© The Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD)
The Implementation Team
The QIC-WD worked with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), through the Office of Families and Children (OFC), to establish an implementation team to lead the development and implementation of their supportive supervision and resiliency intervention. After recruiting nine counties to participate in the QIC-WD project, the Workforce Implementation Team (WIT) initially was composed of representatives from the nine public children services agencies including administrators, managers, and human resources staff, the Site Implementation Manager (SIM), the Data Coordinator, OFC leadership, and three members of the QIC-WD (representing expertise in workforce, implementation, and evaluation). The SIM and Data Coordinator positions were partially funded by the QIC-WD, all other representatives participated as part of the “other duties, as assigned” aspect of their job. Once the needs assessment was completed, the three comparison counties discontinued attendance at the WIT meetings, to avoid contamination from details of the intervention selection process.
The WIT met monthly, face-to-face for a full day in Columbus, Ohio for the first year of the project. Meetings decreased in frequency to bi-monthly or quarterly in 2019 and in 2020-2021 meetings were held virtually due to the pandemic. The meetings were led by the SIM. During these meetings, the site leads shared experiences including events that could impact the impact of the intervention, problem solved implementation challenges, and reviewed and discussed implications of project data.
The WIT was responsible for:
- Serving as project champions
- Communicating project updates to county staff
- Identifying the root causes of staff retention issues
- Identifying the workforce population to target
- Identifying barriers or facilitators to address the problem
- Developing a theory of change
- Selecting the intervention and assessing its fit and feasibility
- Overseeing the implementation of the intervention
- Participating in the planning and execution of the evaluation of the intervention
- Planning for sustainability
- Engaging in dissemination
The WIT was guided by a charter that detailed the role of team members, the process for decision making, the frequency of meetings, and other expectations.
Preparing for Implementation
The WIT established a communications sub-committee that was tasked with creating a flyer that highlighted the focus of the QIC-WD work in Ohio. The communication sub-committee also developed quarterly newsletters to share information about the project with stakeholders. Newsletter topics included coaching, intervention goals, resilience, the prevalence of secondary trauma in child welfare, champions, and data collection. The WIT also sponsored a webinar to inform county leaders, managers and supervisors about the program and intervention.
Site-based, county-level teams, responsible for preparing for and overseeing the implementation of the workforce intervention in their jurisdiction, were established. The county-level teams provided guidance, support, and resources to staff and stakeholders to create a hospitable environment where implementation could be successful. These teams were critical to ensuring fidelity to the intervention and the implementation process. They provided feedback to the WIT on the progress of implementation, barriers and challenges, and strategies to overcome challenges. The site-based teams included Coach Ohio champions who participated in an inaugural training class and served as their agency’s in-house experts on the intervention. These champions coached supervisors throughout the implementation, promoted peer learning opportunities and communicated with other staff to prepare for the implementation and evaluation of Coach Ohio.
Implementation supports were used to support fidelity to Coach Ohio (e.g., curricula, coaching guidance). Key implementation supports for Coach Ohio Managers and Supervisors included:
- A 2-day training on the coaching model where managers practiced coaching skills and gained an understanding of the RA intervention. Pairs of participants practiced the coaching skills back in the office and participated in monthly follow-up calls with the trainers to reinforce skills. This 2-day training and reinforcement support was delivered to supervisors two months later.
- The Coaching in Child Welfare 2019 Participant Guide that provided information about the Atlantic Coast Child Welfare Implementation Center (ACCWIC) coaching model and its processes, skills, and mindset
- Live and video demonstrations of coaching
- Coaching to Support Resilience chart
- Guidance for Coaches: Supporting Resilience document
- Posters with the coaching checklists
- Coaching journals to document their coaching practice
- Access to a coaching expert
The sites varied in how they managed RA facilitation. Three counties preferred external facilitators, therefore, the QIC-WD contracted with community mental health professionals, identified by each county, to provide RA facilitation. Another county had a manager in-house that facilitated their meetings, and also facilitated a nearby county’s RA groups. The final county hired two part-time facilitators to develop RA facilitation expertise for long-term sustainability; one was a mental health professional and the other was a veteran child welfare professional. Implementation supports for RA facilitators included a manual (The Resilience Alliance: Promoting Resilience and Reducing Secondary Trauma Among Child Welfare Staff) and a 2-day training on how to facilitate the RA material, create a safe space, and manage the emotional reactions of staff. Facilitators had access to monthly virtual meetings with an engagement and facilitation expert through September 2019.
Project kickoff events were held in each county for RA participants, with refreshments, to generate excitement about the initiative. Each participant received the Resilience Alliance Participant Manual and learning aids branded with the Coach Ohio logo and messages to reinforce the project messages (e.g., hot/cold gel packs for sore spot relief, modeling putty with the message “I’m resilient”, and bendy sticks with similar messages).
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