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March 2024Vol. 25, No. 2Children's Bureau Announces the Center for Workforce Equity and Leadership

Written by the Center for Workforce Equity and Leadership

Families Rising was awarded $25 million by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Administration for Children and Families to lead the Center for Workforce Equity and Leadership (CWEL). The center will be the place for equity in the child welfare workforce.

CWEL will provide site-specific technical assistance in 10 sites to help jurisdictions diversify the workforce and improve recruitment, retention, and well-being. Race equity and leadership advancement are at the heart of this work. 

The center believes what is best for children is also best for the workforce. Children in care are more likely to trust and feel comfortable with professionals who reflect their identities. This is why preparing the workforce to meet children’s needs is paramount. 

To this end, the CWEL is challenging how White-dominant culture affects Black, Indigenous, and Latinx professionals in the workforce—this includes paternalism, implicit bias, microaggressions, and other practices that cause moral injury. 

CWEL will implement the following key initiatives in jurisdictions to improve recruitment, retention, and well-being and address systemic disparities:

  • Provide leadership development for Black, Indigenous, and Latinx professionals.
  • Sponsor tribal relational leadership fellowships.
  • Teach coaching skills to current leaders. 
  • Create pathways to clinical supervision, equipping professionals with the necessary skills to support their staff.
  • Establish educational partnerships to pave the way for well-prepared child welfare staff. 
  • Create valuable tools, resources, and lessons learned for the workforce.

The center will work in partnership with the Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Association and Public Research and Evaluation Services. This collaboration comes at a time when there have been high vacancy rates, staff turnover, and poor outcomes for children and families.

Is your child welfare agency ready to transform to better meet the needs of your workforce? CWEL will begin identifying sites in the spring of 2024. Stay connected and learn more at and by following the center on LinkedIn.