NCWWI Workforce Excellence Site Overview:

Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Children Youth and Families
University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work

NCWWI Workforce Excellence Initiative

Allegheny County and University of Pittsburgh aim to transform the child welfare workforce system so that it prepares, recruits, hires, and advances the dedicated professionals needed to strengthen children, youth, and families by:

  • Attracting diverse, motivated, caring people who specialize in child welfare.
  • Providing training and professional development ensuring a culture of continuous improvement and respect for and among staff.

Key Assessment Findings

Strengths include:

  • Strong leadership support and commitment.
  • Hard working, caring, and committed staff supportive of the organization’s mission.
  • Strong training and curriculum for frontline staff.
  • Strong relationships with key University Partner, providers, and courts.

Challenges include:

  • Workload, job stress, and work conditions impact retention and staff effectiveness.
  • Lack of frequency, availability, and accessibility of supervisors.
  • Integrating inclusive and racially equitable practices in agency and with families.

Implementation Activities

  • The University of Pittsburgh has awarded stipends to 14 students and 5 have graduated.
  • Delivered NCWWI Leadership Academy that included training 16 Leadership Academy Coaches and 8 Trainers. 10 managers in the first training cohort completed the program.
  • Implementation Team meets monthly to assess workforce needs, plan strategies, and support implementation work of Action Teams.
  • 2 Action Teams meet monthly to plan and implement strategies to improve supervision through a racial equity lens in addition to the work of the Racial Equity Impact Assessment Team.

Strategies Overview

  • Provide supervisors with formal supervision, feedback, and tools; training and coaching to support reflective practices around racism and implicit bias; and opportunities to think critically about practice and structural racism.
  • Engage in ongoing and culturally reflective process to assess and address performance so all staff have equitable opportunities to develop and advance as leaders.
  • Conduct learning circles to support innovative practices to address microaggressions and reduce implicit bias and structural racism in work with families.
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