My guest Kyla Clark initially pursued a degree in early childhood education, but she found her passion for social work while serving an internship at a behavioral health institute. She went on to earn a degree in child psychology and she went to work as a preschool teacher in a program that combined social work with education.
So, although Kyla doesn't hold a degree in social work, she tells us very convincingly how experience combined with her education, prepared her for a 16 year career as a program administrator in Utah's child welfare system.
One big highlight of that experience has been Kyla's innovative involvement with the CANS, although at first she was, well, not exactly convinced that the CANS was right for her agency.[: And I will be honest [:
And I was like sitting in the room while they were doling out assignments going, oh, please, not that one. Oh, please, not that. And I got that one. And so that was kind of this moment of I'm gonna learn to love this thing. And the second we got into it, the more I realized I was so wrong and we had lost some really important messaging in our rollout.mily and Children Engagement [:
And our tool has actually been able to expand beyond just child welfare, and we'll talk more about that in a sec.[:
But then ended up being a preschool teacher for seven years in a program to help parents learn English and get a high school diploma while their children were an onsite childcare. So it was a social work education combo job. And then I came to work for DCFS shortly thereafter and have just worked my way up through child welfare for the last 16 years.so I [:
A lot of[:
"oh, the whole is greater than the sum of this part and this part." That's[: [: [: [: [:
You might, I'm just saying.[: o actually went on to be our [: very TCOM-y approach to it. [: [: [: ple were bumping up against. [:
And so we really talked about things back in back then in 20 12, 20 13. It was still the mild, moderate, severe language on your scoring, and we were one of the first ones that actually reached out to John and said, "we'd really like to make this action based. Can we change two's to actionable instead of moderate?"
And so that was one of the big first, like, can we do that?
And he was like, "yeah, that sounds like a great idea." So, because these were things that we were getting from this work group, and we were meeting weekly for about four hours every Monday for about seven months, and we went literally definition by definition, line by line, items to kind of build what we were gonna go out and rebrand and sell.as at the height of when our [: [: [:
And they would just perseverate and get stuck. And this was a really great way to be able to be like, "yes, let's take action!" Now we just need to decide Is it like right now? Or can it wait a minute?
And that really sort of helped, I think, bring people into it not feeling like, "oh, this..."ould focus on that consensus [: [:
So five years ago,[:
And that was a great partnership, but it was a hard fought battle, which I think actually made it work really well, cuz I came in, she was already the champion, right? She was already sold. She was already deep into the TCOM Kool-Aid and I was the one that came in as a worker who was like, "no, we don't like it and it's not working."as a lot of challenging each [:
And we really focus on this philosophy of next best question because it's an assessment tool, right?build that consensus and you [:
if you're ever really struggling with it, it's probably because you don't have the right people there to help you decide what needs to be addressed.[: [: [: [:
Wow.[: [: [: [:
So it's someone who has had a U FACET completed with them who's been on the other side, who's really helping us teach how to engage and how to break down some of that resistance and really understanding when we're getting hit with those brick walls what's going on behind that and how do we use lived experience to really help elevate our workforce?ey been approached that way? [:
Those conversations are underway. I think lots of places are going at peer support right now, so they get lots of requests. But that is on our horizon hopefully in the next few years.[: [: [:
No, no, I, I definitely have some functional ADHD and I just keep running around all the time, so
Just make the best of it.[: [: [: [: [: [: [: [: