Coaching Guide

Module Four: Statewide Meetings and Regional Work

This module provides an overview of statewide and regional meetings to assist the director in understanding their relevance to the Director’s role in developing partnerships that help the Director meet agency needs and supports the overall success of child welfare services.

Learning Objectives:

  • Knowledge: Identify regional and statewide meetings and key partnerships.
  • Skill: Establish linkages with statewide and regional meetings and key partnerships within agency structures and key local community entities to meet agency needs.
  • Attitude: Promote collaborative interactions at statewide and regional meetings and key partnerships to meet agency needs.

Reading and Activities: 1/2 hour to 2 hours

Coaching: 1 hour

Resources

  1. CWDA website
  2. Bay Area Academy
  3. Central California Training Academy
  4. Child Welfare Development Services
  5. Northern Training Academy
  6. Meeting Landscape Tool

Segment #:

Time:

Learning Objective

Be aware and knowledgeable of and establish linkages with statewide and regional meetings.

Utilize statewide and regional meetings as an opportunity to learn more about what other counties are doing to address race, equity, diversity and inclusion to develop best practices.

Content

Statewide meetings

California Welfare Directors Association (CWDA)

  • CWDA is a nonprofit association representing the human service directors from each of California’s 58 counties. The mission is to promote a human services system that encourages self-sufficiency of families and communities, and protects vulnerable children and adults from abuse and neglect.
  • CWDA functions:
    1. Advocates for policies that will further the mission of the organization.
    2. Educates state and federal policy-makers and the public regarding the significance of human services policies on individuals, communities, and county human services operations.
    3. Collaborates with county human service agencies, state and federal governmental entities, community-based organizations and advocacy organizations to ensure efficient and effective service delivery and the exchange of best and promising practices.
  • CWDA also convenes
    1. Children’s Services Committee and a Children’s Operations Committee (“Ops”).
    2. Transition Aged Youth Committee
    3. Workforce Training Committee
    4. Resource Family and Permanency Subcommittee

CWDA Children’s Services Committee

  • This committee is chaired by County Agency Directors and is attended by the Child Welfare Services Directors of each California County. The purpose is to provide updates about child welfare programs to the child welfare directors and to bring issues and concerns in child welfare that need to be addressed at the director level. It is an opportunity to have direct contact with state child welfare leaders and to meet child welfare directors from other counties.

CWDA Children’s Operations (“Ops”)

  • This meeting is chaired by two Child Welfare Directors who serve a two-year term and is attended by Child Welfare Directors or their designee. The purpose is to give CWS directors an opportunity to jointly collaborate with the state on the development and implementation of child welfare policy.

    At the Monthly Children’s Operations Committee, State DSS representatives attend this meeting to share knowledge that may be useful for program implementation. The information may be based on legislative changes or needed program clarification related to current mandates. Again, these recommendations are discussed and a decision is made about what will be taken the next day to the Children’s Committee as concerns and recommendations.

    There is a report out opportunity for each sub-committee as part of the standing agenda items. Sub-Committees convened by CWDA are pre-approved and sanctioned by Agency Directors. These committees are specific in focus and participation can be in person or by phone. Members include designated staff from counties who are responsible for analyzing proposed legislative changes; identifying trends and concerns; sharing program implementation strategies, goals, and outcomes; and making recommendations to the Operations Committee.

There is also time set aside each month at the Operations meeting for “County Only Time”. The State representatives leave the meeting at this time so that County Child Welfare Staff can have specific time to debrief, share concerns and ideas, ask questions, and gain understanding in a confidential environment.

Regional Meetings

Regional Children’s Committees

Each regional area has a regional Children’s committee that meets regularly to debrief issues, concerns and policies discussed at the state meeting and to discuss the implications for regional implementation.

Bay Area:

Bay Area Regional Children’s Committee (BARCC)

  • This committee includes the CWS Directors of the 12 Bay Area counties. These counties include Alameda, Contra Costa, Monterey, Marin, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma. The purpose is to share expertise that will improve the lives of vulnerable children throughout the Bay Area Region. Discussion topics may include developing operational regional agreements, identifying and problem-solving common issues or concerns among the region’s counties, sharing information about how counties are implementing a particular initiative or other requirement, etc.

BARCC serves as a Regional Subcommittee of the County Welfare Directors Association Children’s Services Committee, an affiliate of the Bay Area Social Services Consortium, and a regional consortium for the review of group home, STRTP and foster family agency support letter requests.

