Changing the World One Child at a Time (CT WOCAT) is a New York City not-for-profit organization dedicated to innovating and promoting positive change within the child welfare system. With a focus on children, families, and the individuals who work day in and day out with children and families we aim to inspire and innovate. Ct WOCAT programs include mentoring, best practices trainings for child welfare workers, agency technical assistance, and permanency improvement for children and youth in foster care who have incarcerated parents.
Over the last year CTWOCAT has been developing a new initiative called Children's Services Corps (CSC) which is aimed at improving outcomes for all children and families touched by the child welfare system. CSC’s goal is to address the severe and growing crisis in the child welfare workforce. Research has found high caseworker turnover, as well as a lack of training and support to be linked to negative outcomes for children and families involved with the child welfare system. Inspired by the Teach for America (TFA) model, this project - a collaborative effort between the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) and Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW) – aims to apply the lessons learned and successes from TFA to enhance the capacity of the child welfare workforce through highly selective recruitment, and improved training, retention and support of caseworkers. This multi-prong approach will address workforce instability, and has the potential to create massive change in child welfare systems around the country.