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In This Issue
Highlighting New SACWIS Functionality
New Supervisor Core Learning Lab
ECORTC Leadership Conference
A Focus on Educational Supervision: What's the Learning Culture of your Unit?
Taking Advantage of "Teachable Moments"
Creating Teachable Moments: A Supervisor's Responsibility
Dear Supervisor
ITNA and IDP Update
Thank you for your Feedback!
The Fall 2013 edition of The Forum included opportunities for you to provide input and feedback for several new OCWTP learning activities. Many of you responded and your input was greatly appreciated. It will shape and inform many future learnings for supervisors in Ohio.
Highlighting New SACWIS Functionality
The National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) Statistical Report is a new SACWIS report that will be available in the SACWIS build, scheduled for release on January 30, 2014.  

Click Here to learn about this report and how to access it through SACWIS.  
A Focus on Educational Supervision: What's the Learning Culture of your Unit
The OCWTP has introduced a new learning lab into Supervisor Core. The three-hour lab will teach supervisors how to use SACWIS data to improve individual staff performance, monitor and improve unit outcomes, and promote data driven decision-making on behalf of children and families. 
For more information contact Laura Hughes, Institute for Human Services,

ECORTC's Annual

Leadership Conference                  

The East Central Ohio Regional Training Center (ECORTC) would like to announce their annual Leadership Conference for PCSA supervisors. Join your peers in learning from top trainers and child welfare experts on topics important to child welfare supervision. The conference is scheduled for March 12-14, 2014.

Click Here to access the conference brochure and instructions for registration.  
January 24th is National Compliment Day!
Use this as an opportunity to say positive things about your staff and encourage them to complement each other. Compliments and positive feedback can boost staff morale and strengthen relationships among your unit members.
Other Ways The OCWTP Can Help You! 
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Hear from you
We are seeking your input about the supervisor newsletter and other OCWTP learning activities. Please take a moment to give us your feedback. The information will be used to tailor the newsletter to best meet your needs and to help OCWTP plan supervisor learning activities.

Please Click Here to take a brief survey.


The Forum is a newsletter informing, supporting, and furthering the development of child welfare supervisors. This edition of The Forum focuses on the importance of educational supervision and ways to effectively develop the skills of your individual staff and unit. 
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     A Focus on Educational Supervision: What's the Learning Culture of Your Unit?               

By Darren Varnado, Southeast Ohio Regional Training Center


Do you let the urgent drive out the important (Garvin, 2005)? As supervisors you have multiple competing priorities facing you each day. The education and development of your staff is one such priority, but because your time to provide educational supervision may be limited it may fall to the side.
Click Here to learn about how you can create the optimal environment for your staff to develop their skills. Don't let the urgent drive out the important.
Take your skills further by participating in a distance learning just for supervisors. Creating a Culture of Learning: Enhancing the Learning Environment of your Unit will help you to understand the elements of a healthy learning environment. It will also provide strategies to move your unit in a positive direction. Read more about Creating a Culture of Learning: Enhancing the Learning Environment of your Unit in this newsletter and register for the distance learning today!
put this on your calendar Join The Conversation!  
 Participate in a distance learning just for supervisors
Creating a Culture of Learning: Enhancing the Learning Environment of your Unit    

The Ohio Child Welfare Training Program is excited to offer this two-hour distance learning to supervisors. This distance learning will take much of the information you read in this newsletter and take it to the next level by presenting strategies and tools for you to use with you unit. Supervisors will be able to access the distance learning from their desk and join a facilitated dialogue with supervisors from around the state as they discuss this important topic.


This workshop will lay out the elements of a healthy learning environment and challenge participants as to their personal role in the enhancement of learning in his/her agency.  Participants will learn some very simple, practical action items that can be implemented at the agency as well as have the opportunity to think through some longer term strategies to help move their organization toward one that is maximizing learning at all levels.


The facilitator for this distance learning is Darren Varnado, MPA. He has worked in child welfare for over 20 years.  In his position as regional training center director for the Southwest Ohio Regional Training Center he has had the opportunity to consult with numerous agencies on how to enhance the learning environment to achieve greater degrees of transfer of learning.  In addition, he is an adjunct professor at Northern Kentucky University where he teaches on Human Services Organizational Leadership.


Session Information:

Learning Number: 515-DL3-7


  • Thursday, February 2, 2014 from 12:00 - 2:00 pm
  • Friday, February 28, 2014 from 9:00 - 11:00 am


To register, log in to E-Track and search for the learning number 515-DL3-7. 


Need help registering through E-Track?  Access the E-Track Training Materials.


Space is limited, so register today!

Taking Advantage of "Teachable Moments"

By: Sandra Parker, Institute for Human Services 

Teachable moments are those unplanned, spontaneous events that present themselves as opportunities for supervisors to teach and staff to learn. They can occur in any situation--formal or informal, unique or mundane, often triggered by a staff person's question, remark, behavior, or action. Making the most of such opportunities requires the supervisor to be attentive--ready to connect the current event to a larger context, and create a learning opportunity that can effect a change in attitude or behavior, and/or be transferred to similar situations.  It's also an opportunity to draw parallels to values held by the organization.

Click here to read the full article and learn how to take advantage of "teachable moments" and improve the skills of you staff. 
 Creating Teachable Moments: A Supervisor's Responsibility

By: Jeff Shafer, Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services


When I think of teachable moments, I consider nearly every aspect of my role as a supervisor in child welfare. However, there are very concrete opportunities. Whether it is processing how workers respond to an emergency or supervise a scheduled family visit, I evaluate performance and encourage workers to build on their excellent skills. With the inception and implementation of SACWIS, workers have been challenged by taking on responsibilities of data entry that were previously managed by support staff. This in and of itself creates many opportunities for supervisors and experienced colleagues to model quality responses to CAPMIS tools and narratives in activity logs. Each agency has its own standards for quality, but one thing remains constant: a timely approach to state and federal standards that are governed by AFCARS and CPOE. It is critical for supervisors to juggle the demands of their agency's mission and the standards set forth by the governing bodies that critique our work. This is why it is so crucial for us to encourage and support the work and workers as often as possible. 


Click Here to read the full article and learn how to create teachable moments.

 Dear Supervisor,                      
Ask a SupervisorsDear Supervisor is our take on the well-known "Dear Abby" advice column. This segment is devoted to helping supervisors meet the challenges of the job.  The questions come from you, child welfare supervisors. If you have a challenge you'd like us to address, email us at supervisor@ihs-trainet.com.


Question: What is the supervisor's role in connecting families to the resources they need?


As Supervisors we often sit with at least one degree of separation from our clients. Really understanding what our clients need is dependent upon a competent assessment by our staff. Hopefully, we've made the most of teachable moments up to this point, and our staff have benefited from a learning culture within the unit. Assuming these elements are in place, we approach the situation with the benefit of understanding the family's needs. Parents' ability to provide for their children's safety and well being often depends upon our understanding of the need and our ability to help them access matching resources.   


Click Here to read tips and strategies to connect the families we serve to the resources they need. 

 Individual Training Needs Assessments and Individual Development Plans are Coming!        

After a lengthy hiatus, the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program will be launching an automated Individual Training Needs Assessment (ITNA) process soon! The ITNA and Individual Development Plans (IDP) are an important part of your staff's development and help to ensure they have all the skills and knowledge required to perform their jobs. 


Click Here to learn more about the new, automated ITNA process and what you can expect as it launches statewide. 

Thank you for reading! Please send newsletter comments and feedback to supervisor@ihs-trainet.com.
Laura Hughes, MSW
Institute for Human Services
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