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Quality Matters: Improving Caseworker Contacts With Children, Youth, and Families

Quality Matters: Improving Caseworker Contacts With Children, Youth,
and Families

Quality Matters Suite Logo

Good casework practice in child welfare relies on quality contacts between caseworkers and children, youth, parents, and resource parents. These purposeful, face-to-face interactions (also known as caseworker visits) are essential to engagement, assessment, and case planning.

This product suite is designed to support public child welfare agencies and contracted service providers in building capacity for conducting quality contacts. The evolving suite will promote collective impact through a variety of publications and learning tools with definitions, program guidance, and supervisory and practice tips.

Publications

  • Defining Quality Contacts (PDF - 286 KB) offers a foundation for understanding what quality contacts are, what they look like, why they are important, and how a child welfare agency can set the stage for their successful implementation. This issue brief provides useful information for all child welfare agency staff, from administrators and managers to frontline staff.
  • Quality Contact Casework Activities Worksheet (PDF - 102 KB) suggests casework activities to undertake before, during, and after a caseworker visit with children, youth, and families. Caseworkers and their supervisors can use this simple two-page worksheet as general guidance to help plan and assess quality contacts.
  • Collaborating to Collect and Use Data to Inform Quality Contacts (PDF - 152 KB) highlights the importance of collaboration among data and information technology staff, child welfare program staff, and other key stakeholders in developing information systems that support quality contacts.
  • Quality Worker-Parent Visits: A Tip Sheet for Supervisors and Managers (PDF - 202 KB)  suggests supports for workers before, during, and after a visit, along with questions to ask and potential “red flags” to address.
  • Supporting Quality Contacts Through Supervisor-Worker Coaching (PDF - 237 KB) offers one-on-one coaching techniques aimed at enhancing the quality of caseworker contacts with children, youth, and families.

Learning Experiences

Register through CapLEARN to access learning experiences.

  • Quality Matters: Improving Caseworker Contacts With Children, Youth, and Families features a six-part video series that demonstrates what quality contacts look like. Available for supervisors to use with caseworkers in independent or group learning. Includes discussion guides that prompt reflection on core components and key behaviors, and a reference guide that establishes the case context and includes observation and self-assessment tools. Access the video series and guides through CapLEARN. (Note: Users will need to register for the online learning center and scroll through the course catalog to locate the Quality Matters learning experience.)

Resources From Related Focus Areas

  • Coaching in Child Welfare (PDF - 235 KB) helps child welfare administrators, managers, and supervisors understand the potential role of coaching in supporting their workforce. Drawing from available research, this issue brief discusses coaching functions, effectiveness, models, and strategies.