Director Darleen Klase's Welcome
Darleen Klase; Director
2nd floor – OSD
55 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, CT 06120
What Are We About
The Office of Organizational & Skill Development (OSD) vision, mission, and goals are an extension of the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) vision, mission, goals and priorities. Each year the OSD Unit reviews and modifies its direction to meet the emerging organizational and staff development needs as identified by DSS. OSD’s vision, mission, and goals are outlined below.
OSD is a collaborative group of skilled professionals who work from a social justice foundation to support DSS staff and the organization in providing services that are client centered.
We are committed to the philosophy that people are the organization. We support the organization through services that contribute to the development of a learning community that builds the competency of staff and the organization to meet the DSS mission. Our core services include:
- Training and Staff Development
- Organizational Development (OD)
- Media and graphic support
We provide these services in the context of connecting on sameness, while recognizing, learning from, and affirming differences.
“At the core of any human service organization is a set of values, an underlying philosophy that defines the reason for the existence of the organization, the purpose for which it is established” The 1981 Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators. The Core Values for OSD are:
- Responsible Participation
- Embracing Diversity
Our goal is to provide timely, relevant and effective organizational and staff development activities to:
- Improve the quality and competency of service delivered to DSS customers.
- Insure a culturally responsive delivery of services that recognizes and affirms diversity.
- Improve job performance through the institution of measures of accountability to inspire public confidence.
- Provide employees with opportunities to develop their potential within the context of the organization and overall career development.
- Assist DSS’ customers and staff to develop skills, understand and access DSS services, comply with DSS policy and support the DSS Vision, Mission, Values, and Goals.
This will be done through:
- Competency based training for staff to be able perform the functions and activities of their current jobs.
- Educating employees to assume greater responsibilities for professional growth and development.
- Participating in the Department’s short and long range initiatives to improve the effectiveness of the organization and its partnerships.
- Education and organizational activities that integrate service and cultural competency into learning to better prepare DSS to support individuals & families receiving DSS services to
- Meet basic needs of food, shelter, economic support and health care;
- Promote and support the choice to live with dignity in one's own home and community;
- Promote and support the achievement of economic viability in the workforce.
- Education & training DSS’ external partners to perform tasks and activities that support the DSS Vision, Mission, Values and Goals.
- Accessing resources that expand DSS’ capacity to provide training, organizational and staff development activities.
- Instituting systemic interventions that support organizational operations in the area of communication, project management, access, cultural competency and service.
How Are We Structured
OSD has staff in the regional offices and central office of DSS. We support training and organizational development services on site. OSD has a Learning Management System, the DSS LearnCenter, to support statewide registration for training and to create more access to OSD supported activities. The DSS LearnCenter is also utilized to provide web based training (WBT) to support diversity in learning styles and efficiency in OSD services.
OSD provides services under a partnership with The University of Connecticut School of Social Work (UCONN SSW). The benefits of this partnership include enhanced Federal Reimbursement for DSS, a connection to the academic community in the field of Social Work and Public Policy as it pertains to welfare and access to the resources of the University to enhance OSD services to DSS.
The UConn School of Social Work and the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) have worked collaboratively for over twenty five years. DSS has an Office of Organizational and Skill Development (OSD) that provides training and organizational development services to DSS and its staff. The OSD staff and the services are part of a formal partnership between the school and DSS. This arrangement insures effectiveness, efficiency, and shared resources that benefit the partners, clients and The State of Connecticut.
OSD is staffed by professionals from the School of Social Work who provide a variety of training, media and organizational development activities to the agency's nearly 2,000 employees. Operating under a contractual agreement for more than 25 years, the partnership has changed over time to meet DSS' developing needs.
Education and training for DSS staff and its partners is focused on programs, leadership and professional growth and development. DSS staff are provided regular training opportunities in a range of program areas such as Medicaid, child care, child support, elderly services, TANF, foodstamps and case management. In addition civil rights, supervisory, managerial and systems training are part of an employee’s growth and development plan. A media production center develops educational materials for training projects, group presentations, and other needs through newsletters, videotapes, and other communications tools. Organizational development activities are initiated and managed by the OSD staff to support service effectiveness and efficient processes. Cultural responsiveness and social justice are fundamental part of training and organizational design services. Graduate students from the School of Social Work are placed as interns in DSS departments.
Director Darleen Klase's Welcome
Welcome to the web site of The Office of Organizational and Skill Development (OSD). OSD provides essential organizational and skill development services for The Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) staff, through a partnership with The University of Connecticut School of Social Work.
Our organizational development services to DSS include planned strategies to increase the effectiveness and the health of the organization. Process mapping, facilitation, planning, and evaluation are blended into service provision to ensure growth in organizational capacity. Our skill development services are designed to expand skills that are aligned to the functions that employees perform. Additionally, OSD implements strategic training initiatives that augment professional development and effectiveness. OSD provides training in technical, computer, leadership, supervisory, and a vast array of other competencies.
Embedded in all of OSD’s curriculum development, delivery and other services is a commitment to service and social justice. That commitment is demonstrated in a service delivery that adheres to multicultural educational design and delivery principles.
As the Director, I am committed to the growth and development of each staff person in DSS and enhanced service outcomes for the residents of Connecticut. I will continue to work to infuse and implement innovative ideas that expand our DSS learning community and help us to achieve our mission.
The Office of Organizational & Skill Development Structure
The Office of Organizational & Skill Development (OSD) vision, mission, and goals are an extension of the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) vision, mission, goals and priorities. Each year OSD reviews and modifies its direction to meet the emerging organizational and staff development needs as identified by DSS.
The DSS Learn Center is an Internet-based Learning Management System (LMS) which provides users with easy access to view and register for Instructor-Led Courses, Web-Based Courses, Learner Assessments and other training and professional development opportunities offered by the Office of Organizational and Skill Development (OSD). Supervisors and Managers have the ability to track their staff’s professional development as well as enroll their staff in training related activities. Users can also easily view and print transcript information. From an administrative perspective, the DSSLearnCenter brings together student profile information, course information and content, training and testing statistics, usage tracking, and report generation.