Methods. Several methods have been used to collect feedback on early implementation of the intervention, including surveys of caseworker perceptions of job characteristics and readiness to implement, case reviews, and time studies to assess model fidelity and track changes in the percentages of time caseworkers spend on clinical versus administrative duties. Focus groups with caseworkers, CWTSs, supervisors and managers assessed satisfaction with the intervention, training, and on-going support. Focus group feedback and archival data from community of practice calls have provided anecdotal evidence of practice changes.
Results: Discussion will focus on what has been learned about caseworker workload immediately prior to and during the early implementation phase of this project. Time studies have shown decreases in the time caseworkers in both prevention and permanency units spend on administrative tasks and increases in time spent on face-to-face clinical contacts with children and families. Focus group data have showed that while some caseworkers are reluctant to “let go” and assign tasks to the CWTS, others see the role as helping them to be more available to families and timely in completing job tasks. Practice changes reported included families receiving service referrals more quickly, fewer removals, and fewer backlogged cases. Managers noted decreased overtime and increased morale.
Conclusions and Implications: Although in the early stages, this research suggests that job redesign may benefit caseworkers through improved work-life balance and increased opportunities for clinical work with families; and have implications for agencies concerned with efficient use of limited staff resources. COVID-19 implications on project implementation will also be discussed.