Child Welfare Blog Posts

This Week and Every Week: Thank You!

Child welfare work often feels like a thankless job. We can get so caught up in the day-to-day deluge of work that we don’t always pause to recognize good work when it is happening. There’s just so much work, and so many challenges, that taking the time to reflect on how much good is actually done, every single day, can seem impossible.

Meet the Award Winners

Nine individuals were honored at the Partnerships for Well-Being Institute in June 2022. These award winners were selected for their outstanding dedication to their work and their impact in improving outcomes for children and families involved with California’s systems of care. 

The SOP Toolkit: Safety Over Service Compliance

A foundational principle informing Safety Organized Practice is that services and safety are not the same thing. Service completion, on its own, does not promise child safety. Behavior change, on the other hand—demonstrated and sustained over time—is a far more promising sign of safety.

The SOP Toolkit: Hearing and Helping Our Kids

Integrating a child’s perspective is so important to the work of child welfare. Safety Organized Practice (SOP) provides a series of strategies, specifically the utilization of the Three Houses and Safety House information gathering tools, which allow children, in a developmentally appropriate way, to meaningfully contribute to both risk assessment and safety planning.

Looking for some quick tips and strategies to break down these important tools?

The SOP Toolkit: Back to the Basics

Safety Organized Practice has become so embedded in child welfare best practice that its acronym (SOP) can be tossed around loosely in the field. Many new social workers may not yet fully understand what SOP is, and many more may lack an understanding of its full history. Even seasoned SOP Champions may need a refresher from time to time.

Beating Exhaustion and Job Stress

Over the past two years, human services professionals have gone from experiencing pandemic stress, to pandemic fatigue, to finding a “new normal” as they regain their footing in daily work life. On May 24, 2022, the Northern Academy at UC Davis Human Services hosted a free, full-day virtual event devoted to discussing the challenges of work and life stresses and how to find workable solutions to mitigate this stress.

Using Data to Strengthen Connections and Communities: CalWORKs and Child Welfare Services

The field of Human Services is as wide and complex as its moniker might suggest. For larger agencies, an overlap in services is almost inevitable, but this doesn’t mean it should be shrugged off. For services that deal with vulnerable and/or traumatized children and families—such as CalWORKS and Child Welfare Services—each contact with children and families has the potential to cause additional trauma. The need to prevent inefficient, repetitive, and/or otherwise overlapping communications becomes paramount.

CDSS Shares DEI Efforts at CQI Statewide Conference

On March 23-24, 2022, UC Davis Human Services hosted the 5th annual CQI Statewide Conference for Child Welfare and Probation: A Pathway to Partnerships. On the opening day, keynote speakers Gregory Rose and Marcela Ruiz from the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) highlighted how the pursuit of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is crucial to building lasting partnerships with children, families and stakeholders in their safety and stability.

Winner of the Inaugural Sarah Duncan Champion for Children and Families Award Announced

We’d like to thank everyone who participated in National Social Worker Month this March! While the month may be over, we’ll never stop looking for new ways to express our gratitude for those who have made it their life’s work to support vulnerable children and families. To that end, we are thrilled to kick off April by announcing the winner of the inaugural Sarah Duncan Champion for Children and Families Award!

Nominate a social worker for the Sarah Duncan Champion for Children and Families Award

In memory of one of California's outstanding social workers, Sarah Duncan, Human Services at UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education is seeking your assistance in recognizing and honoring Northern California child welfare social workers who reflect passion, skill and tireless commitment to working to improve outcomes for children and families. This is an excellent opportunity to focus on and to celebrate the hard work that goes into this vital profession, and to cherish those who have made it their life's work to improve the lives of others.

CANS and CFT Technical Assistance Now Available

The Northern Academy now provides comprehensive CANS and CFT practice and implementation support to counties—for free! Supported by our contract with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), we are available to meet our county partners wherever they are at in their CANS and CFT implementation and practice journey.