Leading Change in Child Welfare: Results From a National Evaluation
In this symposium three presentations will highlight multiple methods of research used in the national evaluation of NCWWI’s competency-based Leadership Academy for Supervisors (LAS) and Leadership Academy for Middle Managers (LAMM). The LAS is an online training program for experienced supervisors who are motivated to become leaders. Delivered through six self-paced online modules with embedded learning activities, the courses are followed by facilitated peer networking. More than 790 supervisors participated in this national evaluation. A total of 406 public, private, and tribal child welfare agency middle managers have attended 13 LAMM trainings, each in a 6-day residential format with follow-up coaching and peer networking. All LAMM participants are part of the evaluation. Both programs promote the development and application of change leadership skills through competency-based curricula and workforce support activities, helping participants apply the learning to change initiative projects.
The first presentation in this symposium describes the development and testing of a leadership competency self-assessment tool that measures learning and transfer of learning as it evolves from knowledge-based to skill mastery through application. The methods and results of a study to develop a valid and reliable competency assessment will be presented, along with conclusions that confirm the utility of the self-assessment tool for measuring change in leadership skills. The second presentation features the test of whether leadership competencies and workforce supports predicted the successful implementation of organizational change initiatives. Using formative evaluation data and multivariate analyses, results indicate that individual and work environment factors are critical for implementing change. The final presentation will describe the development and testing of a model of how training promotes learning and the transfer of learning to practice, an approach replicating work in other fields but rarely applied in child welfare.