As part of a larger project for promoting recruitment and retention of the child welfare workforce in Michigan, Michigan State University and its partners have produced a workbook series for child welfare supervisors and managers. Staff Retention in Child and Family Services is a full curriculum on recruitment and retention spread over seven workbooks. The workbooks are designed to be used in formal trainings, informal trainings, or as individual self-teaching manuals and cover the following topics:
- The Role of Leaders
- The Practice of Retention-Focused Supervision
- Working With Differences
- Communications Skills
- The First Six Months
- Recruiting and Selecting the Right Staff
- Managing Performance and Outcomes
Two additional workbooks are planned to address the topics of Building Effective Teams and Collaborative Networks and Building a Satisfying Career in Child and Family Service. The curriculum, which is being piloted at sites in Michigan, is designed to enhance staff commitment to the job by focusing on ways that supervisors can support staff and build a mission-centered agency culture.
Michigan State University partnered with the Department of Human Services and the Federation of Private Child and Family Agencies to create the curriculum as part of a 5-year project that also included training, partnerships between community-based agencies and universities, virtual training communities, and research and evaluation to assess the impact of these measures. At the conclusion of the project, the training will be incorporated into a continuing education collaboration as it continues to be refined, replicated, and expanded.
Reprinted from Children's Bureau Express, March 2007, "Workbook Series Addresses Michigan Workforce Issues" (http://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=81§ionid=1&articleid=1806).