/jfs/vol12/iss1/10