- February 2006
- Vol. 7, No. 1
Child Welfare Workforce Retention
A complex array of personal and organizational factors influence the retention of child welfare workers, according to a recent study. The most important of these factors are professional commitment, level of education, supervisory support, and workload. Offering opportunities for enhanced education, such as title IV-E funds for obtaining B.S.W. or M.S.W. degrees, may reinforce some of the personal factors that keep workers from leaving.
A systematic study of factors influencing workforce retention and turnover was conducted by the Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research (IASWR) and the University of Maryland School of Social Work, supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The study resulted in a synthesis of qualitative findings from 25 studies, along with three research briefs:
- Retaining Competent Child Welfare Workers: Lessons from Research discusses the specific conditions and strategies that influence retention.
http://www.socialworkpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/6-CW-SRR-BRIEF-1.pdf (PDF 179 KB)
- Professional Education for Child Welfare Practice: Improving Retention in Public Child Welfare Agencies provides information about the title IV-E Education for Child Welfare Practice program.
http://www.socialworkpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/7-CW-SRR-Brief2.pdf (PDF 94 KB)
- Understanding Retention in Child Welfare: Suggestions for Further Research and Evaluation explores research design issues that can help shape future workforce research.
http://www.socialworkpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/8-CW-SRR-Brief3.pdf (PDF 97 KB)
These three briefs, along with the full report, Factors Influencing Retention of Child Welfare Staff: A Systematic Review of the Research, were written by J. L. Zlotnik, D. DePanfilis, C. Daining, and M. M. Lane.
Children's Bureau Express addresses the topic of the child welfare workforce in the current issue at "Workforce Institute Materials Online" and in the following articles:
- "Child Welfare Workforce Survey Reveals Continuing Concerns, Creative Strategies" (May 2005)
- "Online Resource for Child Welfare Training" (February 2005)
- "Addressing the Staffing Crisis in Child and Family Services" (June 2004)
- "Meeting the Challenge: Recruiting and Retaining Quality Staff" (August 2003)