Module 5: Building Relationships and Community Support

What You'll Do

When we talk about the work of a Child Welfare Director, Community Partnerships and collaboration are an essential component their responsibilities. Although staff at all levels will develop relationships with these various entities at their level, such as Non-Profit Service Agencies, the Court, and Resource Families, it is critical that the child welfare director develops and maintains healthy relationships with the leaders of these entities. Being effective in this role will involve partnering through a lens of Cultural Humility, especially when engaging with Tribal, Native, and Cross-Agency Partners.

What You'll Learn

A Child Welfare Director is the public face of child welfare for the agency. The work of the Child Welfare organization depends on the Relationships in their community with their public, private non-profit service agencies, the court, tribes or the Native American community and their resource families. It is critical that the child welfare director develops and maintains healthy relationships with the leaders of these entities.

Through the building of strong partnerships, grounded in the principles of the Core Practice Model, the work of keeping young people safe, living with permanent families, supported by connections, and attending to their trauma and well-being becomes a responsibility of the entire community, not just the child welfare system. Skills like Cultural Humility, Active Listening, and thorough Follow Up/Through serve as means to not just listen, but respond in a deep, meaningful manner.

Additionally, there will be moments where you must prioritize the meetings you attend. In these instances, it is always appropriate and important to send a delegate in one’s place (if the meeting allows). Delegating authority should be used judiciously as partners need to know that they are important to the work of Child Welfare and prioritizing meeting with them will assist in accomplishing that. Post-Meeting Analysis between child welfare and partners can offer shared opportunities to improve outcomes at practice system levels.

How to Prepare

In preparation for your Module 5 Learning Experience, here are some resources to review:

"Creating a Supportive Community Context (NCWWI)"

"Key Partners Important to Child Welfare"

"How Well Are We Partnering Assessment"

Some Things to Think About

As you begin to consider what you’ll learn or reinforce as part of Module 5, consider the following:

"How are you at partnering and collaborating?"

"How do you feel about being the public face of your county’s child welfare agency?"

"Have you ever had to do perform a Partnering Assessment before?"

"How are you feeling about your Partnering Assessment results?"

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