Strategy

Environmental Scan

A description of an environmental scan that provides information to develop an agency’s overall strategy is addressed in the

Strategy Domain. Here it is sufficient to note that a comprehensive workforce environmental scan gathers information on factors within the community in which the agency operates that will impact the workforce’s ability and capacity to meet clients’ service needs and improve outcomes as defined in the practice model. A thorough workforce environmental scan identifies factors that affect the overall recruitment, selection, performance, retention and deployment of staff across the agency.

 

Example: If there is a shortage of IT staff in the labor market, recruitment and retention strategies for that type of staff may have to be accelerated or the agency may contract out for these services.

 

Data should be gathered in as many relevant areas as possible and be analyzed and approached from a strength­based perspective. Components include but are not limited to:

Community Analysis

The purpose of community analysis is to identify and assess challenges, opportunities, expectations and potential resources that

can enhance or impede the agency’s ability to provide services as well as factors that help or hinder the recruitment and retention of qualified staff at all levels. More specifically, the analysis should include:

  • The adequacy of service provider agencies that can supplement the public child welfare agency’s resources and services.
  • Duplication of services in the community.
  • Institutions of higher learning available to provide a qualified candidate pool and training. Law enforcement and school systems willing to provide support.
  • Relationships with clients and stakeholders.
  • Governmental oversight ­­ modifications in laws and procedures, funding, political climate.
  • Media perceptions and coverage that affect the public’s perception of the workforce, workforce morale and ultimately the agency’s ability to recruit and retain a stable workforce.
  • Legal mandates and rules such as consent decrees and litigation.
  • Community demographics such as the need for extensive resources due to blighted community conditions and unemployment rates.
  • Community setting (urban, rural, remote) which includes the travel time to access clients and resources needed to secure worker safety.
  • Labor market conditions that suggests opportunities (e.g., colleges and universities) and challenges (such as economic conditions causing people to move out of the area).

Client Analysis

A comprehensive client analysis includes the make­up of the client population and its needs so the public child welfare agency

can meet these needs. It must look at the complexity and diversity of the clients.  For instance, on the issue of eliminating disparities and addressing disproportionality, the analysis has to look beyond broad categories and seek to understand  subcultures (e.g. seeking to understand the different needs presented by a community’s Mexican families and that of its Guatemalan families versus “meeting the needs of Hispanic families”). Still agencies must recognize that even within a specific demographic group, families present a variety of subcultures, beliefs and traditions.  In addition, it identifies trends that forecast   the size of the client population and other relevant demographic changes that impact service needs. The analysis ought to map clients’ geographic locations, the client services needs in each specific area, and the available services in each area to meet the identified needs.


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