The Neuroscience of Leadership and Transformational Change in Child Welfare

Child welfare leadership and practice is complex. This requires skills for navigating rapidly changing environments and the deeply social nature of child and family serving systems of care. Unfortunately, due to the way the human brain is wired, change is often met with a great deal of unease. Effective leaders at all levels of the system are needed to inspire others to engage with children, adolescents, and families in new ways. Fortunately, research from modern neuroscience uncovers that there is a science to engagement that can help child welfare systems of care deepen their understanding of how to engage others in critical thinking, creative problem solving, and the collaborative teamwork important for moving positive change forward and achieving positive outcomes for children and families. Disengagement is the primary reason why people appear to be “resistant” to change and why people struggle to regulate themselves in challenging situations that call for emotionally and socially intelligent interpersonal interactions. For leaders to effectively support both the workforce and families when faced with challenging circumstances, it is crucial that they understand the biological underpinnings of why change can activate resistance, along with effective tools for improving thinking and team intelligence across child welfare contexts. 

This interactive brain-based leadership development workshop draws on breakthroughs in modern neuroscience, providing fresh insights into the biology of engagement and the facilitation of positive change. There will be a focus on helping child welfare leaders use a coaching approach to move change forward based on what neuroscience tells us drives human behavior. Participants learn a brain-based framework for increasing engagement and motivation along with science-based strategies for improving decision making and complex problem solving.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe what drives human behavior based on discoveries in contemporary neuroscience
  2. Define the impacts of the deeply social brain on child welfare performance and outcomes
  3. Apply a brain-based framework for increasing engagement and motivation at the individual, team, and organizational levels within child welfare contexts
  4. Utilize a brain-based coaching approach to having high impact conversations that support transformational change
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