What Works for the Workforce: Leadership Competencies in Action

Building a Culturally Responsive Workforce: The Texas Model for Undoing Disproportionality & Disparities in Child Welfare

Webinar held May 8, 2013

Building a Culturally Responsive Workforce: The Texas Model for Undoing Disproportionality & Disparities in Child Welfare,was the eight session in What Works for the Workforce: Leadership Competencies in Action – A National Webinar Series on Leading Change to Strengthen the Child Welfare Workforce.

This session highlights a collection of strategies for building a culturally responsive workforce based upon the Texas Model for Addressing Disproportionality & Disparities, a framework that encompasses (1) data-driven strategies; (2) leadership development; (3) culturally competent workforce development; (4) community engagement; (5) cross-systems collaboration; (6) comprehensive training systems defined by anti-racist principles; and (7) a systems-wide understanding of the history of institutional racism and its impact.

Presenters detail the Texas Model’s key components, implementation, and outcomes, as well as share specific workforce development innovations designed to infuse cultural responsiveness into all program areas, interventions, and practice enhancements throughout the state. Finally, the presenters offer lessons learned and tips for agencies seeking to build a culturally responsive workforce and eliminate disproportionalities and disparities in their own child welfare organizations and systems. Presenters include:

  • Joyce James, LCSW-AP, Associate Deputy Executive Commissioner, Center for Elimination of Disproportionality & Disparities (the Center) at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).Ms. James began her career as a CPS caseworker in 1980 and has an impressive 33-year history in the field of child welfare and systems transformation. Ms. James previously served as the Assistant Commissioner for the Texas CPS Program and as Deputy Commissioner for the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services (DFPS). The Center was created in September 2010 out of recognition of Ms. James’ strong and effective leadership and a desire to expand the Texas Model for Addressing Disproportionality & Disparities, created under her leadership, to all systems under the umbrella of HHSC. In 2011, SB 501 established the Center in law and created an interagency council of which Ms. James serves as chair. Ms. James also serves as a Commissioner on the Supreme Court of Texas’ Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families and the Juvenile Justice Committee, has published many articles on her work, and has received numerous awards for her leadership, advocacy, and willingness to speak out on disproportionality and disparity.
  • Tanya Rollins, MSW, CPS State Disproportionality Manager, Texas Department of Family & Protective Services. Ms. Rollins has worked in the Texas child welfare system for 22 years as an investigator, intake specialist, intake supervisor, training specialist, and training manager. In her current position, she is charged with examining the racial and ethnic disparities in the child welfare system while working with internal and external partners to eliminate these disparities. Ms. Rollins has been instrumental in the implementation of the Knowing Who You Are project in Texas, is one of six Knowing Who You Are coaches in the United States, and provides consultation to other states interested in implementing this curriculum. She is an adjunct faculty member at University of Phoenix and Park University, where she teaches courses in cultural diversity, team work, communications, popular culture, minority relations, and youth culture. Ms. Rollins is also a graduate of the NCWWI’s Leadership Academy for Middle Managers (LAMM).


1-page summary