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July/August 2023Vol. 24, No. 6The Effects of Child Welfare Workforce Turnover on Families

A brief from the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI), The Impact of Turnover on Families Involved in Child Welfare, highlights the effects of staff turnover within the child welfare system. Consisting of a list of 30 resources that analyze the topic, this brief raises awareness about the consequences of high turnover rates on families and children from an agency, community, and systems perspective. The resources provide insights for policymakers, administrators, and practitioners to address this issue.

High turnover of child welfare professionals disrupts trusting relationships, erodes stability, hampers communication, and delays crucial services. Children suffer attachment disruptions, exacerbating trauma and hindering well-being. Systemic challenges like heavy workloads and inadequate support contribute to burnout. Addressing these issues is vital for staff retention.

The brief shares key recommendations to mitigate the negative consequences of turnover. Implementing strategies that prioritize caseworker support, such as mentoring programs, peer networks, and access to mental health resources, can enhance staff well-being and job satisfaction. Improved training programs and professional development opportunities could also contribute to skill-building and retention.

Organizational changes should focus on creating a culture of stability and open communication. Enhancing collaboration between child welfare agencies, policymakers, and community stakeholders can facilitate comprehensive solutions to tackle turnover and improve outcomes for families and children. The brief states that further research and the inclusion of community voices need to occur, suggesting that such inclusion can strengthen the understanding of challenges and potential solutions. Additionally, measurement standards for this type of research need to be created.

Review the brief for more information and to explore the 30 featured resources.