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.


The Statewide Supervisor Core Curricula (and other mandated, statewide curricula) are accessible via the CACWT (California Child Welfare Training) system. If you are a trainer affiliated with a Regional Training Academy, please contact the academy for trainer access. If you are not affiliated with a Regional Training Academy, please email for assistance.

Day 1: Leading in Child Welfare: The Role of the Supervisor

Day 2: Leading in Child Welfare: The Role of the Supervisor (continued)

Day 3: Creating an Organizational Learning Environment

Day 4: Creating an Organizational Learning Environment (continued)

Day 5: Leading in Child Welfare: Data-Informed Supervision

Day 6: Supervising for Accountability

Day 7: Case Consultation and Critical Thinking: Teaming for Success

Day 8: Case Consultation and Critical Thinking: Teaming for Success (continued)

Day 9: Supporting Individual and Team Development

Day 10: Ongoing Development as a Leader

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, Training Operations Assistant Guides for Virtual Deliveries, and PowerPoints.  Trainee’s Guides provide reference materials and worksheets that will be used during the 10 days of Supervisor Core.  Their content includes ICPM Practice and Leadership Behaviors and materials that supervisors can use to reflect on their current skills to craft their own ongoing professional development plans.


All evaluation materials for trainers and trainees should be accessed through the California Child Welfare Training (CACWT) system website. Detailed instructions for trainers on how to administer these evaluations are located in the Evaluation Guide, which can be found in the trainer materials section in CACWT.

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 Core Curricula for Child Welfare Supervisors.  The curriculum series employs a pre- and post-evaluation evaluation design.  The entire pre-evaluation is administered before training begins on Day 1, while post-evaluations are administered in increments on Days 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10, based on the training content of the respective two prior training days.  The evaluation design also includes a Demographic Survey administered on Day 1 and the Statewide Satisfaction Survey administered on Days 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10.

The purpose of the evaluations is multidimensional and designed to:

  1. provide evaluative feedback regarding the curriculum design and its effectiveness to
    1. help inform workforce development needs,
    2. understand how to best to support trainee learning, and
    3. foster a deeper level of learning for future trainees;
  2. explore knowledge acquisition at the aggregate level; and
  3. establish a standard method of evaluating training effectiveness 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 – to collect reliable data to serve the purposes described above.  Consequently, trainers must follow the curriculum as it is written and include all training activities.


If you train Supervisor Core or are a member of the workforce development staff of the Regional Training Academies or the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, we would like to hear from you about how the curriculum can be refined. To provide your comments, please follow these instructions:

1.    Visit the California Child Welfare Training (CACWT) website.

2.    Toggle to your Instructor Role.

3.    Click "Go to LMS" from the Instructor Dashboard.

4.    Next, click "Trainer Resource Community" from the Quick Access card.

5.    Once in the Trainer Resource Community, select “Providing Feedback.”

6.    Then, select “Supervisor Core 2022 Feedback Form.”

Trainer Forum

If you are a trainer for the Statewide Supervisor Core Curricula, we invite you to participate in an online Trainer Forum to share ideas, training tips, questions, challenges, and solutions. Your thoughts are especially valued during the current early implementation phase in virtual or classroom training environments.

To join the Trainer Forum, please follow the Trainer Forum Access Instructions.

All County Information Notice re: Development and Implementation

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 West Coast Practice Consultants. Consultants Mark Miller and Susan Mahoney provided additional expertise.

Initial steps for developing the 2019 version of the Supervisor Core 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 2019 version of the Statewide Supervisor Core Curricula for Child Welfare Supervisors was intended solely for delivery in a classroom setting. However, the coronavirus pandemic necessitated adaptation of the curriculum in Spring 2020 for delivery via a virtual platform.

In 2020 and 2021, structured feedback was collected from trainers, consultants, and the Supervisor Core Development Oversight Group to refine the curriculum.  In addition, new, formal guides for virtual training assistants were added for each training day.  West Coast Practice Consultants authored the revisions and the virtual training guides.  The curriculum was then edited by CalSWEC. The curriculum was again modified in 2022, based on additional feedback from trainers and the Supervisor Core Development Oversight Group.

The training materials posted on CACWT are the current December 2022 versions.  Please 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 Development Guide provides guidance about the key curriculum components needed to provide standardized training in California.


The Addressing Secondary Trauma in Child Welfare Through Reflective Supervision webinar was recorded on 2/28/23 and conducted by members of ACTS (the Advancing of California's Trauma-Informed Systems project), in partnership with CalSWEC (the California Social Work Education Center).
The ACTS project presented a framework for addressing secondary traumatic stress in child welfare through the use of reflective supervision. In this webinar they introduced the foundational elements of reflective supervision, along with a toolkit of practical resources. The audience also heard from a county child welfare leader about their experience using and implementing reflective supervision in their organization. This webinar is meant for child welfare leaders and stakeholders looking to support workforce well-being, reduce turnover and ultimately improve the ways workers collaborate with the children and families they serve.

About ACTS: The Advancing California’s Trauma Informed Systems (ACTS) project is a collaboration between the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), Office of Child Abuse and Prevention (OCAP) and the Chadwick Center at Rady Children’s Hospital. Through this initiative, ACTS partners with county child welfare agencies and connected systems across California to advance trauma informed care. To learn more, please visit their website:
For more info about the webinar, contact CalSWEC at


For questions about the Supervisor Core Curricula, please write to