• September 2009
  • Vol. 10, No. 7

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Recruiting and Retaining Child Welfare Workers

The Butler Institute for Families published its final report describing outcomes and lessons learned from a 5-year project to address recruitment, selection, training, and retention of child welfare workers. Funded by a grant from the Children's Bureau, the Western Regional Recruitment and Retention Project (WRRRP) developed training curricula and customized interventions to improve workforce issues in child welfare agencies at five rural and urban sites in Colorado, Arizona, and Wyoming.

With the support of WRRRP staff, the sites identified specific aspects of the hiring process and work environment needing improvement in their agencies, such as staff cohesion and communication, agency culture, consistency in supervision, and recruitment and selection techniques. To address those issues, each site implemented some of the following strategies:

  • Interview protocols
  • Realistic job preview videos
  • Streamlined hiring processes
  • Training workshops and institutes
  • Flexible hours policies
  • Reward and recognition programs

A number of evaluations were administered throughout the project to measure effectiveness and outcomes, including organizational assessments, process evaluations, and posttraining surveys. Major findings showed that:

  • Motivation, promotional opportunities, and supervisory support reduced burnout and improved job satisfaction.
  • Retention of supervisors, caseworkers, and case aides increased by 3 percent to 21 percent across all five sites.
  • All training participants self-reported increased knowledge and skills on the training competencies.

Materials produced by the project include a recruitment and retention manual, realistic job preview video, and training materials.

Download the WRRRP Final Report on the Butler Institute's website:

http://www.thebutlerinstitute.org/images/WRRRPFiles/WRRRP%20Final%20Report%20Final.pdf (589 KB)

Visit the project's website for more information:


Related Item

Visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway website for more resources on the child welfare workforce:

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