The US Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Children's Bureau funded a Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD) for five years. The Center is a collaborative effort among partnering universities and consultants, including: University of Nebraska Lincoln, the University of Louisville, the University of Colorado Denver, the University of Tennessee Knoxville, and the University of California Los Angeles.
The QIC-WD partners with public child welfare agencies to conduct a multi-site project, with the goal of generating evidence of how to improve workforce and child and family outcomes for public and tribal systems. In order to establish evidence that will add to the child welfare knowledge base, several workforce intervention studies are underway.
We propose to conduct roundtable discussion to create a dialogue regarding cross-site supports that scaffold the level of rigor required to conduct evidence development of this complexity. A panel with varied expertise (e.g., social work, organizational psychology, workforce development, public health, and evaluation) will elaborate the experience of coordinating a study of diverse workforce interventions focused on a single outcome: reducing staff turnover in child welfare settings. Panelists will address needs identification and intervention selection processes, intervention implementation and support strategies, multi-site research, and constraints highlighting the utility of shared project resources and infrastructure (e.g., implementation supports, cross-site data collection, administrative data shells, and data quality procedures).
The learning objectives for this roundtable discussion are to engage the audience in a discussion about the opportunities and challenges of 1) working with multiple sites and a federal partner in a participatory fashion to implement utilization-focused, site-specific, and cross-site evaluation strategies to build knowledge, 2) implementing a complex systems evaluation approach to comprehensively identify the interactions of factors (e.g., organizational structures, culture, workload) that influence outcomes (e.g., safety and permanency of children), and 3) developing innovative solutions for leveraging within and cross-site complexity to identify what workforce interventions work, for whom, and under what conditions.