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July/August 2023Vol. 24, No. 6Reducing Workforce Turnover: State Child Welfare Leaders Share Concerns and Strategies

The child welfare system and related professions continue to face a personnel crisis. These professions have struggled to recruit and retain workers, which compounds workload issues. State child welfare leaders are experimenting with different strategies to retain the workers they already have and increase the number of candidates in the pipeline. A recent blog post by the Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD), "Child Welfare Workforce Crisis – What We're Hearing from the Field," sheds light on the challenges and perspectives shared by state child welfare and human resources leaders.

The post addresses several critical issues affecting the child welfare workforce. High caseloads and staff turnover emerge as persistent concerns, leading to increased burnout and decreased job satisfaction. Professionals stressed the urgent need for manageable caseloads and supportive work environments prioritizing staff well-being. Another key concern is the scarcity of resources and its impact on service provision. Some states reported that increased compensation for workers was effective but needed to be evaluated or coupled with other strategies to be a long-term solution.

The post also highlights innovative practices states are implementing to address the workforce crisis. The hope is that these new strategies, such as mentoring programs, onsite therapy to address secondary traumatic stress, and streamlined recruitment efforts, will create positive impacts to help support and retain child welfare professionals.

Read the full article for more information on states' strategies and efforts to improve recruitment and retention.