NCWWI Workforce Excellence Site Overview:

Arkansas Department of Children and Family Services (AR DCFS)
University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR)

NCWWI Workforce Excellence Initiative 

The AR DCFS Workforce Excellence project vision for the workforce is “a diverse, courageous, and empowered team of individuals working together to improve outcomes for children and families. We are united. We are invested. We are community-driven. We are world-changers.”

In partnership with NCWWI and UALR, the AR DCFS is working toward strengthening their workforce by focusing on staff recruitment and selection; worker safety; supervisory support and training; and racial equity and inclusion.

Key Assessment Findings

Strengths include:

  • Staff are committed to serving children and families with innovative and best practices
  • A teamwork-oriented supportive culture
  • Dedication to enriching staff practice and support through training and resources

Challenges include:

  • High levels of time pressure, job stress, and work-related burnout
  • Increased turnover due to COVID-19
  • Need to improve supervisory support and training
  • Lack of dialogue around racial equity and inclusion

Implementation Activities

  • Conducted the Comprehensive Organizational Health Assessment (COHA) in 2019, with over 1,000 staff and a response rate of 90%. A Second COHA is planned for May 2022
  • Convened and operated a statewide Implementation Team to analyze workforce data, launch action teams, and coordinate and guide workforce development efforts statewide
  • Delivered the Leadership Academy for 17 agency supervisors, and coaching training for 12 coaches
  • BSW Stipends awarded to 9 students through UALR, 5 have graduated as of May of 2022
  • Implementation Team and leadership teams meet regularly to advance the work
  • Convened a Recruitment and Selection Workgroup to host listening sessions for 35 hiring managers to provide input for updating the DCFS Hiring Guide
  • Three Workforce Action Teams in operation:
    • One NW and one SE Regional Team focusing on supervision and worker safety
    • Statewide Racial Equity and Inclusion Team
    • Team facilitator selection, orientation, and ongoing support