The stressful and ever-changing work of child welfare, in particular, requires skilled and adaptable leaders. “To be an effective leader means to deeply reflect on events that surround oneself that have reference to how you see your own behavior and actions influencing others. To reflect means to know oneself, to be consistent with one’s self, and to have a positive and strengths-based orientation toward one’s development and the development of others.”  Leveraging Effective Practice (Avolio, 2005). 

The Leadership Academy curriculum includes the use of two different assessments to expand participants’ self-awareness as a leader.  You will need to explore your agency’s capacity for implementing these two specific assessments as reflected in the Leadership Academy 360° Assessment and StrengthsFinders Assessment Planning and Delivery timeline.

360° Assessment

NCWWI evaluators developed a 360° assessment and the behaviors identified in the assessment are based on the NCWWI Leadership Competency Framework and reflect the core competencies necessary to be a successful child welfare leader.

The purpose of a 360° assessment is to provide leaders with information on their workplace performance through self-reflection and feedback from supervisors, colleagues, and staff who work closely with them.  This facilitates enhanced insight into how aligned they are with key constituents and provides avenues for leadership development and improvement. 

The 360° assessment is designed to: 

  1. Allow managers to reflect on their leadership behaviors along the dimensions that would be addressed in training
  2.  Enhance participants’ leadership development by highlighting areas they could focus on improving as they progressed through the training
  3. Move evaluation efforts beyond reliance on self-report measures of leadership knowledge and skills to gathering objective data from others, allowing for a more rigorous program evaluation

How results are transmitted, and what mechanisms are in place to support learning and assistance are important predictors of whether the 360° leads to continuous improvement efforts. Using the 360° Feedback Guidance for Coaches provided in the Coaching Guide, coaches ensure participants understand the feedback, process their feelings about the feedback, and consider areas for development. 

There are costs associated with administering the NCWWI specific 360° assessment.  The 360° assessment is complementary to the Leadership Academy and is recommended but not required.  Please contact the Leadership Academy Team if you are interested or seeking additional information. 

An alternative to administering the 360° assessment is the Leadership Self-Assessment included in the NCWWI Leadership Development Toolkit. This assessment is based on the NCWWI Leadership Competency Framework and reflects the core competencies to be a successful leader but this is strictly a self-assessment and does not include the opportunity for feedback from others. 

StrengthsFinders Assessment

Strengths Based Leadership asserts that individuals gain more when they build on their greatest talents rather than when they try to correct their weaknesses. “The path to great leadership starts with a deep understanding of the strengths you bring to the table.” Rath & Conchie, 2008, p 3 New York, NY: Gallup Press.  Enhancing one’s effectiveness as a leader involves the practice of investing in strengths. 

The Academy recommends the StrengthsFinders assessment and references this work in the curriculum.  Costs are associated with this assessment so while it is recommended it is not required. 

If your agency does not have the financial resources for the StrengthsFinders assessment you can utilize another alternative assessment, such as those provided in the Leadership Academy Discovery Tools, that provides opportunities to deepen self-awareness and informs reflection on the use of self as a leader in their decision-making and how their beliefs and behaviors impact others.