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June 2019Vol. 20, No. 5Steps to Creating, Maintaining a Stronger Child Welfare Workforce

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released a brief that aims to help strengthen the child welfare workforce. Five Steps to a Stronger Child Welfare Workforce, which was created as part of its On the Frontline workforce development initiative, describes the following five steps, which can be used in state systems and state civil service agencies to hire, train, and maintain a healthy child welfare workforce: 

  • Step 1: Partner with human resources—This section focuses on ways to collaborate with human resources to ensure those staff understand the agency's child welfare goals.
  • Step 2: Be strategic and build leadership capacity—This section focuses on the importance of flexibility, establishing key partnerships, and identifying and analyzing data needed to understand the connection between workforce issues, the work environment, and indicators (e.g., turnover, retention).
  • Step 3: Create a competency-based culture—This section focuses on effective hiring approaches that involve identifying and describing the core competencies for each job classification and using those competencies for everything from selecting and orienting to encouraging and managing the performance of employees.
  • Step 4: Use data and build a dashboard—This section focuses on identifying measures that provide the information needed to determine if the agency's resources are meeting its needs. Dashboards should provide a picture of how the workforce is doing and track the results of improvements and midcourse corrections. Dashboard data should be collected automatically and pulled at least quarterly for review.
  • Step 5: Build a positive environment—This section focuses on the importance of building a positive environment for workers that helps them cope with the stresses of their jobs.

The brief also contains advice for staff charged with strengthening their workforce, including links to tools and resources that can be adjusted for each agency.

Five Steps to a Stronger Child Welfare Workforce is available at (2,674 KB).