Breakthrough Series Collaborative

Cultivating a Sustainable Workforce: A NCWWI Breakthrough Series Collaborative

In 2023, NCWWI launched a Breakthrough Series Collaborative (BSC) to improve the recruitment and retention of the child welfare workforce and build cultures that value justice, equity, diversity, and belonging.

We are working with four tribal and eight public multi-level teams to build anti-racist, anticolonial child welfare programs that support the well-being of the workforce and the families and communities they serve. Teams will design and test change strategies using Plan Do Study Act (PDSA), small tests of change strategies guided by a Collaborative Change Framework (CCF) based on the Surgeon General’s Framework for Workplace Mental Health & Well-Being.

Participating Teams and Collaborative Change Framework

Tribal Teams
  • Kenaitze Indian Tribe
  • Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
  • Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, East End
  • Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, West End
Public Teams
  • Illinois, Carlinville
  • Illinois, Harvey North
  • Kansas, Northeast
  • Kansas, Northwest
  • New Mexico, Southeast
  • Washington State, Seattle
  • Washington State, Spokane 
  • New York, Westchester County

Tribal Collaborative Change Framework

Public Collaborative Change Framework

Learning Session 1

On April 25-26, 2023, we convened the BSC teams in Albuquerque, NM, for our first of three in-person Learning Sessions, and it was a blast! The energy levels were high from start to end, and everyone was eager to get started. During the meeting, we focused on building relationships within and across teams and helping teams get to know the NCWWI Guides, who will support their work throughout the initiative. Teams engaged in deep discussions, a self-assessment of their workforce, shared ideas and left the meeting with an initial plan for trying new strategies to address their needs.   

Learning Session 2

Our second learning session was held in Kansas City, MO, on November 15 and 16, 2023. Throughout the two-day gathering, each team highlighted the small tests of change strategies they were testing and implementing in their agencies to improve worker well-being, build connection and community, and help with employee retention. While the two-day gathering was packed with insightful sessions, it was the speed-sharing session that came out as a clear favorite! Each team showcased one of their successful PDSAs, and other team members had the opportunity to walk around, listen in, and ask questions. The passion of the BSC team members and the community spirit was inspiring to see. The work that BSC teams are doing to build cultures that value justice, equity, diversity, and belonging is a shining example of how a small effort can lead to significant changes!  

If you have any questions about the BSC, or want to learn more, please reach out to Liz Smith or Amita Manandhar.