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October 2008Vol. 9, No. 8Grant Projects Focus on Workforce Recruitment and Retention

High turnover in the child welfare workforce can increase the work overload for those left behind and lead to frequent changes in caseworkers for children and families in the child welfare system. In 2003, the Children's Bureau funded eight projects around the country to study, develop, implement, and evaluate recruitment and retention strategies for the child welfare workforce. Using the "Developing Models of Effective Child Welfare Staff Recruitment and Retention Training" grants, the 5-year projects set out to address the difficulties that agencies face in recruiting new child welfare workers, screening and selecting those who will best fit the job requirements, and retaining good workers.

As these projects draw to a close, preliminary evaluation data and anecdotal evidence from supervisors and workers trained through the projects shed light on some of the broad systemic changes that can improve workforce recruitment and retention and combat high turnover. These fall into five areas:

  • The hiring process
  • Improvements in the workplace culture
  • Training
  • Technology optimization
  • Customized solutions

A new resource paper on the eight projects funded by Children's Bureau grants for "Developing Models of Effective Child Welfare Staff Recruitment and Retention Training" is now available. Visit the Children's Bureau Discretionary Grant Library online to view the report, Grant Projects Focus on Workforce Recruitment and Retention:

Visit the Children's Bureau Discretionary Grant Library to find out information about other Children's Bureau grant projects:

For more information, see the July/August 2008 issue of Children's Bureau Express for "Developing Models for Workforce Recruitment and Retention." Also, visit Information Gateway's site visit reports on this Children's Bureau grant cluster: