Training Matters

 

Vol. 8, No. 1 • January 2007

Child Welfare Recruitment and Retention Resources

As you know, the current issue of Children’s Services Practice Notes (vol. 12, no. 1) provides information about the workforce challenges child welfare agencies are facing today and describes some of the efforts underway to come up with a solution. A federally-funded recruitment and retention project being led by the Jordan Institute for Families at the UNC–Chapel Hill School of Social Work is one of the most promising of these. Unfortunately, the fruits of this project won’t be available to most of the state until late 2008. In the meantime, we know that many of you continue to face staffing problems.

With this in mind, we would like to let you know about the following, which are some of the most accessible child welfare recruitment and retention tools we have come across.

Hired for Good
Published by the Center for the Study of Social Policy and funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Hired for Good is newsletter that seeks to support quality human services through innovative human resource management. To this end, each issue is filled with down-to-earth tips that directors, HR people, and others can use to improve their ability to recruit, interview, select, and retain employees. Sample article titles include:

  • Interview Questions that Can Help Determine “Good Fit”
  • A 30-Second Recruitment, Selection, and Hiring Self-Assessment
  • Support New Hires: The First 12 to 24 Months Are Critical
  • Keeping Good Employees . . . and Helping Them Grow

To access issues of Hired for Good go to <www.cssp.org>.

Self-Assessment Workbook
Another great resource by the Center for the Study of Social Policy is the Self-Assessment Workbook for Building a Stable and Quality Child Welfare Workforce. This publication provides guidance for child welfare administrators about self-assessment, promising strategies, and action items for recruitment and retention of qualified staff. It can be found online at <www.cssp.org/uploadFiles/ChildWelfare.pdf>.

Child Welfare Information Gateway
If you haven’t visited yet, make a trip to this site sponsored by the federal Children’s Bureau of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, which offers a vast array of information and resources related to all aspects of child welfare work. Of particular interest is the Worforce and Training Resources page, which can be found at <www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/workforce>.

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Web-based Learning for North Carolina's Child Welfare Workforce

As part of the NC Division of Social Services’ continuing efforts to help meet the training needs of county departments of social services and to make child welfare training more accessible and affordable, we are pleased to announce the following, which we believe will make it easier for all 100 counties to benefit from e-learning.

Blended Learning Child Welfare in NC
Currently we are adapting the 12-day pre-service training to include an online portion. In the new version participants will attend 11 days of classroom training and take the remaining course material online. This new version of the pre-service will be piloted at the Fayetteville Regional Training Center in spring 2007. The first day of this 11-day training event begins April 17, 2007. Registration opens on January 30.

Blended Learning Child Development in Families at Risk
We will soon eliminate the half-day classroom portion of this course. Starting in July 2007, this course will be available entirely online.

ncswLearn.org
Through this site child welfare and adult services social workers and their supervisors can access their Personalized Learning Portfolio (PLP) that enables them to: take an online course, find a training at a glance, apply to register for training online, track their training attendance history, update their own personnel information, and view what trainings are required, recommended, or elective for them based on their job functions.

To access their PLP workers must create an account at ncswLearn.org. To create an account each worker must have a unique, personal e-mail address. This email address should be a work-related one, such as those available through the county email system or ncmail.net.

Whenever possible, correspondences regarding workers’ registration application status (e.g., confirmation or waiting list letters) are now being sent to registrants as e-mail attachments. Unfortnately, spam filters can sometimes block these e-mails. Therefore, if you are unsure about your registration application status, please to log on to your ncswLearn.org account and view your training history to see if you are listed for the training as “enrolled.”

We are also pleased to announce that two new sections have been added to ncswLearn.org:

Supervisor Resources – This section allows supervisors to manage all aspects of training related to the employees they supervise directly. Supervisors are now able to: add an employee not currently in the training system, edit personnel information for employees who are currently in the training system, register their employees for training, find upcoming training events, view their employees’ training schedule and cancel their registrations as needed, view their employees’ training attendance history, and learn their employees’ training requirements.

County Training Manager Resources – If your county DSS has a designated staff development manager or a training coordinator, he or she can use this section of ncswLearn.org to assess the child welfare training needs of the child welfare staff in your entire agency. To access this new feature your agency’s staff development or training coordinator will need to request access rights by directly contacting the web site administrators via the “Help” section located on the home page top menu.

We hope that you will create an account with ncswLearn.org to take full advantage of the features available to you. Also, we hope that you will continue to share your opinions and e-learning experiences with us so that the NC Division of Social Services can continue to be responsive to your training needs. If you have any questions, please feel to contact Teresa Turner, Staff Development Team, at 919/733-7672 or Teresa.Turner@ncmail.net.

NC's E-Learning and Technology Survey


E-learning, or the delivery of training and professional education using the Internet and other distance technologies, is an increasingly popular educational approach that can offer many benefits to learners and their organizations. Therefore, in 2005 the NC Division of Social Services, in partnership with the Jordan Institute for Families at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work, assessed North Carolina’s 100 county departments of social services’ readiness to participate in e-learning. The assessment asked the following broad questions:

  1. Are county DSS agency managers and workers interested in and supportive of e-learning?
  2. What are the prevailing expectations in agencies toward e-learning?
  3. What are the anticipated challenges for e-learners?
  4. Do county DSS agencies have the technological resources and support necessary for e-learning?

We used site visits, interviews, and surveys to answer these questions, and data were analyzed to identify broad issues that cut across counties. Curious about what we learned? To read the complete report on this survey and its results, go to <http://ssw.unc.edu/fcrp/RA_final_report.pdf>.

 

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2007 Jordan Institute for Families