Preparing and supporting Florida’s child welfare workforce from classroom to casework to competent leadership.
Greater resilience of the workforce
The Institute’s GROW Center will house several 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. Florida’s child welfare system has experienced challenges with stabilizing and sustaining their 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.
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.
From Classroom to Casework
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 initiatives housed within the GROW Center that address components mandated by statute include: Academic Innovation, ALIGN, and Alliance for Workforce Enhancement (AWE). Academic Innovation will begin in the classroom as they prepare students with robust curricula and creative learning opportunities. ALIGN will provide ongoing support for professionals as they advance in their careers. Lastly, the Alliance for Workforce Enhancement will focus on impacting and improving organizational well-being.
Florida Study of Professionals for Safe Families: The Cornerstone
The Florida Study of Professionals for Safe Families, 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.
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.