In this month’s Sounding Board, Dee Wilson suggests that child welfare systems that want to build effective organizational cultures should promote the resilience of the system and the people who work in it. He proposes several interventions, including rewarding and recognizing innovation and providing all new case workers with mentors.
Dee Wilson explores options for staff members to encourage the effective functioning of bureaucracies, in the face of ever-expanding requirements and hostility toward local initiative and innovation.
Dee Wilson examines emotional challenges faced by social workers doing the difficult – and often unappreciated – work of child welfare. He explores the range of challenges, from new social workers’ anxiety, brought on by making high-stakes decisions with little experience or emotional support, to the burnout, secondary trauma and compassion fatigue that can lead veteran social workers to exit the profession.
Dee Wilson examines competing ideas to address the critical shortage of foster care placements. The solutions include professionalizing foster parents; better supporting foster parents and providing them with a voice in the system; increasing investment in kinship care; and creating alternatives that avoid or drastically reduce the need for foster care.
Dee Wilson examines the concept of resilience through the lens of Dr. Ann Masden’s “Ordinary Magic: Resilience in Development”, and applies the concept to child welfare practice and systems.
Dee Wilson challenges and examine theories of Intergenerational Transmission of Child Neglect, making a strong pitch for focusing interventions on decreasing extreme poverty and homelessness.
Dee Wilson follows last month’s Sounding Board to examine principles for workload management in child welfare agencies.
An examination of what an excessive caseload is, how it comes to be, its effect on practice, and imagining a better version
Washington State’s Governor, Jay Inslee, has proposed creating a new department of children’s services that would remove the Children’s Administration (CA) from the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and combine the state’s child welfare system with the Department of Early Learning (DEL) and juvenile justice.
Consider the following scenario which could occur in any city in Washington State: a pediatrician driving to work observed a toddler wearing nothing but a diaper and a t-shirt playing in a pile of garbage beneath a freeway underpass.