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November 2009Vol. 10, No. 9Job Satisfaction for Public and Private Workers

A recent study published in the Journal of Public Child Welfare compared job satisfaction and related issues for frontline workers in public agencies and those in private child welfare in performance-based contracting environments. Researchers examined the degree of job satisfaction and the factors that contributed to and detracted from that satisfaction by surveying 190 frontline child welfare workers (76 percent public and 24 percent private).

The authors analyzed their results in qualitative and quantitative terms. Qualitative findings showed that workers from both environments valued positive relationships with client families, and this contributed to job satisfaction; administrative duties detracted from that satisfaction. Quantitative results indicated that private agency workers were generally more satisfied than public workers with their work environment and extrinsic rewards. Both groups expressed dissatisfaction with pay levels.

"Job Satisfaction Among Child Welfare Workers in Public and Performance-Based Contracting Environments," by Karla T. Washington, Dong Pil Yoon, Colleen Galambos, and Michael Kelly, was published in the Journal of Public Child Welfare, Vol. 3(2), and is available for purchase online from the publisher: