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January/February 2017Vol. 17, No. 10An Opportunity for Agencies to Improve Their Child Welfare Workforce Outcomes

Are you interested in strengthening your child welfare workforce? Challenges in staff recruitment, hiring, and retention are common in the field of child welfare. Issues such as staff turnover can be costly. They can also negatively impact the relationship between families and the agency. The Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD) believes that an investment in your child welfare workforce is an investment in the children and families you serve.

The QIC-WD is a new 5-year cooperative agreement funded by the Children’s Bureau and led by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in partnership with experts from the University of Colorado, Denver; the University of Louisville; the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; C.F. Parry Associates; CLH Strategies & Solutions; and Great Eastern Consulting. The QIC-WD is dedicated to understanding how to improve child welfare workforce outcomes by using research to build knowledge in the field. Experts in workforce, evaluation, and implementation will work with 5 to 10 selected sites. In partnership with agency leadership, the QIC-WD will work with sites to develop and test promising workforce interventions and apply best practices. This process will build the evidence for what works in child welfare workforce improvement.

The QIC-WD is currently seeking agencies that care about improving staff recruitment, retention, and agency culture and climate. County, State, and Tribal child welfare organizations with title IV-B funding can apply to be a site. Selected agencies will:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of their workforce challenges
  • Implement research-informed strategies
  • Learn from their peers
  • Be part of a rigorous evaluation
  • Build their capacity to strengthen their workforce

By strengthening the workforce, project sites aim to improve outcomes for the children and families they serve.

The QIC-WD team includes a variety of experts who care deeply about improving the child welfare workforce. The team will use a systematic process when working with sites. This process begins with developing a thorough understanding of a site's specific workforce needs. It includes selecting and implementing strategies that can address these needs. The process also prepares the sites for an evaluation. Site-specific and cross-site evaluations are part of the project. Participating sites will have access to experts and resources to help cover project-related expenses.

If you are interested in a systematic approach to understanding and improving your workforce, consider applying to be a site. The application process is open through February 15, 2017. Qualified applicants will be selected in cooperation with the Children's Bureau and notified by July 2017. Visit to review and download the Call for Applications, the Application Cover Sheet and Narrative Template, and view a webinar. Contact Michelle Graef, QIC-WD Project Director, with any additional questions.