The Child Protective Services (CPS) supervisor is the single most important factor for improving
the delivery of safety intervention. The CPS supervisor holds tremendous influence over worker
performance. The influence a supervisor has with respect to worker understanding and proficiency of
safety intervention begins from the moment a new worker walks through the door of an agency and
continues throughout the worker’s CPS career.
The importance of the supervisory role in consulting and overseeing child safety decision making is more
important than the actual practice occurring among CPS workers.
This project exists because of the recognition that CPS supervisors must be experts in safety
Supervisors as Safety Decision Makers is a project funded by four states to develop a rigorous
competency building program that focuses exclusively on safety intervention concepts essential to effective
safety intervention and safety decision making. The program is currently being designed by ACTION for
Child Protection and is anticipated to be completed by the fall of 2008. The program will combine 24 hours
of on site classroom learning with 90 hours of off site individualized assignments over a four month period.
A major feature of the program will be the facilitated hands-on approach to supporting mastery.
What Four States Think a Rigorous Supervisor Program Must Be
- Extensive focus on essential safety practices and decisions
- Means for measuring demonstrated ability to judge safety decision making
- Opportunities that require acceptable articulation and justification of safety decision making
- Concentrated and rigorous case related experiences
- Demanding and challenging individual learning encounters
- Communication that establishes the learner’s proficiency
- Confidence building and self-assurance regarding one’s expertise
Supervisors as Safety Decision Makers will be a comprehensive and intensive learning program
directed at individual mastery of safety concepts essential to effective safety decision making. Eighty
percent of the program will be implemented off site at participants’ job locations. Participants will be
grouped in learning teams. Each team will have eight participants. Each team will be led by two expert
facilitators. In addition, each facilitator will work directly with four participants providing guided
consultation during all off site assignments. The program will contain two areas: Identifying and
Responding to Present Danger and Identifying and Responding to Impending Danger.
The specific methods for building participant expertise and mastery in safety decision making will
include: individual and group exercise, video demonstration and analysis, case review and analysis,
literature review, individual and group consultation, writing and actual real-life application
experiences. Individual learning accountability will be emphasized.
- Participants recognize, articulate and demonstrate possession of comprehensive knowledge and
technical skill related to safety decision making.
- Participants understand and persuasively communicate safety concepts and criteria.
- Participants recognize and can explain how safety concepts, criteria and standards are applied
at specific points in the safety intervention process.
- Participants analyze and perform critical thinking related to case practice situations independently.
- Participants successfully demonstrate proficiency in information analysis, safety assessment,
and safety planning and safety management.
Hallmark Features of Program
- Focused on Present and Impending Danger
- Consultation Support