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

Through partnerships with NCWWI, Allegheny County Children, Youth, and Families and the University of Pittsburgh, NCWWI’s Workforce Excellence Initiative aims to transform the child welfare workforce system by attracting diverse, motivated, caring people who are committed to personal and professional development, family and community partnerships, and anti-racist practices.  Providing training and professional development ensures a culture of continuous improvement and respect for and among staff.

Allegheny CYF Vision Statement: Allegheny County CYF provides a clear pathway for equitable and trauma-informed professional growth across all levels and all stages of development that lead to best practices and superior outcomes for staff, children, families, and communities.

Key Assessment Findings

Strengths include:

  • Strong leadership support and commitment
  • Hard working, caring, and committed staff willing to improve the organization’s mission
  • Strong training and curriculum for frontline staff
  • Strong relationships with key university partner, providers, and community partners

Challenges include:

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

Implementation Activities

  • The University of Pittsburgh has awarded stipends to 14 students and 6 have graduated. These students are new to child welfare.
  • Delivered NCWWI Leadership Academy that included training 16 Leadership Academy Coaches and 8 Trainers. 10 managers in the first training cohort completed the program. In the second cohort, 13 managers are attending the Leadership Academy each month from February 2022 to June 2022. They are supported by 11 coaches.
  • The Implementation Team meets monthly to assess workforce needs, discuss strategies, and support the Leadership Academy and the work of Action Teams
  • Two Action Teams have met monthly since October 2020 to plan strategies to improve supervision through a racial equity lens. The two teams have merged in order to work together to facilitate planning and implementation of selected strategies. The Action Teams will pilot strategies in May 2022.

Strategies Overview

  • Action Teams focus on supervision, strategies, and data to support practices around racism and implicit bias; the teams use Pathway to Change to think critically about supervision and race equity
  • Some Action Team members are also members of the Racial Equity Impact Assessment Team that could provide sustainability for future action teams
  • The Leadership Academy is strong in Allegheny County DHS, and plans to sustain the implementation of the Leadership Academy are ongoing