Workforce Development and Consultation Services

The Northern Academy offers customized trainings, coaching and/or consultation to counties via the County Training Unit Contract or consultation contract process. These contracts can be utilized for a wide variety of workforce development needs. Our Academy instructors will travel to your county to provide high-quality services, which can include customized trainings to fit your precise needs or enhanced coaching or consultation. In addition, our instructors can be used for organizational development consultation. If you are interested in initiating a contract, and/or learning more about contracting to support workforce development activities in your county, please contact the Academy at (530) 757-8725 or or fill out and submit a training and services request form.

Organizational Assessments

The Northern Academy has a team of experienced child welfare experts who are equipped to lead your organization in a holistic assessment of program delivery. Agencies may select a specific program, practice or outcome area for review or request a broader assessment of the organization. A comprehensive review of organizational practice, structure, systems and training requires examining all aspects of the agency and how these components work together to lead to positive outcomes for children and families. Following the organizational assessment process, counties may choose to access consultation and technical assistance to support implementation of recommendations.

Research and Evaluation Services

The Northern Academy’s research team offers expertise in research and evaluation related to child welfare and continuous quality improvement processes, with an emphasis on supporting the state of California and individual counties throughout the state.  Our research team has extensive experience working with a variety of partners and stakeholders (e.g., nonprofits, community-based organizations, advocacy groups, state and local government, private sector) to design, conduct and support meaningful research and evaluation that helps entities achieve goals, including those related to workforce development and improvement of services and service delivery systems.  

Our goal is to promote rigorous yet feasible research/evaluation that helps service providers meet mandated requirements and use evidence to make informed decisions. Ultimately, our approach to research/evaluation is designed to help providers strengthen their programs and bring about optimal outcomes for children and families. 

We provide a wide range of research and evaluation services for child welfare agencies and their partners, including:

  • Creation of research/evaluation designs to meet your needs
  • Implementation of a variety of research/evaluation designs (e.g., surveys, interviews, focus groups, mixed methods)
  • Program and policy evaluation
  • Collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data
  • Program fidelity studies, including development of fidelity tools
  • Development of scales of measurement and associated tools
  • Creation and submission of applications and materials to the UC Davis Institutional Review Board
  • Development of reports, presentations and other materials used to share evidence with a variety of audiences
  • Development of mandated reports related to evaluation and continuous quality improvement
  • Creation of online data “dashboards”
  • Facilitation of stakeholder engagement at any point in the research/evaluation or CQI process
  • Provision of support, training and technical assistance related to research/evaluation or CQI efforts

Field Training and Coaching

The Northern Academy maintains a team of field trainers and coaches who are available to provide one-on-one training/instruction and/or coaching to child welfare professionals in Northern California. Field trainers and coaches can provide targeted assistance to individual staff or counties as they implement evidence-based programs, restructure county practice models or develop policy and procedure manuals.

Additionally, coaches are available to support program managers, supervisors or child welfare directors as they transition into new roles and responsibilities, seek to attain their next level of professional excellence, or would like coaching to support a specific goal, challenge or area of focus.


The California Child and Family Services Review (C-CFSR) operates on the philosophy of continuous quality improvement, interagency partnerships, community involvement and public reporting of program outcomes. The principal components of the system include quarterly data reports published by the California Department of Social Services, County Self-Assessment (CSA) processes, System Improvement Plans (SIPs), SIP annual updates, and state technical assistance and monitoring. The Northern Academy has prepared extensive literature reviews to assist counties in the C-CFSR process and improvement of practices. Additionally, the Academy is proud to offer consultation services to counties in need of assistance with any of the components of the C-CFSR.

Safety Organized Practice (SOP) Fidelity Case Reviews

The Northern Academy leads the state in implementation and evaluation of Safety Organized Practice. Our SOP Case Review process assesses a county’s current level of implementation and fidelity of SOP practice with children and families across the child welfare spectrum, from screening/intake through permanency and adoptions. This structured assessment process involves case file reviews, staff interviews, fidelity assessment and development of detailed recommendations to take SOP to the next level.

To Learn More

To learn more about the Academy’s consultation capabilities or to request assistance, please contact us at (530) 757-8725 or