• March 2010
  • Vol. 11, No. 2

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The Frontline Worker: Then and Now

What's changed for the frontline child welfare worker over the last decade? Plenty! Laws, procedures, technology, resources, and more. While not every worker has access to all of the resources mentioned below, changes in both policy and practice have had an impact on all workers. See if you recognize some of the changes.

2000 2010
Inputting case information by hand Laptops and PCs
Pagers Cell phones                                    
Paper desk calendars MS Outlook calendar
Less data collected for home studies More data collected for home studies
Paper forms in the "form room" Online forms
Polaroids to document abuse and neglect Digital and video cameras for documentation
Kinship caregivers operating in isolation Support groups and national organizations for kinship caregivers
Hard copy resources gathered at conferences and from libraries, coworkers, trainers, and networking Online resources and libraries (but we still like those hard copies!)
Less emphasis on finding fathers and paternal relatives Father engagement and family finding
Educating the public about preventing child abuse Educating the public about strengthening families and communities
Hard copy photo albums of children available for adoption Adoption photolistings on the Internet
Adoption and Safe Families Act Fostering Connections
Leaving work to attend trainings Online trainings                             


One thing that hasn't changed: Frontline workers continue to provide invaluable services to ensure the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families.   

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