Central Region:

Regional CWDA Children’s Committee

  • This group meets monthly at Central California Training Academy (CCTA). Staff /facilitation support is provided by CCTA. The meeting is attended by Child Welfare Directors/Managers/Supervisors from Central Region counties (as designated by CWDA); a CDSS Training Support Unit representative; and regular call-in from OSI. Discussion topics may include developing operational regional agreements, identifying and problem-solving common issues or concerns among the region’s counties, sharing information about how counties are implementing a particular initiative or other requirement, etc. Regular discussion about implementation of California’s Core Practice Model (iCPM) is a part of every meeting as is tracking the progress of the cascading of iCPM throughout the region.

Los Angeles:

Northern Region:

Southern Region:

Regional Training Academy Advisory Bodies

In California there are four regional training academies and a university consortium in Los Angeles and each one serves specific counties. Each training academy has an advisory group that includes representatives of the counties they serve.

Bay Area:

Training Advisory Board (TAB)

  • TAB is coordinated by the Bay Area Academy. To insure a strong connection with the Bay Area Social Services Consortium (the Bay Area’s agency-university-foundation partnership), the Vice-Chair of BASSC serves as the Chair of TAB. TAB’s purpose is to advise Academy staff on planning and implementing the annual regional training plan. This board is comprised of two representatives from each county (the child welfare services administrator and staff development director), and invited CalSWEC representatives. BASSC Directors are responsible for designating two TAB members, one as Chair of the TAB.

Central Region:

  • Regional CWDA Children’s Committee; Central Region Staff Development and Training Committee; Central Region CQI Collaborative

    Each of the above groups meet regularly at CCTA and share facilitation/hosting responsibilities with training academy staff. Each group spends a portion of their meeting discussing workforce development needs that can potentially be addressed by training and or technical assistance from the Regional Training Academy. County participation is defined by CWDA.

Los Angeles:

Northern Region:

Southern Region:

Regional Managers Groups

A managers group is an opportunity for managers in a region to meet together regularly to meet together in a supportive environment to develop professionally and to exchange management ideas of shared and regional interest.

Bay Area:

Bay Area Managers Meeting (BAMM)

  • The Bay Area Managers Group is sanctioned by BARCC. Attendees include all classifications of middle managers from the 12 regional counties. BAMM’s goal is, through networking and group dialogue, to create a supportive learning environment that encourages individual and collective professional development of Child Welfare middle managers from the Bay Area Region. The meeting is a forum for discussion of emerging trends, new initiatives, program operations, and a venue to problem solve areas of shared interest.

    This meeting is not attended by child welfare directors, but is included here because it is available for your direct reports.

Central Region: Not applicable.

Los Angeles:

Northern Region:

Southern Region:

Other regional meetings that the child welfare director should be aware of:

Regional Social Services Agency Directors/Department Head Meetings

Every region has regular Agency Directors meetings. These are opportunities for Agency Directors to meet together and discuss issues and concerns of shared interest. The child welfare director does not attend, but it is included here to inform you of other regular regional meetings.

Bay Area:

Bay Area Social Services Consortium (BASSC)

  • BASSC is an agency-university-foundation partnership that promotes social service research, training, and policy development to strengthen public sector social services in the San Francisco Bay Area. BASSC is attended by the social services/human services agency directors and university and foundation representatives.
  • The BASSC Research Response Team conducts structured literature reviews and projects to identify evidence-based methods to inform services and build organizational capacity.
  • The BASSC Executive Development Program (EDP) trains middle and senior managers. It holds 3 one-week sessions in a year-long program along with inter-agency projects focused on promising practices.
  • BASSC case studies describe promising and innovative programs and practices.
  • This meeting is not usually attended by child welfare services directors but is included here because topics of discussion may affect your child welfare services division/department.

Bay Area Human Resources Committee (BAHRC)

  • This is a subcommittee of BASSC. This meeting convenes Agency Staff Development and Human Resources leads on a quarterly basis to share best practices and innovations in staff development, knowledge sharing and workforce development strategies.

Bay Area Regional Committee (BARC)

  • This is a regional committee that meets to share information, resources and tools to improve CWS/CMS data input, utilization, reporting and training.

Central Region:

Central California Area Social Services Consortium (CCASSC)

  • The Central California Area Social Services Consortium (CCASSC) operates as an agency-university partnership that promotes and provides training to public human services administrators to 12 Central Region counties.. Data driven activities, action-oriented research, policy analysis and policy/program development activities are emphasized. CCASSC was founded by the Central California Training Academy in 2003 in response to interests in regional needs and issues shared by Central California County Social Services Directors, the Dean of the California State University, Fresno, College of Health and Human Services, and Directors of Social Work Education in the Central California Region.

