Coaching is an integral part of the coach’s direct work with DCYF staff. The Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence provides skills-based coaching sessions to support the readiness and continued learning of the child welfare workforce with the intention of achieving the best possible outcomes for Washington’s children and families.
Coaching sessions are utilized to enhance a learner’s specific skill attainment in an identified area of practice. Coaching sessions are provided to the DCYF workforce to help workers attain specific skills pertinent to their daily work/practice in child welfare. Identified goals are created and progress toward those goals is measured by both the learner and the coach after each session. The Alliance coaching sessions are categorized as follows:
1. Assessing for Child Safety Throughout the Life of the Case
Topics include: Assessing for present danger/impending danger; applying the Child Safety Framework; understanding the 17 safety threats and how to plan for present danger with protective action plans and safety plans in cases with identified impending danger; how to make appropriate collateral contacts; interviewing of children, parents/caregivers and all adults in the home; using medical consultation (Med-Cons); scheduling and preparing for appropriate case staffings; using Structured Decision Making (SDM) to help assess risk in cases and reassessing child safety throughout the life of the case.
2. Assessments (Functionality and Content)
Topics include: Content and FamLink functionality in completing the Investigative Assessment (IA), Family Assessment Response Family Assessment (FARFA) and Comprehensive Family Evaluation (CFE); understanding the use of the gathering questions to assess for child safety; identifying and utilizing protective factors and protective capacities for safety and case planning; understanding timeframes for each assessment in the different program areas; service referrals and the use of EBP’s.
3. Permanency (Timeline/Case Planning /Case Management)
Topics include: Permanency timelines; permanency from day one; engaging with families to co-create case plans; setting safety objectives; measuring progress versus compliance in cases; transition planning for children; knowing when to file for Termination of Parental Rights (TPR); understanding the court process and when to change permanency plans; understanding the adoption process; understanding parent/child visitation plans (supervised, monitored, etc.); understanding reasonable efforts versus active efforts for ICWA cases.
4. Case Organization and Prioritization
Topics include: How to prioritize the daily work, including: using outlook, desk calendars, and reminders; prioritization of caseload activities, assessments and due dates for different programs; reassessing safety and updating safety assessments at pivotal points in the case.
5. Quick Ad Hoc Coaching
Topics include: Tasks such as AFCARS, redaction, case closure, and entering ICWA/NAIR information into FamLink, filing of documentation into case files.
Coaching sessions can be scheduled in 30 minute increments, depending on the topic being covered. Coaches are available to provide field-based, individual sessions or small group sessions (such as at unit meetings). Once a request is made, the Alliance RETA will assign a coach and scheduling will occur between the coach, the learner and the Supervisor/AA. Written feedback on each session will be provided by the coach to the learner and supervisor following the coaching session.
Following a coaching session, the coach will provide the specific coaching session information to include the topic, length and location to the RETA using the New Course Request form. Once the course has been created in the LMS, the coaching session completion will be done by the coach in the LMS and upload all sign in sheets into Share Point.