NCWWI Workforce Excellence Site Overview:

Georgia DCFS | University of Georgia | Georgia State University
Albany State University

NCWWI Workforce Excellence Initiative 

Through its partnership with NCWWI, Georgia Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and their University Partners seek to enhance child welfare system reform efforts through their “blueprint for change.” Georgia wants to strengthen their implementation of workforce development strategies to improve performance and client outcomes by:

  • Improving alignment of university curriculum with DCFS priorities.
  • Developing DCFS managers’ and supervisors’ adaptive leadership skills.

Key Assessment Findings

Strengths include:

  • Strong leadership and committed staff.
  • Supportive peer-to-peer relationships.
  • Positive organizational climate.
  • Robust community engagement.

Challenges include:

  • Recruiting and hiring qualified staff.
  • High levels of job stress and burnout.
  • Managing workload.
  • Supervisor supports.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion issues.
  • COVID-related stress in workforce and families.

Implementation Activities

  • Stipends awarded to 25 students across the three partnering schools of social work.
  • Leadership Academy (LIFT) installation completed. 12 Leadership Academy Coaches and 6 Trainers were trained. The first cohort completed LIFT in May 2021 and included 16 DFCS staff.
  • Implementation Team assesses workforce needs, plans strategies, and supports implementation work of Action Teams, Leadership Academy (LIFT), and University Partners. A quarterly e-newsletter, In the News, supports holistic agency awareness of workforce-focused activities.
  • Action Teams meet monthly to prepare to implement strategies to improve workforce effectiveness. Intersession assignments facilitate planning and implementation of selected strategies. Two new Action Teams will go live in Regions 5 and 8 in June 2021.

Strategies Overview

  • Students are recruited from within the workforce with special attention to diversity. Strategies for support of transition to work are being developed for graduates.
  • Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) to be implemented across students, faculty, and DFCS leaders.
  • Existing Action Teams will implement strategies to improve work conditions and workload including peer support, mentoring/onboarding and teaming.
  • Survey data from staff will be used to develop a post-COVID return to work plan that meets staff needs.
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