REAL STORIES FROM THE FIELD

The Real Stories project is a multimedia collection of workforce development stories from students, faculty, and child welfare professionals at all levels. Each project provides unique, first-person insight into the impact that NCWWI initiatives and partnerships are having on workforce and child welfare practice across the country. Use these stories for lunch & learns, training, team discussions and more! 

Want to use these stories to inspire a rich discussion about innovative workforce development initiatives? Download the Real Stories Tool Kit which details the topics and themes of each story, along with questions to inspire critical thinking and guide a thoughtful discussion. 

Use map view to find Real Stories by location.

      

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  • Article
  • Podcast
  • Video
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  • Date
  • Jennifer Gerber thought it was impossible to complete a master’s degree while juggling the demands of a child welfare career. In this podcast episode hear how support from a traineeship program through the University of New Hampshire and the New
    Explore

    Your Next Career Move: A Child Welfare Stipend Program

    • Podcast
  • For decades, the approach to workforce issues in child welfare was crisis-driven. Workers were not sufficiently supported, and states struggled to meet outcomes. In 2008, this began to change when the Children’s Bureau funded the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute
    Explore

    Learning, Leading, and Changing

    • Video
  • When state and local child welfare agencies collaborate with schools of social work, the results can benefit both parties by properly preparing future—and current—child welfare professionals and helping ensure curricula remains topical and relevant to the current needs of the
    Explore

    Child Welfare
    Scholars

    • Podcast
  • Understanding the personal journey – or context - that leads people to a career in child welfare is an important part of being an effective leader. This story explores how the Director of Missouri’s Children’s Division has shaped his leadership style around
    Explore

    Leading Through Understanding The Role of Stories

    • Video
  • Effective supervisors must zoom in and out to get the full picture of any situation. Twan Stokes from Indiana Department of Child Services wanted to do something about the big issue of retention and she did it by zooming in
    Explore

    Changing Supervision Lenses: Zooming In And Out

    • Video
  • This podcast, developed in collaboration with the Child Welfare Information Gateway, shares an example of how one state changed its approach to staff development, as well as provides insight on the “must-haves” and lessons learned in moving away from isolated
    Explore

    A States Approach To Change

    • Podcast
  • The decision to embrace a system-wide workforce development approach may come from agency leaders, but sometimes the best ideas to deliver and sustain change can come from staff directly serving on the frontlines of child welfare. In this podcast episode,
    Explore

    Creating Change At A Local Level

    • Podcast
  • Anne Graham, a child welfare middle manager from New Hampshire, developed a much needed change initiative during her participation in the LAMM. Although her project addressed a serious gap in worker pre-service training, it took several years until she was
    Explore

    When Preparation Meets Opportunity

    • Podcast
  • As an MSW student at the University of North Dakota, Skye Albert received a NCWWI traineeship that sent her to work in a rural part of the state that was facing a child welfare crisis. Skye not only tackled the
    Explore

    A New Frontier For Child Welfare In Rural North Dakota

    • Video
  • The Missouri Children’s Division faced big challenges prior to 2014. Too many children were in out-of-home care, child welfare workers approached practice inconsistently, and the state was plagued by high staff turnover rates. This is the story of how the
    Explore

    Workforce Excellence In Missouri

    • Video
  • This is the story of 3 graduate students from the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare who were able to connect their research to practice through their NCWWI traineeships. After their research uncovered areas for improving local practice, they presented
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    The Power of Data For Learning And Changing

    • Podcast
  • Dana Jones, a Field Support and Training Manager in Missouri, was facing high staff turnover rates and an over-stressed child welfare system in her region. Through the LAMM, she developed a change initiative that has made a big impact on
    Explore

    For Missouri Field Support Manager. It's About Relationships

    • Article
  • Cherokee Nation Indian Child Welfare faced big challenges to move their agency forward. NCWWI signed on to assist and to do so had to change the way they operated, too. Together they faced these challenges to make a difference for
    Explore

    Weaving Together Agency Staff around Organizational Change

  • Trauma is real for both families and child welfare staff and can impact people in unique ways. Child welfare programs can address it by creating a culture of resiliency through multiple, culturally responsive strategies, such as offering trauma education, building
    Explore

    Addressing Trauma through a Culture of Resiliency

    • Video