Change, Being Responsive to Change Is Continuing Theme for CalSWEC | October 2018

October 16, 2018

Dear CalSWEC Community,

CalSWEC continues to undergo changes related to the implementation of the 2016 Strategic Plan and its Five-Year Workplan. These changes have required patience, persistence, understanding, and resilience on the part of CalSWEC staff and stakeholders alike.

The most significant changes have occurred at the CalSWEC Board level. One year ago, the Board passed a motion to accept the proposed reorganization of its membership and meetings per the Strategic Plan. Bylaws amendments were passed in February 2018 that changed its size and composition and established itself as an Advisory Board.

As part of its charge, the Advisory Board established two ad hoc committees. The first one focused on refining the descriptions, purpose, and charge of the three renamed permanent committees–Capacity Building and Planning, Evaluation and Research, and Policy and Advocacy. The second one focused on developing a membership dues/structure to support vital expenditures not allowable or allocable to current state and federal contracts and grants. The Advisory Board will consider recommendations from both these ad hoc committees at its October 18 meeting.

These and other changes related to the Strategic Plan represent a “culture shift” for the CalSWEC community. However, our Mission remains the same: to work together to “[facilitate] and [support] statewide partnerships for the education and training of social workers to ensure culturally responsive, effective, and high-quality health and social service delivery to the people of California.”

This said, here are some highlights of other developments that have occurred over the last few months that relate back to our Mission:

  • The CalSWEC Advisory Board has gained two representative members from the County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA): Kari Beureman, LCSW, Director of Marin County Social Services, and Shelby Boston, MSW, Director of Butte County Employment and Social Services. Shelby is a Title IV-E Stipend Program graduate.
  • CalSWEC was named in a federal grant from the Agency for Community Living to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to implement an Adult Protective Services Stipend Program beginning in fall 2019. The Bay Area Social Services Consortium also funded CalSWEC to organize a planning group to initiate this effort.
  • A fully updated CalSWEC Student Information System (CSIS) database and associated processes for the Salesforce platform were launched. Salesforce is a popular, cloud-based relationship database/customer relationship management (CRM) system that will support the student data collection efforts of CalSWEC’s Title IV-E Stipend Program, and over time, our Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) Program Stipend Program.
  • CalSWEC’s IBH Program secured funding from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development for the 2018–19 MHSA Stipend Program, as well as a federal award from the Health Resources and Services Administration to train MSW students in medication-assisted treatment for opioid-use disorders.
  • CalSWEC’s In-Service Training Program is currently working with CDSS on a three-year amendment for the Regional Training Academy (RTA) Coordination contract. This contract will feature expanded activity in the areas of training evaluation and instructional technology to support online training, including a new supervisor core curriculum. CalSWEC also partnered with CWDA and the RTAs to develop a budget proposal to secure sponsored legislation to expand child welfare training in California. 
  • Over 1,300 responses have been collected in the first wave of the Title IV-E Retrospective Study, and data collection for the Contra Costa County Workforce Study is complete.
  • CalSWEC continues to collaborate with CDSS on a statewide Learning Management System.
  • CalSWEC Central’s office is moving to the UC Berkeley campus this semester. We will be housed at Haviland Hall, home of Berkeley Social Welfare, beginning in mid-December 2018.

Other important news includes the following personnel appointments. Each of these individuals, along with current staff, are part of the transformative change taking place at CalSWEC so we can remain current, relevant, nimble and open to innovation and creative efforts. They include:

  • Dr. Mike Sumner, Director of Evaluation and Research
  • Mavis Njoo-Lau, Director of Finance
  • Michelle Perez-Robles, Office/Events Manager
  • Faïza Azgui, Research Administrator
  • Sheela Jhaveri, Research Administrator
  • Gabriela Fischer, LCSW, Program and Policy Analyst
  • Suhel Pathan, Salesforce Administrator

Change can be hard and at times, even awkward as an organization recalibrates its focus, purpose, and roles. What matters more than anything else, however, is how we as CalSWEC community members respond to changes and transition into a new way of doing business. My hope is that the commonly-shared value of supporting and promoting the profession of social work and workforce development will rivet us together as we move forward.


Virginia Rondero Hernandez

Executive Director and Principal Investigator, CalSWEC

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