Greater Resilience of the Workforce

Florida's child welfare system has experienced challenges with stabilizing and sustaining its professional workforce. The GROW Center will be the heart of the Institute's professional advancement offerings and will facilitate all management and administrative tasks, curriculum development, and coordination of activities.

The Institute's GROW Center will address many of the components of Senate Bill 1326 and create a dynamic through-line from classroom to casework to retain workers who grow, competently, into leaders at all levels of the workforce.

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From Classroom to Casework to Competent Leadership

The GROW Center is the umbrella under which all the Institute's professional advancement offerings will be created, and all management and administrative tasks, curriculum development, and coordination of activities will be conducted.

The three programs housed within the GROW Center that address components mandated by statute include:

The Cornerstone

The Florida Study of
Professionals for Safe Families

The Florida Study of Professionals for Safe Families (FSPSF), a longitudinal study of Florida's child welfare workforce (2015-2020), found that 81 percent of newly hired frontline workers left their original agency within three-and-a-half years, with the majority leaving within the first 18 months.

Transforming child welfare in Florida into a system that prioritizes thriving children and families requires a thriving workforce. The current and significant workforce turnover rates, as found by the FSPSF, make meaningful change to the system and to child and family outcomes, unlikely.

The FSPSF findings serve as a cornerstone of the developing GROW Center.

Of newly hired frontline workers

left their original agency within three-and-a-half years

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GROW Center Advisory Committee

GROW Center Advisory Committee members will provide guidance and feedback to the GROW Center on programmatic efforts, link the GROW Center staff and programs with child welfare professionals and organizations, and advocate for the GROW Center's innovative approaches to transforming the child welfare system in Florida.

View the Advisory Committee
The GROW Center
illustrated graphic representing how the GROW center helps childcare workers go from a burnout state to a feeling of a fulfilling career
This image is an illustrative interpretation of the GROW Center's logic model and its tagline: "preparing and supporting Florida's child welfare workforce from classroom to casework to competent leadership". Overall this illustration depicts a grassy landscape with a pathway that moves through it and various points along the way to convey the programs and activities of the GROW Center. The bottom left corner represents the current state of the child welfare field and shows workers who are stressed. The words "Burnout" and "Turnover" appear in this area, along with rocky terrain and more infertile land. There is not much growing in this area of the scene. To the immediate right of this are the gardening tools and a list of the resources or inputs needed to begin the path into the GROW Center. The resources are "Workforce Data", "Academic Partners and Affiliates", "Staff", "Consultants", "Children and Families", "DCF and CBC Leadership", and "Funding". A signpost in the ground depicts the GROW Center logo with footsteps along the path that represent participants. The participants are "Child Welfare Supervisors and Managers", "System Partners", "Frontline Professionals", and "Students". The next area along the path has a signpost with the Academic Innovation logo to introduce activities for the classroom. These activities include "Academic Innovation", "Research and Evaluation", and "Training and Technical Assistance". Illustrations of people learning in a classroom setting and participating in such activities are also positioned in this area, as well as evidence of growth through yellow flowers in the landscape. The next area of the path shows a signpost with the ALIGN logo on it and activities under casework. Illustrations of people engaged in the following activities are also depicted along with text that reads: "Career Advancement", "Mentorship and Coaching", and "Partnerships". This area has an increasing number of yellow flowers to illustrate continued growth and increasing wellness to the state of the child welfare field. The pathway curves upwards with an activity that reads "Pathway to Leadership" and leads to the next section of the landscape, competent leadership, with a signpost featuring the Alliance for Workforce Enhancement logo. This section contains fields of yellow flowers and the activity "Well-being and Resiliency Groups" with depictions of child welfare workers in group and 1:1 meetings. As the path continues, illustrations of emotionally thriving families are shown, representing the results of efforts to support the workforce through the GROW Center's programs. The path ends with a circular form that reads "The field of Child Welfare Thriving" to offer contrast to the more infertile state at which the path began. The words "Innovation", "Sustainability" and "Well-being" are show at the top edge of the landscape, representing the values and intention of the GROW Center."

The Goal of the GROW Center

To create a continuum of learning opportunities and ongoing support for college students, recently trained personnel, and middle and upper management positions working in child welfare agencies to enhance learning and build capacity towards meaningful and systemic change within the statewide child welfare workforce.

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