Workforce Development Month

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Since 2017, NCWWI and the Children's Bureau have celebrated Child Welfare Workforce Development Month every September. We hope you'll celebrate with us!

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  • For child welfare programs, it's a time to focus on how to better support and recognize your workforce.
  • For child welfare professionals, it's an opportunity to get reconnected with the reason you got into the field.
  • For social work students, it's an opportunity to learn more about child welfare practice.
  • For social work programs and faculty, it's an opportunity to promote specialized child welfare courses you offer.

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As part of Worker Appreciation Week, September 13-17, 2021, NCWWI and the Children's Bureau will host a one-hour Child Welfare Worker Recognition Event on September 14 at 3 pm EDT. This year’s speakers will talk about your ability to positively influence a life's trajectory through the heart, the head, and the hands.

For those planning local events, be sure to download the 2021 Recognition Event Kit, which details how your workforce could be represented in this year's thank you video. There are also flyers and templates to support marketing on the Spread the Word Web page.

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Master of Ceremonies: Vernita Thompson and Kristy Colvin Speaker: Aysha E. Schomburg, J.D. Speaker: Adrian McLemore Speaker: Sarah Crisafi, MEd. E-RYT
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Vernita Thompson and Kristy Colvin were selected to participate in NCWWI's grant program through the University of Buffalo School of Social Work. During that time, they took their passion for child welfare and collaborated to create the Child Welfare Chronicles podcast. In the podcast, the hosts share their experiences working within the child welfare system and discuss how policies and practices have influenced the system. Thompson is an employee with Erie County Department of Social Services as a caseworker, where she assists parents and relative resources gain custody of children already placed or at risk of being placed in the foster care system. Colvin works at Child & Family Services as a program supervisor focused on reducing out-of-home placements, increasing reunification of children with their parents, and decreasing the risk of further system penetration through the use of in-home services. Aysha E. Schomburg is the associate commissioner of the Children's Bureau in the Administration on Children, Youth and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Schomburg joined the Biden Administration in March 2021 after serving as the senior administrator for program oversight for New York City's Administration for Children's Services (ACS). Earlier in her career at ACS, Schomburg was the director of parent recruitment and the director of youth development initiatives. Schomburg, who has bar admissions in both the states of New York and New Jersey, received her B.A. from the University of Virginia, her M.A. from New York University, and her J.D. from New York Law School. Adrian McLemore has the unique perspective of growing up in the foster care system and later providing kinship care to his niece and nephew. He currently works for the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Maryland. Before moving to Baltimore in 2016, he spent his career working in the public and non-profit sectors in Dayton, Ohio. Adrian's true passion is improving the lives of children and families and has co-founded numerous organizations, initiatives, and programs working to achieve this goal. McLemore attended Wright State University and holds a degree in political science. Sarah Crisafi has her Master's in Education and is an experienced, registered yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance. She specializes in providing trauma-informed techniques to classes for children, youth, families, and professionals. Sarah has been in the child welfare field for over 15 years and is currently the Program Manager of Bloom Yoga, a program of Illuminate Colorado. Through this program, she provides yoga to children and families involved in human services, the judicial system, and other community organizations and schools. Sarah also teaches yoga at a local studio, preschool, and volunteers for the Prison Yoga Project.

 

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Register to take Trauma-Informed Yoga for the Child Welfare Professional. This class will utilize research-based, trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness practices to address signs of secondary traumatic stress or nervous system dysregulation caused by stress or burnout. No yoga experience is necessary. Registration opening soon!

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Do your friends and family really know what you do? If not, we encourage you to share a story with them that showcases how child welfare services support families. If we all take time to share what we do, we can engage those around us to help build systems of family support and community-based child protection. We also hope you'll check out the Spread the Word Web page for graphics and pre-written customizable content that can be shared with colleagues/staff/students.

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The workforce is a child welfare program's most important asset and a community's link to improved outcomes for children, youth, and families. We encourage child welfare managers/administrators to review NCWWI's Workforce Development Framework to learn strategies that will lead to the improved health of the workforce. We encourage staff to review our 1-pager, 6 Ways to Keep Learning, to discover best practices and tools that can enhance your impact.