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2009 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 14, No. 1
April 2009

A Strategic Plan to Support North Carolina's Supervisors

North Carolina’s Supervision Best Practice Work Group came out of our state’s 2007 federal Child and Family Services Review and the subsequent Program Improvement Plan. Strengthening supervision was recognized as a critical strategy for improving practice and, by extension, outcomes for children and families. The Work Group is busy on a number of fronts:

Training and Professional Development

  • Supervisors and administrators increasingly use tools on www.ncswlearn.org to track and strategically plan training for their staff.
  • Children’s Program Representatives (CPRs) regularly review staff training during consultations with counties. Also, they put a priority on quarterly supervisor meetings, and are asking counties how the Division can help develop staff at all levels.
  • Over time, North Carolina’s Child Welfare Collaborative will increase the pool of bachelors and masters level social workers available to county DSS agencies. For a list of participating universities, go to <http://ssw.unc.edu/cwec/univs.htm>.


Policy

  • As a result of the Work Group’s efforts, specific days have been designated for the Division to transmit new or updated policy – the 15th and the last work day of each month.
  • Policy viewed on the web shows recent changes in red, while policies in print show recent changes underlined. Each policy change includes a rationale for the change.
  • There’s now a listserv to help county staff stay abreast of communications and changes related to child welfare. Visit <http://lists.ncmail.net/mailman/listinfo/cwlistserv>.


Sub-Work Groups
There are three sub-groups working to improve supervisory practice. One group is developing a Supervisor Academy for professional development tailored to the needs of supervisors. A Time and Activity group is gathering data on how supervisors currently spend their time and how they can maximize their time management to improve outcomes for families and worker retention. A third group is conducting an assessment of Technology Needs of supervisors across the state.

Best Practices Pilot
As efforts on these fronts continue, the Work Group is also conducting a pilot of Supervision Best Practices in 10 county DSS agencies. The goal is to implement key recommended supervisory practices and to gather feedback on how to refine and adapt these practices in county DSS settings. For more information on the work group, contact the pilot group leaders Kristy Perry (Person Co. DSS, Kristy.Perry@ncmail.net), Bridget Happney (Mecklenburg Co. DSS, bridget.happney@mecklenburgcountync.gov), or Candice Britt (NC Division of Social Services, 919/334-1138, candice.britt@ncmail.net).