    On a rotating basis, agency Directors are joined by Child Welfare Directors to discuss program-specific issues. At these meetings, regional program implementation successes/ challenges are shared and time-limited task groups for follow-up are created as needed.

Joint Meeting: CCASSC/San Joaquin Valley Public Health Directors (SJVPHD)

  • These two groups meet annually to discuss common areas of community need involving at-risk families, secondary prevention strategies, trauma, and health and economic disparity. Staff in county human services and public health agencies collaborate on community-based projects and discuss their service outcomes/successes with the directors.

Los Angeles:

Northern Region:

Southern Region:

Southern Area Consortium of Human Services (SACHS)

  • The Southern Area Consortium of Human Services (SACHS) was established in 2001 and consists of human service directors from the Southern California Counties of Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. In addition, the directors from California State University San Bernardino’s Department of Social Work and San Diego State University’s School of Social Work are also members. SACHS is facilitated by the Academy for Professional Excellence.

County meetings

In addition to statewide and regional meetings, each county will have specific standing meetings related to child welfare and inter agency meetings that the director may or may not participate in. For example, in some counties there are countywide children’s services committees that are focused on sharing of information among agencies and programs focused on children’s well-being and needs.

Coaching Session 1 hour

In this session the coach will:

  • Help the Director identify how participating in statewide and regional meetings can be useful to the Director and the agency.
  • Instruct the Director to navigate the CWDA website.
  • Help the Director identify how s/he can be strategic in forming helpful relationships with other child welfare directors throughout the state and with key state personnel, e.g., who are people who could provide expertise or assistance to address a county need?
  • Ask the Director to look at the agenda for the next statewide or regional meeting s/he will attend; research what the discussion topics are (ask his/her Director or staff, look at ACLs or ACINs, etc.)

Reflection questions:

  • Did you realize that the child welfare director role requires so much collaboration and partnership with other agencies and organizations?
  • What is attending meetings like for you? Do your personality traits help or hinder you in being attentive at meetings and speaking out when necessary?  Is it easy for you to meet others?
  • Directors can experience a tension between overseeing daily activities at the office and attending meetings. What will that be like for you?
  • How will you balance the interests of your county with the interests of the statewide or regional meetings and possibly participating on committees?
  • Do you find that these meetings provide a space of psychological and physical safety to hold conversations around REDI? If not, what can you do to change that?
  • How will you share important information from these meetings with your staff?
  • Do you outreach or contact other county director(s) outside the formal meeting to exchange ideas, seek advice or discuss programming issues?
  • If there is a conflict for you regarding a standing meeting, do you deem it important enough to send a subordinate to represent you and your county?
  • If you have county restrictions, how do you stay abreast and ensure that you are providing input at state and regional meetings?

Wrap up reflections:

  • What’s currently working well or what are your strengths in this area?
  • What are your worries about addressing this area?
  • What needs to happen next so that you feel successful in this area?
  • How often do you use these meetings as an opportunity to share ideas and resources with your peers about REDI?

Coach ends the session by reviewing this module’s activities and looking at LO for the next module.

Activities

  1. Talk with your Agency Director about CWDA, especially Children’s and Ops meetings.
    • Find out what the practice has been in your county about who attends. Ask about what role your county usually plays in CWDA meetings, e.g., is your county usually considered a leader at CWDA?
    • Does your director want your county to have a strong presence and voice at CWDA meetings? Does your director want you to be a leader at regional meetings?
    • Is there anybody that your Director especially wants you to meet?
    • How does your Director see the balance between participating at CWDA meetings as a representative of your county and the needs of the region or state as a whole?
  2. Conduct a landscape exercise of county, regional and statewide meetings.
    • Meet with your Director (or a designee) to identify what meetings take place in your county that you should attend or be aware of.
    • Ask your secretary what meetings the previous Director attended.
    • Find out from your Director and your staff:
      • What is the purpose of the meeting?
      • How important is your or your staff’s attendance at those meetings considered to be?
      • Do these meetings influence your county board of supervisors or any other governing body?
      • Who attends your agency?
      • What is the appropriate level of staff to attend?

Materials

  1. CWDA website
  2. Bay Area Academy
  3. Central California Training Academy
  4. Child Welfare Development Services
  5. Northern Training Academy
  6. Meeting Landscape Tool

Preparation for next segment

Read the Core Practice Model Engagement Relationship Partnership Toolkit. It can be found here.

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