Supervisor Core

The Statewide Supervisor Core Curricula for Child Welfare Supervisors

California’s Supervisor Core Curricula for Child Welfare Supervisors is anchored in the statewide Integrated Core Practice Model (ICPM).  With the ICPM as its foundation, the Supervisor Core enables child welfare supervisors to carry forth the mission of transforming the culture and methods of child welfare practice to better serve California’s children and families.

Curriculum Design

The Supervisor Core is designed to build the competencies of new supervisors in 10 fundamental skills by drawing on the leadership and practice behaviors of the ICPM. In addition, the curriculum emphasizes the centrality of ongoing professional development of supervisors and their staff.

Each of the 10 training days in the series concentrates on one skill learning objective and several knowledge and values learning objectives that support the development of the day’s principal skill. The curriculum prominently features practical applications of the learning objectives in the day-to-day work of supervisors and evokes the life and work experiences of the trainer and training participants to enhance learning acquisition.

The curriculum adopts the perspectives of new supervisors to meet their need to transition successfully into a leadership role, both in their self-identities and behaviors. Guidance is provided to help supervisors promote a resilient and optimistic agency culture. The curriculum addresses such questions as:

  • How do I lead?
  • How do I set expectations for my staff?
  • How do I measure and track progress?
  • How do I coach?
  • How do I provide case consultation?
  • How do I mobilize my team and instill confidence in their capacity to practice competently?

Curriculum Components

The curriculum is comprised of Trainer’s Guides, Trainee’s Guides, PowerPoints, and a Workbook.  The workbook provides reference materials and worksheets for trainees that will be used throughout the 10 days of Supervisor Core. Its content includes ICPM Practice and Leadership Behaviors, an overview of California’s Common Core Curricula for Child Welfare Workers (version 3.0), a summary of the Field Guide for Social Workers and Field Advisors, and materials that supervisors can use to reflect on their current skills and craft their own ongoing professional development plans.


The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC), in collaboration with California’s four Regional Training Academies (RTAs) and the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (LA DCFS), maintain the process of evaluating the Statewide Supervisor Core Curricula for Child Welfare Supervisors. The curriculum series employs a pre- and post-test evaluation design administered on Days 1 and 10, in conjunction with a Demographic Survey administered on Day 1 and Satisfaction Surveys administered on Days 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10.

The purpose of the evaluation is multidimensional:

  1. To improve training effectiveness in helping child welfare workers and supervisors serve children, youth, and families;

  2. To determine if the training accomplished its goals; and

  3. To establish a standard method of evaluation in response to federal requirements in the Program Improvement Plan (PIP) for California.

A high level of statewide standardization and consistency is required - with fidelity both to the curriculum and to delivery standards -- in order to collect reliable data to serve the purposes described above. Consequently, trainers must follow the curriculum as it is written and include all activities that precede the post-test at the conclusion of the training series.

Trainer Discussion Board

If you are a trainer for the Statewide Supervisor Core Curricula, we invite you to participate in a Trainer Discussion Board to share ideas, training tips, questions, challenges, and the like. Your thoughts would be especially valued during the current phase of early implementation.

To join the Trainer Discussion Board, please contact

Development Process

The following leadership organizations contributed to the development of the Supervisor Core Curricula: California Department of Social Services, County Welfare Directors Association of California, Northern California Training Academy, Bay Area Academy, Central California Training Academy, Child Welfare Development Services of the Academy for Professional Excellence, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, and California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Supervisor Core Curricula were authored by Diana Shreckengost and Sarah Glass of West Coast Practice Consultants. Consultants Mark Miller and Susan Mahoney provided additional expertise.

Initial steps for developing the current version of the Supervisor Core (December 2019) began in 2016 with focus groups comprised of statewide partners who provided recommendations and guidance about core concepts that would support a single, statewide curriculum. The information gathered through this process was summarized in a proposal presented for review by the County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA). The CWDA provided further recommendations and then approved the final plan.

The development of the Supervisor Core involved a methodical approach to incorporate the perspectives of multiple stakeholders and solicit their extensive feedback through vetting, piloting, and revising the curricula. The Supervisor Core Development Oversight Group shepherded the process, while dedicated observers, trainers, and trainees participated in two pilot series in Sacramento and Los Angeles Counties, respectively, to test the curricula in the classroom.

The current version of the Statewide Supervisor Core Curricula for Child Welfare Supervisors was released in December 2019. Initial implementation in California’s five child welfare training regions occurred between January and June 2020.  While the Supervisor Core was intended to be delivered in a classroom setting, the coronavirus pandemic necessitated adaptation of the curriculum in Spring 2020 for delivery via a virtual platform.

Structured feedback is being collected from observers, trainers, and trainees through June 2021, with expectations to refine the curriculum by December 2021. Revisit this Web page for future updates.


Refer to Background and Context to learn about the first version of the Statewide Supervisor Core Curricula for Child Welfare Supervisors, which was released in 2005.

Citation Guidelines

Refer to the Guidelines for Citation in order to use and cite content from the Statewide Supervisor Core Curricula for Child Welfare Supervisors.

California Statewide Training Curriculum Development Guide

The California Statewide Training Curriculum Guide provides guidance on the key curriculum components needed to provide standardized training in California.


For questions about the Supervisor Core Curricula, please write to