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July/August 2009Vol. 10, No. 6A Model and Framework for Supervision

Current child welfare literature emphasizes the pivotal role of supervisors in translating and fulfilling their agency's mission and values. To guide agencies in optimizing supervisory policies and practices, the National Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice and Permanency Planning and the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NRCOI) have developed an emerging model for child welfare supervision. Building a Model Framework for Child Welfare Supervision is based on a review of current literature, surveys, and consultations with experts, and it offers proven strategies and tools for supporting supervisors.

The report is divided into three sections:

Section One illustrates seven elements of an emerging model of supervision in child welfare:

  • Articulating the agency's philosophy
  • Identifying supervisors' responsibilities
  • Recognizing the importance of building relationships
  • Establishing standards for caseload size
  • Defining supervisory expectations
  • Clarifying expectations for worker evaluations
  • Supporting supervisors

Section Two identifies four organizational components required to empower child welfare supervisors to carry out their duties effectively:

  • Organizational support
  • Clear definitions of supervisors' tasks
  • Recruitment and retention of qualified staff
  • Ongoing professional development

Section Three includes appendices with useful resources for implementing the report's recommendations, including a literature review, methodology, interview protocols with agency staff, and a sample job description.

The report, Building a Model and Framework for Child Welfare Supervision, by Peg Hess, Susan Kanak, and Julie Atkins, can be downloaded from the NRCOI website: (378 KB)