Washington Department of Children, Youth & Families

Exploration of Needs

What is telework and why was it selected?

Telework is a type of alternative work arrangement in which employees perform some or all of their job duties at an approved location other than their official worksite. Other labels for telework include telecommuting, remote work, mobile work, virtual work, distance work, distributed work, work from/at home, and flexplace, though definitions can vary (e.g., Allen, Golden, & Shockley, 2015).

During the needs assessment  process, theories of change were developed for the three primary areas of need identified in partnership with the Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families. Through a series of steps and causal links, a theory of change provides a roadmap to address the root causes of an identified workforce problem and describes how and why changes are expected to lead to the desired outcomes.

Implementation Team

The QIC-WD evaluation was conducted with the support of the Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) to determine if a telework program was effective in improving workforce and child welfare outcomes. The evaluation, as outlined in the Logic Model, was approved by the Washington State Institutional Review Board (IRB).

The Washington Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) Child Welfare Field Operations (CWYO) telework program was developed by reviewing policies, practices, experiences and research distilled from materials produced by numerous federal and state agencies (for example, www.telework.gov).

Each QIC-WD site developed a logic model to serve as a visual representation of their selected intervention. All logic models included four main components: inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes. Collectively, these demonstrate the resources and actions required to implement the program, as well as the associated result or changes anticipated through implementation of the program. The hypothesized relationships are represented by the pathways connecting the listed activities and anticipated outcomes. For more information see Site Overview.

The Importance of Communication When Implementing Workforce Changes

“Communication is the key to success…” Listen to QIC-WD site representatives from Washington, Louisiana, Virginia, and Milwaukee, WI talk about the strategies they used to introduce and support a workforce initiative in their child welfare agency.

Watch the Video
The Critical Role of Child Welfare Workers
This short blog post and video highlight the critical role that child welfare workers play on the frontlines; managing threats to their own safety while working to keep children safe.
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