Strengths-Based Supervision is a model of clinical supervision that supports effective implementation of family-centered, strengths-based practice in child welfare. Developed by Cynthia Lietz (2013), SBS integrates the following four components to monitor and mentor social work practice:

Parallel/Model the Principles of
Family-Centered Practice

Integrate Crisis and In-Depth
Supervisory Processes

Utilize Individual and Group
Supervisory Conferences

Fulfill the Three Functions of
Social Service Supervision

About Us

Cynthia A. Lietz, PhD, LCSW is Vice Dean of Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions and a professor in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University. Cynthia conducts research that informs strengths-based practice with youth and their families. Specifically, she applies the construct of resilience to family systems examining the ways family units cope with and grow stronger despite trauma, loss and other challenges. This includes looking at the strengths (e.g. empathy, social support, spirituality) and the adaptation process that helps families overcome adversity.

Cynthia is particularly interested in the translation of research to practice. As a result, she developed Strengths-Based Supervision (SBS; Lietz, 2013), a model of clinical supervision that supports effective implementation of family-centered practice in child welfare settings. This model has been adopted by the public child welfare systems in Arizona, Florida, Texas and Idaho, and infused into training material at several additional organizations including the Butler Institute in Colorado, and the Virginia and Arizona Chapters of the National Association of Social Workers.

Prior to coming to ASU, Cynthia worked in social work practice for over ten years working with families involved in the child welfare system. She was a clinical supervisor, field instructor, and later the clinical coordinator of a counseling program. She is known for her passion to advance social work practice through rigorous scholarship that demonstrates real world impact and through her role as a social work educator and public speaker.

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Francie Julien-Chinn is an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She has a lengthy social work practice background, specifically in supervision and leadership in child welfare.

Francie started her work in child welfare as a frontline field worker. She promoted to a supervisor role where she developed an in-home program providing prevention services to families. Francie directly supervised child welfare staff and maintained a stable unit with consistently positive client outcomes. With the success of her in-home unit, Francie assumed the role of Assistant Program Manager (APM), managing 50 employees, including 6 child welfare supervisors. Francie then served as Deputy Program Manager (DPM), where she oversaw all of the field work and child welfare staff in one region in Arizona and was directly responsible for the supervision of the APM’s. In her roles as APM and DPM, Francie had the opportunity to hire, mentor, coach, and train supervisors in the field.

Francie’s research agenda centers on workforce matters, including organizational culture and climate, and supervision, within child welfare agencies that impact outcomes for children and families. She has specifically focused on permanency outcomes for children in out-of-home care. In her research, Francie also studies topics related to kinship families, licensed foster parents, and family resiliency.

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