Creating the Leadership Academy for Residential Direct Care Leaders

The executive and senior leadership teams at Board of Child Care recognized that many staff were being promoted internally into leadership and supervisory positions without much guidance on how to be an effective leader or supervisor. This isn’t much different from the national norm: Harvard Business Review’s research shows that on average, managers take on a leadership role at age 30, but they don’t receive leadership training until they’re age 42. That’s a 12-year gap.

So, at Board of Child Care, we sought to close the gap by developing a Leadership Academy to support our leaders and actualize our leadership philosophy: Choose kindness. Solve problems and learn together. Make it happen.

Within the Academy, leaders learn and use values and tools they need to foster a healthy team culture by engaging in interactive lessons and conversations with peers and other leaders, and by supplementing conversations and activities with readings, videos, and other multimedia. Participants also meet other objectives such as creating and implementing better outcomes for their teams. Topics within the Leadership Academy include trauma-informed and adaptive leadership; time management in crisis situations; and equity, diversity, and inclusion. The Leadership Academy sessions draw from best practices and research in the leadership development and residential care fields, including content from research/books such as Collaborative Problem Solving, Crucial Conversations, and The Making of a Manager. It also uses best practices in adult learning, such as problem-solving, interactivity, and experiential learning.

In this interactive workshop, the presenter will 1) discuss the process we used to create the Leadership Academy and tailor it for residential direct-care staff; 2) lead participants through a sample lesson from the Leadership Academy; and 3) provide time for feedback and questions from anyone hoping to build or strengthen their own leadership development programs for residential care teams.


Anne Greenawalt

Professional Curriculum & Training Manager , Board of Child Care