Director of Child Welfare Initiatives, Butler Institute for Families

Job description

Throughout its 75-year history, the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work has administered countless externally funded projects targeting children and families. These efforts preceded and provided the impetus for the establishment of the Butler Institute for Families in 1994. Today, we are nationally recognized for our leadership and collaborative work at the national, state, and local level in evaluation, research, and technical assistance aimed at improving the quality of child-, youth-, and family-serving systems.
We bring together researchers, practitioners, public and private service system experts, and community members to: engage in program evaluation and research; examine outcomes; and provide technical assistance and training to program administrators, direct service providers, and community leaders. Currently, Butler conducts business in three primary content areas: child welfare (including tribal child welfare); early childhood systems; and behavioral health. These content areas operate within a Research-to-Practice framework that promotes the use, adoption, adaptation, replication, and/or scaling of research and/or evaluation knowledge and the integration of this knowledge in practice.

Position Summary

The Director of Child Welfare Initiatives leads the child welfare content area within Butler's Research-to-Practice framework. The current portfolio of over $2 million includes child welfare practice initiatives of training and coaching projects and professional development initiatives in Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Kentucky, and Minnesota, as well as the newly launched Butler Academy of Professional Coaching. The position also leads communications and dissemination for the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) and child welfare evaluation projects, including the comprehensive evaluation of the National Child Welfare Workforce and the Colorado IVE Stipend Program Evaluation. Other current or recent projects have focused on Comprehensive Organizational Health Assessments for public child welfare systems, secondary data analysis projects, 360 workforce assessments, and implementation evaluation of child welfare initiatives.

This position generates and leads sponsored practice, research, and evaluation projects related to child welfare systems and workforce development and leads a project team of 15-18 staff. The position involves: deep content knowledge of child welfare practice, implementation science and research, proficiency in statistical and/or qualitative analyses and interpretation; planning research and evaluation studies and framing research/evaluation questions; identifying appropriate instrumentation to address research questions; synthesizing information from diverse data sources; and report generation for projects within the child welfare content area. Responsibilities also include applying for and receiving external support for Butler's child welfare research, evaluation, and capacity building work, leading grant proposal writing, and completing other project management tasks, such as budget projection and coordination of tasks with multiple stakeholders. The position is part of the Butler Institutes Research-to-Practice team, which includes Directors of Child Welfare, Early Childhood, Behavioral Health, and Tribal Child Welfare content areas, Director of Practice Innovations, Acting Executive Director, Director of Operations, and Director of Finance and Grants Administration.

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in Human Services or other relevant field.
  • In-depth knowledge of child welfare systems, including policies, programs, and best practices.
  • 3-5 years experience leading program evaluation or community-based research.
  • Experience in designing, managing, and successfully leading large research projects independently.
  • Experience writing grant proposals.
  • Experience supervising staff or teams.
  • Experience working with grant funding in government, non-profit, or university settings.
  • Experience with culturally-responsive evaluation approaches.

Preferred Qualifications

  • 4 or more years of experience leading program evaluation or community-based research.
  • Experience working with Tribal child welfare programs.
  • In-depth understanding of implementation science and application to evaluation and evidence-building.
  • Experience with evaluation capacity building.
  • Experience creating logic models and conducting theories of change.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.




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Job No: 493158
Posted: 7/28/2020
Application Due: 9/26/2020
Work Type:
Salary: Negotiable