The delivery of quality and timely services is a cornerstone for positive outcomes for children and families. Developing competent child welfare professionals is an ongoing process that addresses the evolving skills, knowledge, abilities, and attitudes needed to provide effective services. Competence is built through learning, experience, and supervision that progressively strengthen individual, team, and organizational capacity to provide quality services.
This section includes resources that highlight the importance of core values, knowledge, and skills in creating a strong and capable workforce that is prepared to address the complex needs of children, families, and communities.
10 Policy Recommendations to Build a Strong Infant-Toddler Workplace
Gebhard, Jones, & Ochshorn (2011)
Zero to Three, 32(1)
Discusses policy recommendations to strengthen systems that support early childhood professional development, including ensuring that professionals have mastered core knowledge and competencies specifically related to infants and toddlers, supporting cultural competency, promoting infant-toddler coursework at all levels of higher education, and establishing State infant-toddler credentials across service sectors.
The 2012 California Public Child Welfare Workforce Study: Training From the Individual Worker Perspective (PDF - 238 KB)
California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC)
Discusses professional child welfare staff's access to and experience with on-the-job-training and presents the key findings from the Individual Worker Survey that questioned them about the training that they received.
Child Welfare Practice in a Multicultural Environment: Competencies and Learning Objectives (PDF - 73 KB)
California Common Core Curricula for Child Welfare Workers
Lists competencies and learning objectives from CalSWEC's training entitled "Child Welfare Practice in a Multicultural Environment."
Competency in Establishing Positive Relationships With Program Youth: The Impact of Organization and Youth Worker Characteristics
Davidson, Evans, & Sicafuse (2011)
Child and Youth Services, 32(4)
Identifies six elements associated with youth workers' competency to complete their professional roles and investigates whether having these elements predicted youth workers' self-reported job competency in forming positive relationships with youth. Findings are discussed in relation to practice implications for the youth work field.
Evaluation of the California Common Core for Child Welfare Training (PDF - 1,690 KB)
California Social Work Education Center (2009)
Evaluates the impact of training at multiple levels and provides data on training effectiveness in California.
Evidence-Guided Practice: Integrating the Science and Art of Social Work
Gitterman & Knight (2013)
Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 94(2)
Discusses whether or not the profession of social work is primarily a science or an art and proposes an alternative approach to practice that integrates, rather than separates, the art and science traditions. Evidence-guided practice incorporates research findings, theoretical constructs, and professional competencies and skills consistent with the profession's values and ethics and the individual social worker's distinctive style.
Integrated Foundation and Advanced Competencies for Public Child Welfare in California (PDF - 178 KB)
Describes the creation of a set of cross-initiative foundation-level competencies to be used in the first or foundation year of social work study, based on the new Council on Social Work Education standards. These are complemented by a concentration-specific set of advanced competencies and practice indicators for each of the three initiatives that are intended both to incorporate the foundation-level competency of practice in each core area and to exemplify through indicators the level of practice expected at the advanced level.
Statewide Report for Trainers and County Administrators: Analysis of Common Core Data, May 2012 (PDF - 408 KB)
Shares results for pre- and postknowledge testing that is part of a strategic plan for multilevel evaluation of statewide common core child welfare training in California. The report shares the results of the Case Planning, Placement and Permanency, and Child and Youth Development modules as well as for the embedded skills assessments in Child Maltreatment Identification, Parts 1 and 2.
Teaching Evidence-Based Practice at the BSW Level: An Effective Capstone Project
Peterson, Phillips, Bacon, & Machunda (2011)
Journal of Social Work Education, 47(3)
Discusses the necessity for developing student competencies related to evidence-based practice (EBP) as an evidence-based approach to practice becomes more salient in the field. This article describes an undergraduate senior capstone project that, in partnership with internship activities, developed students' familiarity with EBP concepts and improved their abilities to search for and use interventions from professional literature.