Quality Improvement Centers on Child Protective Services

  • Collins-Camargo, Crystal (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The heart of the SR QIC approach is the establishment of leaming lclboralories. Funded projects vvere required to establish or enhance a partnership between the public child welfare agency university and community. This partnership--·rather than individual agencies-plans, implements, and evaluates the intervention. Within the learning lab, social work educators, researchers. students, frontline practitioners and community participants are all simultaneously teachers and learners, so that practice is informed by research and education, and professional education and research are, in turn, informed by practice. The growing authenticity of the partnership is as important as the target intervention, because the experience of this partnership-in- action can later be applied to any of the significant challenges facing public child welfare today. During the first year of SR QIC work, a needs assessment and literature review was conducted to identify the knowledge gap that would be the focus of funded research and demonstration projects. It was clear from a convergent analysis of the results of the needs assessment and from the review of the literature on social work supervision that the field would benefit from research into the impact of structured methods of clinical casework supervision on child protection practice. Current supervision practice in public child welfare has become focused on administrative aspects of supervision due largely to the complexities of reporting and accountability requirements. This comes at a great cost of which agencies are very aware in statr turnover, worker competence and skill, and potentially in adverse outcomes for the families being served. Most casework supervision practice is characterized as triage, in which workers come to the supervisor with a crisis or complex casework problem and the supervisor directs what they should do. This approach, along with many aspects of the traditional child welfare system, promotes a less clinical and perhaps less effective approach to child protection casework-Dne that focuses on case management and the documentation of activities, not treatment outcomes. Agency administrators, supervisors and workers alike have expressed a desire for quality casework supervision and specifically techniques focused on the educational and supportive roles of supervision. Projects funded by the SR QIC were asked to encompass the following supervisory emphases and activities in the clinical casework supervision models they are testing: • Scheduled individual or group supervision conferenccs; • Promoting enhanced worker critical thinking skills; • Opportunities for workers to engage in self-reflection, to examine and consider ways to improve their practice; • Identification of important casework questions that get to the heart of issues related to the family maltreatment and apply the knowledge gained in assessment and treatment; • Worker skill and focus on evidence-based practice, both in looking to the professional literature lor guidance in casework and in the implementation of program evaluation which promote an outcomes orientation to their work with families: • The establishment of an organizational culture in which SUPP011,learning, and clinical supervision and consultation are encouraged; and, • The use of case review, observation, and similar methods by supervisors to assess worker skill and gauge progress.
Effective start/end date9/30/019/29/05


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