Child Welfare Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD)


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For several years prior to the current Administration, Louisiana suffered through an unstated policy of “Do More with Less”: Fewer employees, higher caseloads, less resources, and high employee turnover. In 2016, the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) leadership determined that supporting and stabilizing the child welfare workforce was a high priority. To strengthen its workforce, Louisiana will implement “Job Redesign and Teaming” as its QIC-WD intervention. The job redesign aspect of the intervention includes a comprehensive job analysis and process mapping to determine which tasks needed to be retained by the child welfare worker and which tasks could be assigned to a newly created professional position called the Child Welfare Team Specialist (CWTS). The CWTS will work in close partnership with the Child Welfare Specialist, assuming those duties generally categorized as administrative, so the child welfare worker will be able to focus on more clinical tasks. The teaming aspect of the intervention involves a restructuring of the child welfare work process and work units to better achieve desired child and family outcomes. There are two types of restructured work units to be created. First, the formerly separate Child Protective Services (CPS) and Family Services (FS) programs will be combined into what will be called Prevention Teams. Each supervisory unit focused on prevention will consist of 3 CPS workers, 2 FS workers, and one CWTS serving as a support to the entire team. Additional support will be provided by a clerical support position who will assist with document scanning, copying, shredding and mail. The second type of restructuring will occur in the Foster Care (FC) program, where each supervisory unit will consist of two pairs of FC workers. Each FC worker pair will partner on their shared caseload, with one FC worker focusing on assisting parents and the other FC worker focused on the care and needs of the children. As in the Prevention units, every FC supervisory unit will be supported by a CWTS worker, as well as a clerical support position. By providing these supports and refined task focus, Child Welfare Specialists will be better able to engage in the essential work with families. The evaluation of this intervention will seek to understand the relationship between the performance of these redesigned jobs and a number of workforce perceptions, attitudes, behaviors, case practice and child/family outcomes. Expected results include: • More positive perceptions of job characteristics, work stress and role overload, worklife balance, supervisory support, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and organizational culture and climate • Improvements in employee intent to stay, and reductions in pre-quitting behaviors such as absenteeism, and actual turnover • Changes in case practice such as: increased provision of early prevention services, transfer of cases identified for Family Services without delays or gaps in service provision, provision of primary and diligent services to both parents and children in cases identified for Foster Care, and thorough clinical assessments of safety threats • Impacts on outcomes for children and families; specifically, higher rates of reunification of children with supervision and supports, reduction of repeat maltreatment, and increases in timely permanence for children