National eUpdate
July 2021
Register Now: 2021 Worker Recognition Event
As part of Child Welfare Worker Appreciation Week, September 13-17, 2021, NCWWI and the Children's Bureau are hosting a one-hour virtual recognition event on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, at 3:00 pm EDT. This year’s speakers will talk about your ability to positively influence a life's trajectory through the heart, the head, and the hands. This event is all about celebrating you - the people who do so much to empower children, youth, and families facing a variety of life challenges and obstacles - so we hope you'll find time to join us!
We encourage you to visit for resources and events to celebrate Child Welfare Workforce Development Month throughout September! For those planning local events, be sure to download the 2021 Recognition Event Kit, which details how your workforce could be represented in this year's thank you video! There are also flyers and templates to support marketing on the Spread the Word webpage.
Register Now: Connecting to Cultural Ways
Please join us August 24, 2021, at 1pm ET for the final session in our 5-part discussion series addressing how child welfare leaders have supported their workforce in building resiliency.

During the first half of the session, we will talk with Rita Hart, MSW, Tribal Child Welfare Specialist at the Capacity Building Center for Tribes, about the importance of connecting to cultural ways. We'll spend the second half of the session in peer-led small groups discussing how to apply these ideas in your organization.
Event Follow-Up: Understanding Moral Distress
On June 23, during the third session of our discussion series on building a resilient workforce, Amy He, Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver, and lead evaluator for NCWWI, shared information about how understanding moral distress helps build staff resilience, including:

  • Child welfare workers’ value of helping others is an integral part of their core identities, both personally and professionally. When a worker knows what they need to do to help families, but constraints get in the way of them being able to do that, they feel frustration, anxiety, guilt, sadness, and powerlessness – all emotions associated with moral distress.
  • Data from NCWWI’s study of almost 2,000 public child welfare caseworkers show:
  • Over 60% of workers encountered morally distressing conditions
  • More than 40% of workers reported that their jobs required them to do things against their better judgment
  • More than half of workers reported that too many rules and regulations interfere with how well they can do their jobs
  • Low psychological safety (i.e., feeling unsafe to take risks, feeling undermined in expertise, or being afraid to disagree with a supervisor) was the main factor associated with moral distress.
  • Job stress and time pressure also increased workers’ likelihood of experiencing moral distress.

Review the key takeaways from our conversation about how to address moral distress.
Proposals for Child Abuse Prevention and Identification Interdisciplinary Education Projects
For child welfare systems to achieve their goals, they must attract, develop, and retain a diverse workforce with knowledge and skills in understanding families and preventing and intervening when needed to reduce child abuse and neglect. To further this aim, a Request for Proposals for Child Abuse Prevention and Identification Interdisciplinary Education Projects is now available.

This is an invitation to state, county, and tribal child welfare programs; community colleges; tribal colleges; undergraduate and graduate programs; and not-for-profit agencies working in the field of child abuse and neglect to apply for funding to expand or enhance a current interdisciplinary education program designed to prepare future professionals across a number of disciplines with greater knowledge, skills, and abilities in the prevention, identification, and response to child abuse.
We are honored to support your workforce development efforts. Please contact Sharon Kollar if you have questions about NCWWI resources or if you need further assistance.
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