Effective supervisors are an essential component in the successful outcomes of children and families involved in the child welfare system. In addition to front-line worker competencies, the Minnesota Child Welfare Practice Framework provides eight areas of competency for supervisors. The competencies that guide the practice of supervisors bring consistency and set high expectations for leadership in the field to support staff in their complex work with children and families.

Given that supervisors must be able to integrate numerous skills and areas of knowledge, the Supervisor Competencies have been written to reflect the complex and often multi-dimensional nature of supervision in child welfare practice. In this article we will focus on the competency of Program Administration.

Program Administration asks that supervisors demonstrate an understanding of relevant history, theory, values, emerging issues, ethics, managerial principles, and organizational structure to advance the mission/vision of the agency. An example of this competency is: Relates effectively with all levels of administration inside and outside the organization.

According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway website, “A child welfare agency's administrative structure, combined with effective leadership and competent management, provides the framework for ensuring the delivery of quality services to children and families.” How well is the administration of your organization working? What are ways you and your colleagues can advocate for improvements?

Refer to page 19 of the Minnesota Child Welfare Practice Framework to review all competencies related to program administration, and consider ways to develop your own knowledge and skills. Following are several resources to explore.

  • Building Agency Capacity - Capacity building refers to activities that contribute to an agency's effectiveness as it works to achieve its mission, helping to create a racial equity lens in program administration
  • Developing and Implementing Agency Mission and Policy - an agency's philosophy, mission, and policy set the tone for workplace culture and interactions between agency staff and community members.
  • Leading Change with Vision - a shared vision inspires creativity, sustains motivation, and enables people to work past barriers.

If you have discovered other resources for developing competencies in Program Administration, please share! Email us at info@mnchildwelfaretraining.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.