On Tuesday, September 28, 2021, the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) and the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) presented a panel to discuss Empowering the Child Welfare Workforce and its Emerging Leaders. The webinar provided information about CWLA’s Emerging Leaders Committee and insightful steps, tips, and strategies to promote growth and development of emerging leaders on all levels as they navigate through their careers, positions, and programs.

Presenters included CWLA Emerging Leaders, Terrell Thomas from Stanford Sierra Youth and Families, Bacall Hincks from Dahlia’s Hope, Gabrielle Aiosa-Perrin from Fostering Change for Children, Michelle Clinch from NCWWI, Alycia Blackwell from Fairfax County Department of Family Services, and CWLA Senior Fellow Michael Schultz.

Fostering Change for Children based in New York have recruited, selected, trained, and supported 20 Children’s Corps groups of diverse emerging leaders. Gabrielle shared how they provided skill-based training, unwavering, wraparound support to workers, and mentorship. Seventy percent of Children’s Corps alumni have obtained a graduate degree and professional licenses, and 75 percent remain in the child serving field.

NCWWI, which is supported by the Children’s Bureau is known for developing workforce development activities including leadership development resources, trainings, and more. In partnership with CWLA, they collaborated to develop A Checklist for Emerging Leaders.

CWLA’s Emerging Leaders Committee comprised of child welfare professionals with less than 20 years of experience that are employees within CWLA member agencies focus on partnership, equity and diversity, and professional growth. During the pandemic, a small cohort of the Emerging Leaders Committee participated in facilitated group and individual coaching with Dr. Michael Schultz. The group allowed diverse emerging leaders to sharpen their personal and professional skills through facilitation and coaching with colleagues across the country, emphasized Alycia.

Regardless of the level of leadership any person may be, Dr. Schultz emphasis that being true leadership exists on a spectrum of continuous learning. Collaboration between individuals from a vast network of people of different education levels, cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds, and those with contrasting points-of-view produce results that encompass all people from an equitable frame of lens. The most effective leadership comes from collaboration and teamwork counters the stress and strains that results in an outcome of healing and progress for ourselves, our clients, and our communities.

To access the presentation from the webinar, click here. For more information regarding CWLA’s Emerging Leaders Committee, please contact Member Services at MemberServices@cwla.org