Agencies may use this tool kit, which targets leadership in child welfare at multiple levels, as a stand-alone aid or as a way to supplement other agency professional development programs, including but not limited to NCWWI’s Leadership Academy.
Here's a brief overview of how various audiences may use and benefit from this tool kit.
- Leadership Academy Participants:
- This tool kit may help Leadership Academy participants generate ideas to enhance development of their personal learning plans to support strategic change efforts/goals, as well as to identify the obstacles and the action steps necessary to overcome them.
- Agency Training Directors:
- The tool kit may complement the agency’s leadership development programs (including but not limited to the NCWWI Leadership Academy). Use it to help trainers and trainees develop transfer of learning activities to support leadership development programs.
- Agency Management:
- Agency management may create their own leadership development plan (see below) by selecting an array of activities from this tool kit. Additionally, the tool kit may inspire ideas to help facilitate leadership development for mentees of agency management.
- Agency Supervisors:
- As a way to grow their own leadership knowledge and skills, supervisors may craft personal learning plans (see below) using the array of activities available in this tool kit. Further, they may nurture the leadership skills of their caseworkers by selecting activities appropriate for their level within the agency.
- Frontline Caseworkers:
- Consulting with their supervisors, caseworkers may design their own leadership learning plans (see below) to grow their leadership knowledge and skills.
- Social Work Students/Interns:
- At the beginning of their careers, students and interns may use the tool kit to identify areas they want to learn more about during their field placements and educational experiences.
- Social Work Educators/Field Instructors:
- This tool kit may be used to support transfer of learning from social work courses to social work practice. Classroom leaders may use the activities as frameworks for small group and individual discussion. Instructors may present activities as assignments that allow students to apply their learning and leadership development to their unique child welfare contexts. Schools of social work might also use the tool kit to generate ideas for field education. Field instructors might find useful learning activities for field placement learning agreements/contracts to reinforce a full range of social work competencies. Schools may also use the tool kit to develop agency-specific projects to support leadership development. As appropriate, ensure all projects are reviewed and approved by agency supervisors and management before development or implementation.
Individuals or teams may employ the activities in this tool kit to increase their leadership skills and strengthen their agency’s workforce development efforts. Most importantly, the tool kit offers flexibility for individuals as well as agencies and schools of social work to customize leadership development plans to best fit their needs. It is not expected, nor even encouraged, that tool kit users complete every activity in the tool kit. Rather, users should select the specific competencies that they deem most important and then choose activities of interest and within their purview to include in their individual leadership development plans.
Individuals at all levels of the competency ladder can further develop their leadership competencies—from student intern, caseworker, and supervisor to manager, training director, and executive leader. Each of these roles requires multiple competencies of varying strengths and skills, all of which can be sharpened and deepened.