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Findings from the National Evaluation Of Child Welfare Training Grants: Lessons and Implications

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Findings from the National Evaluation Of Child Welfare Training Grants: Lessons and Implications Mary Elizabeth Collins, MSW, Ph.D. Maryann Amodeo, MSW, Ph.D. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Findings from the National Evaluation Of Child Welfare Training Grants: Lessons and Implications


1
Findings from the National Evaluation Of Child
Welfare Training GrantsLessons and Implications
Mary Elizabeth Collins, MSW, Ph.D. Maryann
Amodeo, MSW, Ph.D. Cassandra Clay, MSW,
EdM. Boston University School of Social
Work May 2007 Grant 9OCT0124 funded by U.S.
DHHS, Childrens Bureau
2
National Evaluation of Child Welfare Training
Grants
  • Funded by the Childrens Bureau (Oct 2003- Sep
    2006)
  • Large project multiple data collection tasks
    and several research questions
  • Overall goal Greater understanding of
    federally-funded CWT and how to use information
    from the evaluation to improve our training
    strategies.

3
National Evaluation of Child Welfare Training
Four Main Components
  • Case studies of 9 previously federally funded
    training projects Independent Living
  • Comprehensive review of child welfare training
    literature
  • Survey of faculty of (mostly) schools of social
    work
  • Survey of state (and some county) child welfare
    training administrators

4
Update on Four Components
  • Multiple case study of IL projects
  • DONE, report available
  • Review of child welfare training literature
  • DONE, report available
  • Phone interview of state child welfare training
    directors 90 done, response rate48/51, great
    data!
  • Mail survey of faculty 60 done, N97 response
    rate54

5
Conceptual Model
6
Recommendations from Case Study Report
Childrens Bureau, Future Grantees, Public
Agencies
  • Youth/Consumer Involvement
  • e.g., Public agencies have been making progress
    in emphasizing more partnership with services
    users training initiatives and strategies are
    another mechanism by which agencies can engage
    consumers in their work.
  • Evaluation
  • e.g., Public child welfare agencies need to
    cooperate with the evaluation task. This will
    include allowing evaluators to conduct follow-up
    with trainees from the state agency. Examination
    of the transfer of learning to the agency setting
    and mastering skills in the work setting is
    sorely needed. This will nearly always require
    follow-up in the practice setting which will
    include data collection involving interviews,
    observations, case record reviews, and other
    methods. Additionally, access to comparison
    groups may be needed.
  • Collaboration
  • e.g., Grantees should aim to establish
    collaborations with organizations rather than
    individuals to provide more stability to the
    collaborations. Collaborators should be chosen
    in part to facilitate long term
    institutionalization. Thus, at the start of
    projects, active advocacy should occur to secure
    organizational collaborators who will share the
    work and responsibility for outcomes

7
Recommendations from Case Study Report
Childrens Bureau, Future Grantees, Public
Agencies
  • Institutionalization
  • e.g. The Childrens Bureau should aim to fund
    the type of training projects that are of
    critical need to public child welfare agencies.
    If the funding priorities of the Childrens
    Bureau are not aligned with the needs of the
    field, public child welfare agencies have no
    reason to engage in long-term institutionalization
    of training programs. After projects are
    completed, the Childrens Bureau is the only
    entity with appropriate infrastructure to keep
    the products that have been developed at the
    forefront of child welfare practice.
  • Knowledge Development
  • e.g., Grantees should recognize that their
    projects are opportunities to develop learning
    about the field of child welfare training that
    can and should be shared with wider
    constituencies. Although lessons learned are
    typically requested as a part of project
    reporting, the content is generally thin and
    lessons are not shared. Grantees should think
    conceptually about the core lesson of their
    project and disseminate the contributions via
    conference presentations and journal articles.
    These should be less focused on promoting
    projects and more focused on linking project
    innovations to the wider field of child welfare
    training.

8
Findings from the Literature Review
  • Adult Learning Theory
  • e.g., Organizational realities that are barriers
    to training based on these theories need to be
    confronted head-on. These barriers include time
    and space for sophisticated training
    professional orientation toward workers that
    recognizes their expertise and development of a
    learning culture in which organizational learning
    and development is the norm. Without addressing
    these barriers, training programs will have
    limited impact.
  • Training Implementation
  • e.g., The field should move toward the
    development of training systems rather than
    training courses. Training systems infuse
    training with an organizational context and have
    greater potential for viewing training
    holistically, with connection to achievement of
    organizational outcomes. This will add to better
    conceptualization of the purposes of training and
    the anticipated linkage of training content and
    training activities with expected outcomes

9
Findings from the Literature Review
  • Agency/University Partnerships
  • e.g., As with other forms of training, better
    evaluation is needed to assess the results of
    partnership efforts. Most of the literature
    emphasizes the benefits of partnerships, but
    there are limitations. Sometimes these are
    discussed as logistical problems or the melding
    of academic and practice cultures. Partnerships
    may limit the voice of schools of social work to
    critique child welfare practice and policy, and
    may cause schools to shift toward vocational
    education rather than professional education.
  • Evaluation of Training
  • e.g., The methodology for evaluating outcomes
    related to knowledge and attitude change are
    fairly well developed and easily implemented.
    The measurement of skill development is more
    complicated and requires more methodological
    sophistication. Measures such as case plans and
    action plans should be more fully developed for
    use in training evaluation. Also observational
    methods and measures should receive attention so
    that the field can begin to measure the
    interaction of worker and client.

