Want to make child welfare reform that lasts? Invest in supervisors—the people who oversee, guide, support and coach frontline workers who are in communities every day. In our partnership with Missouri Children’s Division, we are training all supervisors in the agency to incorporate an orientation around wellbeing and the Five Domains of Wellbeing into their supervision of and work with staff. Training frontline workers without training their supervisors creates friction and undermines change. Children’s Division supervisors are being equipped to drive, support and reinforce the changes being made as their agency adopts a new practice model based on child and family wellbeing.
As one Macon County Supervisor said after the training, “I am excited about coaching my staff to challenge and change their perceptions of families who have repeat involvement with CD and to help them see these families with a new lens that tells a ‘different’ more positive story about who they are.”
By this fall, every supervisor in the state’s child welfare department, and the supervisors’ supervisors, will have been through a two day intensive training, provided in small groups with follow up coaching. The results are already becoming apparent—seeing families in the “full frame” of their lives, leading to more trust and better information, which in turn helps the system make more informed decisions on how to best support children and strengthen families.