Resource Spotlight: Dear Workers

March 29, 2024 at 10:26 AM |
Posted by:
Tanya Anderson
Tanya Anderson

Even the work of system transformation continuously evolves. Across the nation jurisdictions far and wide speak about the increasing complexity of the work and the need for new approaches and skills to equip themselves so they can best support children and families. You can trust Alia for being the leaders behind identifying new ways to help systems empower and support families.  We hear you! And here is an answer to that call! During the past year, Team Alia prioritized the development of Dear Workers, a family engagement resource for workers in child welfare to understand the context of their position and to prepare then to bring family voice and power to they system. What we know to be true is that workers strive to be in right relationship with families to create conditions needed for change.  Thanks to the generous gifts from funders, Team Alia working alongside curriculum designers, parents impacted by the child welfare system, system experts, and professionals in the field to create a learning framework made especially for front line workers whose daily interactions and decisions working directly with children and families have lifelong impacts.

Screenshot 2024-03-29 at 10.23.11 AMDear Workers is built upon five principles that guide the shift toward strengthening workers’ voice and power, and encourages workers to acknowledge the voice and power of families in the child welfare system. It was important for Team Alia to align on the definitions for the Principles (what exactly do we mean by Context, Compassion, Change, Consistency, and Collaboration?). There is so much room for interpretation and misunderstanding, so defining the five principles provided context when thinking about the meaning behind and purpose of each principle.

Each of the five principles introduces three areas of focus for workers to explore.  We gathered input from parent experts, Alia staff, Alia partners and supporters, frontline staff and leaders from all regions of the US and child welfare experts and their partners by conducting listening sessions, focus groups, a survey distributed by partners and on Alia social media channels and by email to collect insight and Feedback on Behaviors to guide our work.  Using this collective feedback, we chose one Focus Area and a related behavior for each principle as highlighted below.  The result was invaluable. We want to thank all that participated in that process for their insights!  We were able to identify key behaviors, definitions, and priorities for what to focus on first as the most meaningful and urgent starting points in the learning continuum that place families first. 

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Dear Workers is a free resource. It is deeply personal work of being and doing that starts from the inside out and requires acknowledging that we share responsibility as part of a system. This body of work has the potential to change how you see the world and the impact of your interactions with others. In this framework, there are developmental activities designed to support workers in this situation. The work is deep and includes self-awareness as the first step to learning and growth. It also includes creation of support systems to help minimize worker harm. It also requires us to look inward at the trauma we’ve caused and elements of a white supremacy culture that marginalizes people and groups. You can start wherever and use this however you want. If you want to go deeper through a facilitated engagement, email us at for more details.

Click here to download the resource, or view our online flip book!