Date of this Version
The Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD) is dedicated to understanding how to improve child welfare workforce outcomes. The QIC-WD partnered with eight child welfare agencies to evaluate evidenceinformed workforce interventions and how they are related to outcomes for children. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), through the Office of Families and Children (OFC), is responsible for Ohio’s statesupervised, county-administered child welfare system. Ohio’s 88 county public children services agencies are responsible for the delivery of child protective services and ongoing case management. Ohio’s project site is comprised of the following nine (9) counties: Champaign, Crawford, Hamilton, Huron, Knox, Montgomery, Summit, Trumbull, and Wayne. Ohio’s comprehensive workforce assessment revealed 48% of Ohio’s participating child welfare caseworkers experienced at least one symptom of secondary trauma. In addition to secondary trauma, results indicated high staff burnout and lack of engagement are major contributors to Ohio’s high turnover. Coach Ohio is an approach where supervisors utilize a model of supportive supervision that emphasizes helping staff prevent and mitigate the effects of burnout, secondary trauma, employee disengagement, and disengagement from families and children served. Supervisors will engage in supporting behaviors (respect, manage stress, concern for needs, active listening, and fostering cooperation), recognizing behaviors (praise and positive reinforcement), and empowering behaviors (autonomy, input, and flexibility). Staff will then acquire enhanced skills of reflection, emotional regulation, coping, social support, and client engagement. They will feel less stressed and traumatized and will have a high-quality relationship with their supervisor. This will lead to better job satisfaction and staff retention. Additionally, staff will focus less on their own emotional distress and feel more compassionate and empathetic towards families and children served. The families and children served will be more responsive and less resistant in interactions with staff leading to improved outcomes related to safety, permanency, and well-being. Coach Ohio is a supportive supervision intervention that pairs the Resilience Alliance (RA) strategy with the Atlantic Coast Child Welfare Implementation Center (ACCWIC) Coaching model. Supervisors utilize Coach Ohio to help staff prevent and mitigate the effects of burnout, secondary trauma, employee disengagement, and disengagement from families and children served. The intervention requires all agency administrators, middle managers, and caseworkers to complete 24 weeks of facilitated RA group sessions. Between sessions supervisors use coaching to encourage case workers to practice newly learned RA skills. The QIC-WD is dedicated to generating new knowledge about effective strategies to improve child welfare workforce outcomes. This will be accomplished through a site-specific evaluation and a cross-site evaluation. Through this site’s evaluation, we will better understand whether Coach Ohio leads to a number of outcomes, including but not limited to: decreased symptoms of secondary traumatic stress in staff; decreased rigidity and resistance; improved job satisfaction and intentions to stay with the agency; increased staff retention; and increased staff engagement resulting in better child and family outcomes in safety, permanency, and well-being.