© The Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD)
The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) is a state-supervised and locally- administered social services system. There are 120 local departments of social services (LDSS) composed of approximately 2,000 employees who are responsible for providing child welfare services.
VDSS partners with LDSS to provide child welfare services including prevention, child protective services, foster care, and adoption programs. VDSS provides leadership, oversight, statewide mandated training, quality assurance, strategies for developing the child welfare workforce and technical assistance to local agencies. The state supervised locally administered structure allows for variation across localities in hiring practices, human resource and child welfare policies and practices, salary decisions, and service delivery.
QIC-WD Project Overview
The Virginia project occurred in all 120 counties but data regarding the interventions were only collected from 18 local agencies. These included:
- Arlington County Department of Human Services (DHS)
- Bland County Department of Social Services (DSS)
- Botetourt County DSS
- Chesterfield-Colonial Heights DSS
- Fairfax County Department of Family Service (DFS)
- Fluvanna County DSS
- Henrico County DSS
- Henry-Martinsville DSS
- Hopewell DSS
- Loudon County DFS
- Norfolk DHS
- Pulaski County DSS
- Roanoke City DSS
- Rockbridge County DSS
- Stafford County DSS
- Williamsburg DHS
- Wise County DSS
- York/Poquoson County DSS
The QIC-WD’s site implementation manager (SIM) and a team of state office staff worked to support implementation of two case-supportive technology interventions for Family Services Specialists (FSS) who provide child welfare services. The project was designed to enhance efficiency and reduce the stress caused by the large amount of documentation and paperwork required for each case the FSSs are assigned.
Based on information provided in Virginia’s initial QIC-WD application in 2017, the average turnover rate in 2016 for an entry level Family Services Specialist in 2016 was 29%—an increase of 11% since 2012.
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