Northern California Child Welfare Practicum:
A Program Improvement Practicum for Child Welfare Leaders

Beginning in December 2016 and continuing into Summer 2017, the Northern Academy at the UC Davis Human Services will offer a unique series of day-long consultation sessions to a cohort of Northern California child welfare directors, managers and senior analysts who are interested in applying implementation science and continuous quality improvement to improve outcomes for children and families in care.

The scheduled dates include:

December 13, 2016

February 27, 2017

April 11, 2017

May 17, 2017

June 6, 2017

Collaborate with National Experts on Implementation Science and CQI

Participants who are selected for this opportunity will benefit from the expertise and guidance of researchers from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago and the University of Tennessee, along with consultants from Vanderbilt College. Because of the limited cohort size, participants will enjoy close access to these same subject matter experts throughout the course of the practicum.

Application and Topic Selection Process

To maximize this rare, collaborative learning opportunity, the cohort size will be limited by a competitive application process. As part of the application, candidates will be asked to identify a specific issue to focus on as part of a deliberative evidence-based problem solving process. In addition, candidates will be asked to identify three outcomes that they are interested in improving in their county, along with one project or program they will be implementing. These may pertain to Outcome areas (Length of stay; use of congregate care; placement stability; permanency, re-entry, etc.) or projects/programs (Continuum of Care Reform, Title IV-E Waiver; family visitation program, etc.).

How to Apply

We are now accepting applications for the Implementation Science Practicum. Applications will be sent with this announcement; however, if for any reason you do not receive or have trouble accessing the application, please contact Amy Spakosky to request an application.

Selection Process

Once applications are in, we will review the outcomes of interest and select one that applicants have in common. Improving this outcome in each participating county will be the theme of the series.

Practicum Schedule

We anticipate seven one-two day sessions interspersed with office hours and remote webinar sessions. The session will begin in December 2016, and the final session scheduled in June 2017.

Practicum Format           

Participants will work with instructors to develop their theme topic within a problem solving framework that is grounded in empirical evidence. As the theme areas are further developed and coupled with proposed solutions, participants will develop implementation strategies based on implementation science. By the end of the eight month practicum, participants from each county will have a clear problem statement, a well-developed hypothesis that connects to a planned intervention or change in operations, and a strategic implementation strategy that includes on-going monitoring of both implementation and outcomes.

Course Code