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Program Design Parameters:

In designing the program, the following decisions were made about critical aspects of delivery. Again, you should also spend time reflecting on each of the following points and make decisions that will suit your particular agency.

·       Leadership can be taught and learned.

·       The CLP deals with the “soft” side of organizational change and leadership: creating an environment of commitment, creativity, shared responsibility, self- and team-leadership, and service to clients, as well as increased personal growth and mastery.

·       Learning teams from across the organization (horizontal and vertical integration) are critical to increasing the likelihood of skills implementation in day-to-day operations. One person from a department will have difficulty instituting change or using tools if work-mates are not supportive. Therefore, classes should be composed of management, supervisors, case workers, case aides, and other support staff. In essence, employees at all organizational levels can benefit from this program.

·       Project phases are modular; however, maximum learning and benefits occur through involvement in all program phases.

·       To gain a certificate for completing this program, at least 75% of the sessions must be attended, with attendance throughout all program phases. In addition, continuing education units (CEUs) are awarded.

·       The program creates a safe, open learning environment for dialog about issues, problems, concerns, or worries, and one for celebrating accomplishments.

·       The program creates a learning environment that allows for experimenting, making mistakes and making breakthroughs with guidance and support.

·       The program promotes a teamwork environment that produces trust, honesty, caring, commitment, and quality products at all organizational levels.

·       The program promotes a client-centered environment that produces respect, confidence, and quality service for children, parents, and foster parents.

·       Participants increase their understanding and knowledge of their personality and work preference modes.

·       Participants develop a “knowledge and skills tool box” to use on-the-job to deal with issues of team management, conflict resolution, communication, meeting management, and decision making.

This program uses an experiential learning model. “Experiential learning occurs when a person engages in some activity, looks back at the activity critically, abstracts some useful insight from the analysis, and puts the result to work through a change in behavior.”[26] In addition, there is an opportunity for participants to design sessions to meet their needs, as well as one planned field trip and a capstone seminar. Twenty sessions were designed in four phases completed over a 12-month time period. The particular phases were built purposively, progressing from learning about change, learning about one’s self, learning about team work, and finally, applying all of this learning to delivering high-quality customer service.

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