Describing the Workforce
This section provides reports on the child welfare workforce, including issues and challenges presented by workforce shortages and staff turnover, as well as examples of studies conducted by States and localities to better understand the factors influencing their child welfare workforce. These include statewide assessments, surveys, and reports on State and local child welfare workforce issues.
Improving Organizational Success in Tough Economic Times: National Benchmarking Project Helps Organizations Measure Employee Engagement
Children's Voice, 20(3), 2011
Discusses the role of employee engagement in the success of human service organizations and describes the efforts of a national benchmarking project that will allow agencies to compare work, information, accommodations, personnel, and organization components to those of other organizations.
Investing in the Social Work Workforce (PDF - 914 KB)
Social Work Policy Institute, National Association of Social Workers (NASW), NASW Foundation, & Action Network for Social Work Education and Research (2011)
Describes the goals of a 2011 symposium that examined workforce issues across social work functions and levels of social work education. This brief identifies the need for intraprofessional, interorganizational, and interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships, as well as the need for further research, policy enhancements, and communication strategies.
Is Vicarious Trauma the Culprit? A Study of Child Welfare Professionals
Child Welfare, 89(6), 2010
Reports on a qualitative, multicase study of 305 child welfare professionals who discuss the stresses they experience because of their work.
Navigating a Multigenerational Workforce in Child Welfare (PDF - 896 KB)
National Association of Social Workers (2013)
Practice Perspectives, Winter Issue
Explores the challenges of Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y working side by side in public and private child welfare agencies, the impact of generational conflicts on the workplace, and the need for administrators to engage employees in the workplace. Recommendations include learning about each generation’s personal and professional characteristics, ensuring agency policies apply to a multigenerational workforce, fostering intergenerational teams and mentoring opportunities, and supporting professional development.
Necessary Background for Helping Children
Webb (3rd ed.)(2011)
In Social Work Practice With Children
Explains the multifaceted role of the social worker, provides information on the National Association of Social Workers' code of ethics, and discusses the essential knowledge base and competencies for working with children. Reviews strategies for avoiding potential pitfalls in work with children, including a case study, discussion questions, and role-play exercises.
Professional Social Workers in the Child Welfare Workforce: Findings From NASW (PDF - 140 KB)
Journal of Family Strengths, Special Issue: Centennial of the Children's Bureau,12(1)
Discuses two studies conducted by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) that explored the experiences of social workers in child welfare, as well as issues of supply and demand in the workforce. The findings address topics such as education and experience of the workforce, tenure and intention to remain in child welfare, and the role of the supervisor.
Social Service Workers: A Portrait (PDF - 86 KB)
Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (2010)
Presents statistics on social service workers in the United States derived from a National Association of Social Workers survey. The fact sheet includes information on demographics, area of expertise, education and salary, and burnout and workplace safety.
State and local examples
2009 Kansas Child Welfare Workforce Profile: Preliminary Report (PDF - 7,025 KB)
Kansas Workforce Initiative (2010)
Discusses the findings of a study that explored the child welfare workforce in Kansas, including system strengths, challenges, and capacities.
2011 California Child Welfare Workforce Study: Overview of Available Data Briefs (PDF - 204 KB)
California Social Work Education Center (2012)
Describes a series of data briefs that present the results of the California Public Child Welfare Workforce Studies, organized by specific topics that include population demographics and educational levels, BASWs in the workforce, American Indian/Native American staff, turnover, Latino child welfare staff, child welfare supervisors, and more.
Backlogged: The Growing Wait for State Services (PDF - 2,806 KB)
Stateline & Pew Center on the States
Discusses the impact of staff shortages on social services in different States and addresses the reasons for social services backlogs, the challenges States face in trying to eliminate backlogs, the perils of prioritization, and the impact of backlogs on other areas of government. The study also includes strategies used to overcome these challenges.
Exploring the Relationship Between Employment-Based Social Capital, Job Stress, Burnout, and Intent to Leave Among Child Protection Workers: An Age-Based Path Analysis Model
Boyas, Wind, & Kang
Children and Youth Services Review, 34(1), 2012
Discusses results from a theory driven path analysis that identified sources of employment-based social capital, job stress, burnout, and intent to leave among two age groups from a public child welfare organization in a New England State.
Louisiana Child Welfare Comprehensive Workforce Project: Evaluation Report (PDF - 1,464 KB)
Pierce & Tiller (2011)
Discusses the project goal of improving the safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes for children and youth by building the capacity of Louisiana's child welfare professionals and by improving the systems in the State that recruit, train, supervise, manage, and retain them.
Special Report: Measuring the Strengths and Needs of DYFS Workforce (PDF - 635 KB)
New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect (2011)
Provides insight into the strengths and needs of the New Jersey DYFS workforce by identifying effective methods of recruiting, hiring, and retaining staff.
We All Need Somebody: Supporting Children, Families and the Workforce in Connecticut's Family Foster Care System (PDF - 625 KB)
Connecticut Department of Children and Families (2011)
Describes efforts to improve the foster care system in Connecticut by presenting a set of strategies to retain current and newly recruited families, improve outcomes for children and youth in foster care, improve case planning, expand kinship and treatment family foster care, and improve accountability.