By Susan Brooks, Director of Human Services, UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education
As we celebrate Reaching Out's 15th year of production, we couldn't help but fall into a little reflection.
Over these many but quickly moving years, each issue of Reaching Out has traditionally highlighted one central topic area. As we searched for one common thread across our many issues, we kept coming back to one that is still a large, important, and very tricky topic to this day: implementation.
When it comes to implementing a new strategy or practice within an organization, the organizational culture will have a massive say in whether implementation succeeds or fails. The challenge for leaders, then, is as stubborn and persistent as it is natural: Culture will not change without resistance.
Small counties face unique challenges when implementing new mandates or practices in child welfare, including limited staff, funding and other resources. Implementation science tells us that successful implementation requires attention to executive (leadership level), cross-system and day-to-day functions—and leaders in small agencies are frequently, and sometimes solely, responsible for attending to all of these.
By Renée Boothroyd, Scientist and Senior Implementation Specialist, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Getting to outcomes is not as simple as selecting an effective practice model or strategy (“the WHAT”). The process of supporting use of any practice model or strategy (“the HOW”) is just as, if not more important, for creating supportive systems and improving outcomes.
In 2019, as part of the Northern Academy's CQI Thought Takeaways video series, Jami Ledoux from Casey Family Programs talked about implementing CQI by transforming the culture that informs the focus within that system. This article is adapted from her presentation, which is available here.
Safety organized practice (SOP) implementation in California began in the northern region in 2008. Over the past decade, this partnership-based approach to engaging children and families and their networks of support has been adopted by many counties across the state, with counties currently at various stages of implementation.
In 2012, The Northern Academy at UC Davis developed a coaching model to support the implementation of Safety Organized Practice (SOP) within their service area. Since that time, the use of coaching has spread across the region, state and country; however, limited information has been available regarding coaching's efficacy for SOP implementation, as well as the particular elements of any coaching model that are linked to any gains.