Teaming

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In an effort to make substantial changes and improvements to the way the child welfare workforce is developed and supported, to counter the forces thatcontribute to caseworker turnover, and to improve services to families, the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) began to pilot the Teaming Model in early 2007.

The Teaming Model Initiative was developed by the Massachusetts Department of Social Services to address the issues noted above by re-structuring individualized casework to that of teamwork. In order to make this transition, the organizational culture of individual responsibility toward caseload is transformed to that of the team’s responsibility. The supervisor is integral to this shift in behavior and must model strong leadership and promote, coach and monitor the accomplishment of child protective and child welfare casework through teamwork and group supervision. The individual caseworker sheds their isolation and total case/family responsibility and takes on joint decision-making, and shifting responsibilities depending on case needs and team assignments.

The basic premise of team casework and group supervision is that supervisors can focus more on facilitating and providing quality assurance for decisions than in making them and focus more on coaching case practice than “doing” case practice, while the ‘team’ takes on more responsibility toward case decision making and management.

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