10
Survey of State and County Child Welfare Training
Administrators -- Content
  • Main challenges agency faces in providing
    effective CWT
  • Experiences with federally-funded CWT
  • Description
  • Strengths/Weaknesses
  • Impact
  • Involvement with IV-E partnerships
  • Description
  • Strengths/Weaknesses
  • Impact
  • State/county funded training programs

11
Survey of State and County Child Welfare Training
Administrators -- Content
  • Administrative supports for training
  • Impact of CFSRs on training
  • Existing mechanisms to institutionalize training
  • Relevant historical factors that have influenced
    CWT
  • Future initiatives in CWT
  • Training evaluation
  • What could federal government do to help states
    and counties deliver effective CWT?
  • What should be federal priorities (topics) of CWT
    in the next few years?

12
Survey of State and County Child Welfare Training
Administrators Training Evaluation
  • Many (n18) refer to levels of evaluation
  • Level 1/satisfaction, n 8 Would like to do
    more
  • Level 2/pre-post change, n13 with some moving
    toward more complex evaluation for some training.
  • Additional evaluation steps e.g., longitudinal
    follow-up, n20
  • Most developed training systems, n4

13
Survey of State and County Child Welfare Training
Administrators Training Evaluation
  • The success of training is first measured when
    trainees take a test. followed by a field
    based assessment piece, which is left up to
    various supervisors. The supervisors evaluation
    includes an evaluation form, document review and
    observation of workers in various case management
    activities. Also an online tracking system,
    which tells them who passes competencies and
    other information.

14
Survey of State and County Child Welfare Training
Administrators Training Evaluation
  • Evaluation method varies based on the kind of
    program. Some Level 1 (happy sheets) that are
    standardized. Available electronicallywhen a
    course is offered, evaluation information is put
    in immediately, can access it. Use pre/post
    knowledge test for basic training and all
    specialty programs. Occasional attempts at level
    3 4 for very special situations its expensive
    and hard. Also have a system to do field
    evaluations conduct an on-site field review,
    either scheduled randomly or a project manager
    requests it.

15
Survey of State and County Child Welfare Training
Administrators Training Evaluation
  • Utilization
  • Generic statement about reviewing results (n9)
  • Primarily to review courses and trainers (n23)
  • With information system to tract participation,
    link with retention, overall quality assurance
    (n12)

16
Survey of State and County Child Welfare Training
Administrators Training Evaluation
  • The information is compiled and examined
    quarterly. It is then utilized for the
    following 1. to look at trainers 2. are
    workers getting what they want? (i.e., if they
    need to change curriculum) 3. how is the
    environment? (are environmental changes needed).
    Future plans include a practice reform initiative
    with the University which will have its own
    formal evaluation and they are working towards
    developing a model that will include behavioral
    anchors for new workers.

17
Survey of Colleges/Universities Relationship
with Child Welfare Agency
  • N97
  • Your Relationship Your Schools
    Relationship
  • Quality 3.46 3.16
  • Amount 3.22 2.97
  • Mutuality/Reciprocity 3.09 2.83
  • Productivity 3.13 2.82
  • Desire for Future Collaboration 3.73 3.44
  • Scale 1 (low) 4 (high)

18
Survey of Colleges/Universities Perceived
Impact of Federally-Funded Projects (N30)
  • Moderate/Strong
  • n percent
  • Recruitment of new CW staff 15 50
  • Development of current CW staff 26 87
  • CW worker knowledge 30 100
  • CW worker attitude 23 85
  • CW worker skills 27 90
  • CW supervisor knowledge 22 76
  • CW supervisor attitude 16 59
  • CW supervisor skill 18 69
  • Macro level CW policy/practice 11 47

19
Triangulation Common Findings
  • Reluctance of state agency to fully support
    training and its evaluation
  • Potential and pitfalls of partnerships between
    agencies and universities
  • Training knowledge dominated by curriculum
    development and training delivery expansion
    needed in evaluation, organizations, and systems
  • Training knowledge dispersed in variety of fields
    and ranges from highly micro (e.g.,
    instrumentation) to macro (e.g., policy
    implementation)

20
Discussion Topics
  • Relative roles of faculty, state/county training
    agencies, and the federal government in advancing
    the state of training.
  • Enhancing the knowledge base of child welfare
    training.
  • Addressing conceptual and methodological
    challenges to conducting training.
  • Assessing what is known and unknown in child
    welfare training.
  • Challenges of linking training outcomes to
    performance outcomes.

21
For more information, contact
  • Mary Elizabeth Collins, Ph.D.
  • Boston University School of Social Work
  • 264 Bay State Road
  • Boston, MA 02215
  • 617-353-4612
  • mcollins_at_bu.edu
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