• We Are Child Welfare

    We Are Child Welfare

    What do child welfare workers do? Learn about the important role these hard-working individuals play in supporting families, youth, and children in your community. Explore
  • Welcome to the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute

    Welcome to the
    National Child Welfare Workforce Institute

    Our purpose is to increase child welfare practice effectiveness through diverse partnerships that focus on workforce systems development, organizational interventions, and change leadership, using data-driven capacity building, education, and professional development.
  • The NCWWI Leadership Academies Curricula & Training Materials

    The NCWWI Leadership Academies Curricula & Training Materials

    The NCWWI Leadership Academies provide supervisors and managers with opportunities to become skilled in leading change, fostering collaborations, implementing results-oriented decisions, and leading people. This online and in-person curriculum, along with step-by-step implementation guides, are now available! Explore
  • Online Learning Opportunities

    Online Learning Opportunities

    Access engaging, interactive online learning that builds skills in leadership, workforce development, and change implementation. Explore
  • National Webinar Calendar

    National Webinar Calendar

    This comprehensive list includes free webinars that are sponsored by a range of organizations, including NCWWI. Explore
  • Workforce Development Framework

    Workforce Development Framework

    The newly updated Workforce Development Framework (WDF) guides agency leaders to improve the health of their child welfare workforce. Explore
  • Real Stories From the Field

    Real Stories From the Field

    Learn about workforce success from all over the country. Explore

Webinar held August 14, 2013

Child Welfare Staff Engagement & Retention in Washington DC: Alternative Work Schedules, Telecommuting & Other Supports, was the ninth 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 shares how the Office of Youth Empowerment, in strong partnership with the Department of Human Resources, has sustained the highest retention rate at the DC Child & Family Services Agency (CFSA) for the last four years by offering frontline staff (1) alternative work schedules [either 4 day workweeks or 1 day off every 2 weeks], (2) telecommuting [work from home up to 2 days per week], and (3) other supports to augment the success of these strategies [such as improved technology, teambuilding activities, and opportunities for career growth]. Participants learn about the essential elements of the CFSA’s employee engagement and retention strategies, including their development, implementation, and outcomes, as well as lessons learned and tips for other agencies seeking to better support, engage and retain their own child welfare staff.

Presenters include:

  • Sarah Thankachan, LICSW, Administrator, Office of Youth Empowerment, DC Child & Family Services Agency. Ms. Thankachan has led the Youth Empowerment team for the past five years, and has close to 11 years of child welfare experience in the District of Columbia, with a primary focus on serving older youth in foster care.  She leads a team of 48 employees including case management staff who work directly with older youth in foster care.  She is also a 2011 alumni of the NCWWI Leadership Academy for Middle Managers.
  • Dexter Starkes, Director, Human Resources, DC Child & Family Services Agency. Mr. Starkes has been with the CFSA for nearly five years, serving in the capacity of Employee & Labor Relations Manager before becoming HR Director. Mr. Starkes has 14 years of HR experience and more than 20 years of management experience that he relies upon in managing through both routine and complex HR issues. He has been responsible for implementing employee engagement and retention strategies to support CFSA retention efforts.


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