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A coaching program focused on developing and strengthening supervisory capacity and skills to promote quality frontline practice and improve outcomes in child welfare

Coaching is a strategy spreading across child welfare agencies nationally as a key component of supervision with frontline staff.

Kansas Strong is implementing this program to support and strengthen coaching skills of supervisors so they can integrate more coaching strategies into supervision with staff.

Who will participate?

Programs across the continuum of child welfare are included: assessment and prevention, family preservation, and permanency services.


Project Information

  • KanCoach is one strategy of Kansas Strong for Children and Families.

  • Principal Investigator: Becci Akin

  • Co-Investigator: Kaela Byers

  • Project Manager: Christina Mott

  • Dates: October 2018-September 2023

  • Funder: Children’s Bureau, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, grant number 90-CO-1139

The Need

  • Kansas ranks 5th worst in the nation in non-permanent discharges from foster care
  • Kansas’ removal rate per 10,000 is the 13th highest in the nation

Kancoach Objectives

To present the benefits of incorporating coaching implementation to support and strengthen child welfare practice, develop competency as well as leadership skills and capacity within practitioners.
The KanCoach coaching program is a cycle showing that supported staff lead to strong families, which leads to safe children. KanCoach uses knowledge to inspire action through coaching that builds child welfare supervisors' capacities to be strengths based, confident, collaborative leaders who engage in reflective and skills-based practices.

Priority Topics

  • Strength-Based Engagement
  • Risk and Safety Assessment
  • Family-Centered Assessment and Case Planning
  • Relative/Kin Connections
  • Secondary Traumatic Stress
  • Antiracism

Benefits of KanCoach

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Supervisors learn and practice effective strategies to create a collaborative, strength-based culture to support their staff
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By using coaching strategies, supervision builds confidence, boosts morale, and fosters critical thinking skills among staff
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Supervisors create opportunities for staff to continuously practice essential skills, including the priority topics
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KanCoach promotes skills and concepts that contribute to the long-term professional development of supervisors and staff
John Whitmore

"Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them"

John Whitmore


Hear what supervisors are saying about their KanCoach experience

“After a few sessions I could see a change in me and my staff. I was allowing them to make decisions without me just giving them answers. Also, I was giving them 100% of my attention during their time with me. They enjoyed centering and just breathing for a couple of minutes prior to starting their staffing with me.”

“KanCoach is using the skills taught in the training and reminds us that as supervisors our role is to ‘teach’ workers how to gain the decision-making tools necessary to become confident and more self-reliant. In the rush of the workday, we tend to ‘feed’ the workers the answer and this training was a good reminder to use those coaching skills to allow workers to grow.”


“KanCoach goes a little deeper than normal supervisions with staff. It asks staff for their buy in and commitment which in turns, in my opinion, makes them want it more.”

“To be able to connect with staff during the focusing piece and grow from there in the coaching process is amazing, not to mention watching your coaches grow over the coaching sessions—is phenomenal!!”

“My workers are more confident and empowered, I have more time, I have established boundaries.”

“KanCoach made me think and get out of my comfort zone.”

“If you really dive in and use the skills, it not only makes you a better supervisor but can always make you a more positive person!”

“Overall, I believe KanCoach has helped me, not only in working with my own staff, but with interacting throughout our agency. It has helped me focus on asking questions to get to the root of a problem so that an appropriate solution can be arrived at.”

Kansas Strong for Children and Families

Kansas Strong for Children and Families

KanCoach is one strategy of Kansas Strong for Children and Families, a federally-funded initiative that aims to support Kansas child welfare as a collaborative, data-driven system that achieves positive outcomes for children’s well-being, safety, and permanency.

About Kansas Strong