Webinar held September 11, 2013

Beyond Child Welfare Education & Training: Pennsylvania’s Dynamic University-Agency Partnership for Transfer of Learning, Quality Improvement & Organizational Effectiveness, was the final session in What Works for the Workforce: Leadership Competencies in Action – A National Webinar Series on Leading Change to Strengthen the Child Welfare Workforce.

Since 2001, through the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare’s Office of Children, Youth and Families’ strong collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work, the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center has provided competency and skill-based training, technical assistance, support for practice improvement, and organizational effectiveness interventions to the staff and administration of the state’s 67 county children and youth agencies. This session highlights the array of workforce development strategies implemented through this dynamic university-agency partnership. Participants learn about university-agency relationship-building, developing continuity among county-based child welfare systems, and the following core activities:

    1. Skill-based Online Curricula & Training Modules
    2. Transfer of Learning (TOL) Packages, including guides, needs assessments, coaching and mentoring
    3. Organizational Effectiveness Program with Regional Teams, including consultation, research, evaluation and technical assistance
    4. Statewide Quality Improvement Projects, including Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) through Quality Service Reviews (QSRs)
    5. Integration of Title IV-E Program Graduates into System Change Initiatives

Presenters share their experiences and perspectives on these strategies’ development, implementation, and outcomes, as well as lessons learned and tips for other agencies seeking to better prepare, train and support child welfare staff, and strengthen the effectiveness of their own organizations and university-agency partnerships. The panel of presenters includes:

  • Terry Clark, MPA, Director of Operations, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Office of Children, Youth & Families
  • Helen Cahalane, PhD, ACSW, LCSW, Principal Investigator, Child Welfare Education & Research Programs & Clinical Associate Professor/Chancellor's Distinguished Teacher, University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work
  • Maryrose McCarthy, MS, Director, Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center
  • Michael Byers, MSW, Assistant Director & Statewide Quality Improvement Department Manager, Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center
  • Wendy Unger, MSW, Organizational Effectiveness/Regional Teams Department Manager, Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center
  • Sharon England, BSW, MSW, JD, Curriculum & Trainer Development Department Manager, Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center


1-page Summary