Comprehensive, Culturally Approriate, and Competency-Based Workforce Development.


Coaching is an exciting new workforce development modality that greatly enhances transfer of learning from the classroom to the field. (Joyce and Showers, 2002)

Coaching Philosophy: Child Welfare Development Services (CWDS) believes that coaching is an on the job, effective and strength-based practice that supports the implementation of training knowledge and skills-based best practice.

CWDS Child Welfare Coaching Definition: Child Welfare Coaching is the collaboration or teaming of a coach and learner for the purpose of enhancing skills or personal development in their child welfare practice. It is learner led in that the identified skill or goal to be explored during the coaching session is determined by the learner. The coach creates a positive, structured environment with agreed upon outcomes that are designed to allow the coach and learner to focus on the goals of the session. The session is a safe place to explore and practice strength-based critical thinking skills. It does not replace supervision, nor is it a place to grade worker performance.

CWDS coaches serve the following populations: support staff, lineworkers, supervisors, and Child Welfare leadership.

CWDS Coaches support the transfer of learning from the classroom to the field. Some of the topics covered are listed here but are not limited to:

  • Safety Organized Practice
  • Structured Decision Making
  • Healthy Organizational Culture
  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Solution Focused Inquiry/Case Management
  • Child and Family Teams
  • Implementation Science
  • Trauma Informed Care
  • Secondary Trauma/Resiliency

Our coaching program uses Qualtrics, a data survey and dashboarding system, to gather data around sign in details, learning objectives and coaching feedback to provide us with live data so we can be responsive and nimble and help our county partners make data driven decisions around coaching.

Please see our CWDS Coaching Program Overview for more details.

For additional information please contact Practice Consultant Manager, Jenni AhSing.

Additional Coaching Tools:

Coaching Sign In

The Coaching Sign In is available to coaches during coaching sessions so they can direct the learner here to sign in if needed.

CWDS Coaching Corner Podcasts

The CWDS Coaching Corner is a series of podcasts for coaches coaching in the child welfare field. On each episode, join James Coloma as he talks with special guests on topics related to coaching the child welfare workforce. These podcasts are produced through CWDS (formerly Public Child Welfare Training Academy) Radio through the Academy for Professional Excellence at San Diego State University School of Social Work. Hosted, produced and edited by James Coloma, with assistance from Val Ryan. Logo by Kathy Collins. Podcast name by Amy Jaffe.

Episode 1
Preparing for Your First Coaching Session – Bill James

Episode 2
Setting Agreements to Guide Coaching in the Field – Dawn Schoonhoven Scott

Episode 3
Remaining in a Space of Inquiry – Nancy Satterwhite

Episode 4
Cultural Humility – Darlene Hill

Episode 5
Social Work Privilege – Steven Wells

Episode 6
Motivational Interviewing – Dr. Melinda Hohman and Bill James

Episode 7
Solution-Focused Questions – Bill James

Episode 8
Writing Harm Statements  – Wayne Rutledge

Episode 9
Writing Danger Statements – Wayne Rutledge

Episode 10
Mapping with Families – Bill James

Episode 11
Case Planning with Families – Kim Giardina

Episode 12
Building Safety Networks – Amy Jaffe

Episode 13
Safety Planning with Families Using SOP – Kim Giardina

Episode 14
Core 3.0 – Irene Becker

Stories from the Field

CWDS uses “Stories from the Field” to encourage and grow coaching and best practices. As the coaches are working with learners they gather stories of good work and experiences they are seeing. With permission from the learner the coach writes up the story and then sends it out county wide to spread the word.

Stories from the Field – Example

If you would like to be added to the mailing list to receive future stories, contact Jenni AhSing.

Leadership Coaching

CWDS has rolled out coaching to workers, supervisors and leaders across the Southern region.

Coaching at the leadership level supports the development of a learning culture and practice improvement at all levels of the organization. It assists leaders in taking action to reach goals and strengthen peer support.

Leadership coaching allows managers and executive leadership to work with a coach on anything from specific child welfare skills to broaden leadership skills. It may focus on business processes, supervision and management of staff, implementation planning, use of data in child welfare management, continuous quality improvement strategies, co-management of teams, strengths-based leadership skills and any other topic that will enhance leadership capacity. For more information see the Leadership Coaching Flyer.

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