Supervisor Core

The Statewide Supervisor Core Curricula for Child Welfare Supervisors

The Statewide Supervisor Core Curricula for Child Welfare Supervisors is anchored in the statewide Integrated Core Practice Model (ICPM).  With the ICPM as its foundation, the curricula enable 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.


  • Days 1 and 2: Leading in Child Welfare: The Role of the Supervisor
  • Days 3 and 4: Creating an Organizational Learning Environment
  • Day 5: Data Informed Supervision
  • Day 6: Supervising for Accountability
  • Days 7 and 8: Case Consultation and Critical Thinking: Teaming for Success
  • Day 9: Supporting Individual and Team Development
  • Day 10: Ongoing Development as a Leader
  • Workbook

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 an optimistic, resilient 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 professional development plans for ongoing use.


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 provide evaluative feedback regarding the curriculum design and its effectiveness to:

    1. help inform workforce development needs;
    2. understand how best to support trainee learning; and
    3. foster a deeper level of learning for future trainees;

  2. to explore knowledge acquisition (as measured by average difference from pre- to post-test) at the aggregate level during the initial implementation phase of Supervisor Core; and

  3. to 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 -- 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.

For access to 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 statewide partners providing recommendations and guidance via focus groups regarding core concepts to support a single, statewide curriculum. The information gathered through this process was summarized in a proposal presented to the County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) for review. 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 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 will occur between January and June 2020. During this time, structured feedback will be collected from classroom observers, trainers, and trainees, and a revision process will begin. Revisit this Web page for future updates.

Supervisor Core is systematically evaluated and revised on an ongoing basis. To provide feedback, please complete the Supervisor Core Quarterly Feedback form.


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. 

Access Permission

To be granted access to the Statewide Supervisor Core Curricula for Child Welfare Supervisors, please contact Vanessa Rezos and Tenia Davis.