Dorothea (Dee) Stanley


Enhancing Supervision in Child Welfare: Applying Attachment-Theory Framework


This presentation explores the crucial role of attachment theory, in particular the secure base model, in the supervision of child welfare workers (CWWs). It focuses on the barriers experienced by CWWs, including secondary trauma and burnout resulting from their interactions with families and children experiencing trauma. The secure base model, rooted in attachment theory, recognizes the necessity of offering a secure and supportive space for children and caregivers. By encouraging secure attachments between CWWs and supervisors, this capstone argues that supervisors can improve the effectiveness of interventions in the child welfare environment and support the well-being of workers and the families they help. This presentation explores the consequences of high turnover rates among CWWs and the harmful effects it can have on the continuity of care for at risk children and families. It highlights the significance of retention policies and proposes that applying the secure base model in supervision sessions can contribute to decreasing turnover rates by affording an accommodating environment where workers feel respected and appreciated. This capstone also outlines real-world strategies for integrating the secure base model in supervision systems within child welfare organizations, including training processes, agency cultural development, and factors for cultural competency. The presentation aims to inform child welfare agencies with the required knowledge to support their workers and improve outcomes for children and families.


Dorothea (Dee) Stanley is a dedicated and accomplished professional in the field of social work. Her academic journey, from her bachelor’s degree in social work at the University of Brescia in 2013 to her pursuit of a Doctor of Social Work degree at the University of Kentucky, showcases her commitment to advancing her knowledge and skills. With a master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California in 2015, she has demonstrated her expertise in social work practice.

Ms. Stanley’s focus on Administration and Leadership in her doctoral studies aligns with her current role as the state director of a foster care agency in Ohio. Her experience within the agency, spanning various roles including clinical and administrative practice, underscores her understanding of the complexities involved in child welfare work. As a Licensed Independent Social Worker with Supervisor designation, she serves as a leader within her agency and also provides supervision and support to staff seeking higher licensure, contributing to the growth and development of social work professionals.

Ms. Stanley’s research interest in utilizing attachment theory in the supervision of child welfare workers demonstrates her commitment to integrating theoretical frameworks into practical applications within the field. Her passion for travel and family time highlights her approach to life, demonstrating her ability to balance her professional responsibilities with personal interests and relationships. Ms. Stanley emerges as a highly accomplished and compassionate leader in the field of social work, dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of others.