Change management in child welfare refers to a strategic approach to implementing and sustaining positive system transformations. One way to support change management is using implementation science, which is the study and practice of implementing evidence- and research-based strategies. These approaches can improve child and family safety, permanency, and well-being.

Singular acts, such as enacting a policy or providing training, are often not enough to achieve lasting transformation. Instead, sustainable change requires capacity building, an organization-wide shift in culture, and ongoing investment from staff at all levels. 

Change management and implementation efforts can benefit from cross-system and community partnerships, including with individuals with lived experience or who reflect the community’s diversity.

The following are key aspects of change management:

  • Reforming policies, practices, and programs
  • Enhancing training and professional development
  • Strengthening collaboration, communication, and teaming
  • Addressing organizational culture and leadership
  • Monitoring and evaluation to measure success  
  • Sustaining change through continuous quality improvement

It is essential to embed equity within each of these areas to improve outcomes for all children and families.

The road to change takes time and planning. Success depends upon an organization’s willingness to assess, adapt, and continuously improve. 

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