STEP Program


The Supervisory Training to Enhance Practice (STEP) Program serves to support the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services’ (IDCFS) mission and goals to integrate and sustain the Family-centered, Trauma-informed, Strength-based (FTS) Child Welfare Core Practice Model through a field-based, hands-on training, coaching and support program provided to the direct service child welfare supervisors serving in both IDCFS and private sector child welfare agencies. The goal of STEP is to enhance the professional capacity of supervisors and middle-managers in the areas of master practitioner of casework and clinical guidance, teaching and team development, systems/data management and leadership.


The STEP program uses an agency-based, performance-enhancement workforce development model, focused on the strategic use of supervision to effect organization change, instill preferred practices, implement key Department initiatives and sustain improved service delivery. Recognizing the supervisor as the cornerstone of the agency’s work on behalf of persons served, this field support program is designed to provide an array of skill enhancing services to Illinois’ network of child welfare supervisors and middle managers. Through the targeted application of workforce development tactics including transfer of learning methods, coaching techniques, facilitated group processes, and self-directed learning experiences, supervisors and middle managers progress toward skill enhancement, mastery of key practices, program implementation and sustainability of services.

Current Initiatives:

  • Development of curriculum and delivery of the Model of Supervisory Practice;
  • Implementation of the Success! Academy for leadership development of middle managers;
  • Individual and group field-based coaching related to performance enhancement related to assessment, decision making, team building, and case planning.

For more information contact: