Change Management

Organizational Change in Action


This Intervention Overview draws heavily from Building Cultures and Climates for Effective Human Services: Understanding and Improving Organizational Social Contexts with the ARC model, Oxford University Press (2018).  This book was written by Drs. Anthony Hemmelgarn and Charles Glisson based on 20+ years of intensive implementation and research experience within child welfare and mental health organizations.  Dr. Hemmelgarn consulted with the QIC-WD on this project and served as the ARC specialist in Milwaukee.

What is ARC and why was it selected?

ARC stands for availability, responsiveness, and continuity and is an organizational change process. It is aimed at improving the organizational culture and climate and the availability, responsiveness, and continuity of services provision in human service organizations. ARC involves three primary strategies: 

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 worked with the Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services (DMPCS) to establish an implementation team to lead the development and implementation of the workforce project. The implementation team was composed of representatives from Human Resources; Quality Assurance; DMCPS frontline staff, supervisors, and administrators; Department of Children and Families state office leaders, the Site Implementation Manager (SIM), and three members of the QIC-WD (representing expertise in workforce, implementation, and evaluation). 

The Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services (DMCPS) of the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) has approximately 185 State employees, responsible for the delivery of child protective services and ongoing case management services through contract agencies in Milwaukee County. DMCPS performs intake and investigative functions, while ongoing casework is managed by partner agencies in the community. 

The QIC-WD evaluation was conducted with the support of the Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services (DMCPS) to determine if an Organizational Change Process intervention (Availability Responsiveness Continuity or ARC) was effective in improving workforce and child welfare outcomes. 

Research Questions

Process Evaluation

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.

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