Moving Child Welfare Forward
Achieving Positive Outcomes for Children, Youth and Families
Class Six: Implementing Change in Child
Welfare -- Strategies, Tools and Tactics that Work
- Understanding the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR)
as a driving force for change in the child welfare system
- Tactics for problem solving in a child welfare agency
- How to build commitment to change organizationally, personally
and on an individual client/family level
- The impact of technology on the job of social workers
When this class is complete the student should be able to:
- Describe the systemic changes at the federal, state and local
level caused by the implementation of the Child and Family Services
- Define the process of building commitment to change
- Assess commitment and resistance to change
- Employ various change motivation strategies and tactics
- Identify potential barriers to change and implement tactics
to overcome such barriers
- Understand the impact of technology and office automation
on the social worker’s tasks and role.
- Read and be prepared to discuss in class the Family Net:
An Automated Child Welfare Information System. Cambridge
, MA : Harvard University , Kennedy School of Government ,
C16-99-1552-0. Source: Using Information Management to
Support the Goals of Safety, Permanency and Well Being Trainer’s
Guide, September 27 , 2000 . Available on the internet
- Ask each student to go to the Administration on Children and
Families website (www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/cwrp/index.htm),
select a state and identify the state’s performance with
regard to the seven outcomes in the areas of safety, permanency,
well-being and the seven systemic factors. Come to class prepared
to present a summary of the findings and comment on the impact
of these findings on children, youth and families involved with
the child welfare system.
Suggested In-class Activities
- Guest Speaker: Child welfare supervisor to discuss how the
implementation of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) and
the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) has changed the organization
and clinical practice.
- Small group discussion on the statement…‘The
CFSR is a successful attempt to identify and shape best child
welfare practice across the country.’ Ask students to divide
in to two groups, those that agree and those that disagree with
the statement about the impact of the CFSR on practice. Ask each
group to spend 30 minutes discussing why the members agree/disagree
with the statement then report back major discussion points to
the whole class.
- Introduce a change management model and supporting theory.
- Small group activity: applying the phases of change model.
Students will be asked to choose one of the professional staff
active with Shirley in The Lost Children of Wilder and
discuss how s/he either did or could have made a change in Shirley’s
life using the building commitment to change tactics.
- Facilitated discussion of the Family Net Case
- What are the key 'facts' in the case?
- What were the goals and expectations for the Family
- Were the goals met? Why or why not?
- How did the advent of an automated case management system
change the job of the case worker? The supervisor?
- What major themes or issues emerge from the case?
- What are the lessons learned from the case that you could
apply in your day-to-day work?
- Small group activity: Ask each person to think of one major
change they faced in work, school or personal life and complete
a handout ‘ Change Commitment; Where
Are We?' form. ( Source: Using Information
Management to Support the Goals of Safety, Permanency and Well
Being, pg 8.23, Trainer’s
Guide, September 27, 2000 . Available on the
internet at: www.muskie.usm.maine.edu/asfa .
Form will need to be modified to fit this activity.) Instruct
the group that after they have completed the work individually,
they will be asked to meet in small groups and share their answers.
After each group has had a chance to hear and discuss the changes
each group member is addressing (approximately 5-10 minutes),
ask the groups to tabulate the number of persons in each phase
of their change (The expectation here is that participants will
be in all phases of the curve.) Ask each group to choose one
change that can be analyzed more fully. Using tactics for addressing
resistance, ( Source: Using Information Management to Support
the Goals of Safety, Permanency and Well Being, pgs
8.11 – 8. 12, Trainer’s Guide, September
27, 2000 . Available on the internet at: www.muskie.usm.maine.edu/asfa)
ask each group to determine (for the change they have chosen)
the best way to ensure positive commitment to change for all
players. Ask the spokesperson for each group to present the results
for the change they discussed.
- Using the Rhode Island Coalition for Family Support and Involvement
(RIPIN) Web site (www.ripin.org/100tips.pdf),
look at the “ 100 Tips for Parents”. Apply tactics
associated with building commitment to change to the 100 tips
and answer the question…will these tips lead to change?
- Conner, D. R. (1992). Managing at the Speed of Change.
New York : Villard. Copyright by O.D. Resources, Inc., Chapters
6 and 9. Provides a model for building commitment to change.
- Family-Centered Practice: How are we doing? A Family-Centered
Practice Rating Scale tool was designed for use by families,
providers, schools and communities to evaluate and improve how
Rhode Island supports families. Useful as model for implementing
systemic change. The tool is available on the RIPIN web site,
under the Publications link, “Other Publications” section.
Supplemental Reference Material
- Neuman, K. (2002). From Practice Evaluation to Agency Evaluation:
Demonstrating Outcomes to the United Way. Social Work in
Mental Health, 1, 1-14.
- www .ripin.org provides
information on the Rhode Island Coalition for Family Support