Increasingly, States and local jurisdictions are challenged to improve outcomes for the children and families they serve. Many jurisdictions have initiated change efforts to strengthen their capacity to provide targeted and effective services. The following resources describe such efforts as change management and the role of supervisors in organizational change, including State and local examples.
Anyone who has worked at more than one organization knows that each has its own feel, its own "personality." But when we talk about organizations we don't use the term personality, we call it organizational social context (OSC). OSC has two key parts: organizational culture and climate. Research across a number of fields tells us that an organization's culture and climate are important. Research specific to child welfare and mental health has shown that culture and climate are associated with staff turnover, adoption of new innovations (for example, evidence based practice), service quality, and youth outcomes. Tools are now available for child welfare agencies to scientifically assess and track their cultures and climates, and, if needed, take research-proven steps to improve them.
Applying the Socio-Technical and Culture Models of Organization to a Science of Implementation Effectiveness (PDF - 900 KB)
Children's Mental Health Services Research Center and University of Tennessee
Presents information on the socio-technical and cultural, evidence-based models that measure organization social context to ensure service availability, responsiveness, and continuity. This presentation offers data from the nationwide National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) study of organizational climate and outcomes in child welfare agencies and the effects of Availability, Responsiveness, and Continuity (ARC) organizational intervention on child welfare agency climate and turnover.
Assessing and Changing Organizational Social Contexts for Effective Mental Health Services
Glisson and Williams (2015)
Annual Review of Public Health, 36
Describes the OSC measure of culture and climate, which has been associated with innovation, service quality, and outcomes in national samples and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of mental health and social service organizations. The article also describes the empirically supported organizational intervention ARC model, which has improved organizational social context, innovation, and effectiveness in five RCTs.
Assessing the Organizational Social Context (OSC) of Mental Health Services: Implications for Implementation Research and Practice (PDF - 332 KB)
Glisson, Landsverk, Schoenwald, Kelleher, Hoagwood, Mayberg, & Green (2007)
Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health, 35
Describes the role of OSC in services and implementation research and evaluates a comprehensive contextual measure designed to assess the key concepts of culture, climate, and work attitudes. This paper also provides information on the use of nationwide norms in describing the OSC profiles of individual mental health clinics and examines the cross-level association of organizational-level culture and climate with clinician-level work attitudes.
Intervention for Improving Youth Outcomes in Community Mental Health Programs
Glisson, Hemmelgarn, Green, & Williams (2013)
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 52(5)
Assesses if the ARC organizational intervention improved youth outcomes in community based mental health programs and if programs with more improved OSCs following the 18-month ARC intervention had better youth outcomes than programs with less improved social contexts. Recommendations for OSC and youth outcomes are provided.
Organizational effectiveness (OE) is a systemic and systematic approach to continuously improving an organization's performance, performance capacity, and client outcomes. Systemic refers to taking into account an entire system, or, in the case of OE, an entire organization; systematic refers to taking a step-by-step approach. In simple terms, therefore, OE is a step-by-step approach to continuously improving an entire organization.
Casework Teaming to Reduce Workload, Enhance Effectiveness and Boost Morale [Webinar and Handouts]
Haulenbeek, McLean, Mantey, & Kollar (2013)
National Child Welfare Workforce Institute
Offers a comprehensive overview of casework teaming that identifies each of the strategic areas to reduce workload, enhance effectiveness with positive outcomes, and boost caseworker's morale. Lessons learned, tips for agencies, and competencies to maintain it over the course of time.
A Guide to Build Capacity for Child Welfare Using the CQI Process (PDF - 1218 KB)
APSHA & National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Workgroup (2014)
Discusses guidelines for increasing the capacity of child welfare agencies through the use of their continuous CQI systems. This report explains the cycle of CQI and the importance of improving services, indicating how evidence based research supports the identified steps. It offers more information on CQI implementation and identifies State and local agencies that can assist increase CQI capacity.
The Guidebook for Building Organizational Effectiveness Capacity: A Training System Example (Guidebook) (PDF - 737 KB)
Highlights the core contents of APSHA's OE capacity practice that focuses on importance of collaboration, support functions, and the need for expansion of the traditional roles require expertise implementing OE-specific tasks. This report also presents the OE and continuous improvement framework as it relates to the APHSA's Define, Assess, Plan, Implement, and Monitor (DAPIMTM) model.
Reducing Turnover is Not Enough: The Need for Proficient Organizational Cultures to Support Positive Youth Outcomes in Child Welfare
Williams & Glisson (2013)
Children and Youth Services Review, 35(11)
Examines the relationship between caseworker turnover and youth outcomes in child welfare systems by measuring caseworkers' responses to OSC measure, staff turnover reported by organizations, and measured youth outcomes with the Child Behavior Checklist. Findings and lessons learned are also included.
Case Study: Continuous Improvement Effort March-July 2010 (PDF - 131 KB)
Assess a practice model utilized by the Minnesota Training Unit responsible for providing CQI training and support to child welfare staff. Also, considers expansion for capacity to provide technical assistance on OE to State child welfare agencies. This brief highlights OE and continuous improvement framework as it relates to the APHSA's DAPIMTM model.