Supervisor Core

Common Core Curricula for Supervisors

CalSWEC's in-service training partners deliver the Common Core for Supervisors statewide. New supervisors are required to complete all the following six modules within the first year of hire or promotion:

  1. Casework Supervision
  2. Child Welfare Policy and Practice
  3. Evidence-Based Practice
  4. Fiscal Essentials
  5. Educational Supervision
  6. Managing for Results

Each Common Core content area is based on a set of measurable learning objectives for knowledge, skills, and values essential to the provision of excellent service to families and children who participate in California’s county child welfare programs.  

Standardized information and delivery, statewide

Standardized information, with detailed instructions on delivery

General Information About Using and Citing the California Common Core Curricula for Supervisors

Overview Documents

  • Curriculum Templates
    • Curriculum Introduction Trainee Guide
    • Sample Curriculum Introduction - Tips for training curriculum

Other Curriculum Resources

  • The National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) Leadership Academy for Supervisors offers free online training for supervisors to improve supervision skills and prepare supervisors for advancement as part of succession planning. Learn more about it at the NCWWI website.


Mandates enacted by California’s Round One Program Improvement Plan (PIP), developed as a result of the 2003 federal Child and Family Services Review (CFSR), called for the development of a standardized statewide training program for newly appointed child welfare supervisors. Regulations passed in July 2008 further stipulate that all supervisors must complete a standardized core training program approved by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). Further, the PIP also requires ongoing statewide evaluation of the Supervisor Core training curriculum.

Initial steps began in 2016, with partners from around the state gathering input and guidance via focus groups on core concepts for the development of a single statewide curriculum for child welfare supervisors. The information gathered through this process was summarized into a proposal presented to the County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) for review. The CWDA provided further guidance then approved the final plan.

Thus, in compliance with the requirements outlined by the PIP, and mirroring the goals set forth for the Common Core 3.0 Social Worker training curriculum, the Supervisor Core redesign efforts aim to create one standardized curriculum that is comprehensive in its inclusion of the key knowledge, skills, and values that are essential for holding a leadership role in child welfare.

New Supervisor Core Coming in 2020

The new curriculum is targeted to roll out statewide in early 2020. The framework for this redesigned curriculum is rooted in and focuses heavily upon the principles of the California Integrated Core Practice Model (ICPM). Throughout the a new, ten-day training series, new supervisors are asked to consider their unique and significant role in advancing child welfare practice in California, and how relying upon and modeling the ICPM behaviors will facilitate this process.

The new training series aims to prepare newly hired supervisors for their transition from Social Worker to Supervisor. Emphases of the curriculum include principles of coaching, teaming, case consultation, and how to support and encourage professional development.

Specific training topics, by day, for Supervisor Core are as follows:

Days 1 and 2: Leading in Child Welfare: The Role of the Supervisor
Days 3 and 4: Creating an Organizational Learning Environment
Days 5 and 6: Case Consultation and Critical Thinking: Teaming for Success
Day 7: Ethical Practice and Supporting Professional Development
Day 8: Data-Informed Supervision 
Day 9: Managing for Accountability 
Day 10: Teaming and Transfer to Practice

Training days are structured as such: Introduction of knowledge-based components, opportunities to put concepts to practice, discussion and debriefing of the practice activity, and opportunities for self-reflection.

In an effort to support workforce development, and to underline the fact that this training series is not intended to deliver fully-developed supervisors at its conclusion, but rather, introduces core concepts and provides a foundation upon which new supervisors can continue to develop their knowledge and skill sets, the Supervisor Core training program will include a culminating product. Through self-reflection and goal-setting exercises, trainees will gradually build a Professional Development Plan throughout their ten days of training. On the final day, trainees will spend time tying together concepts from their training experience and identifying personalized opportunities for continued development. These will be compiled into a coherent Professional Development Plan that trainees can take back and use in their respective counties as they develop in their new role.

As of May 2019, the new Statewide Supervisor Core Curriculum was piloted in Sacramento County, as well as Los Angeles County. At this time the post piloted curriculum will be revised by Supervisor Core Development Oversight Group (SupDOG) – composed of training partners from each RTA and LADCFS, including curriculum specialists and subject matter experts from across the state, as well as the curriculum writers, West Coast Practice Consultants, for final review and ready the product for implementation in January 2020. Along with a review of the post piloted curriculum a strong evaluation design will consider the impact of both the content and the delivery of the material, and a strong analysis plan will allow for the unique contribution of each to be modeled statistically. It is also useful to consider how the curriculum is being received by the target audience – inclusion of a “satisfaction survey” will capture this data.