- » Caseload and Workload Management
Caseload and Workload Management
Series: Issue Briefs|
Child Welfare Information Gateway. |
|Year Published: 2010|
Large caseloads and excessive workloads in many jurisdictions make it difficult for child welfare workers to serve families effectively. The average caseload for child welfare workers often exceeds recommended levels, sometimes by double or more (Alliance for Children and Families, American Public Human Services Association [APHSA], & Child Welfare League of America [CWLA], 2001). The complexity of cases requiring intensive intervention, as well as administrative requirements, further adds to a caseworker's workload. Manageable caseloads and workloads can make a real difference in a worker's ability to spend adequate time with children and families, improve staff retention, and ultimately have a positive impact on outcomes for children and families.
Reducing and managing caseloads and workloads are not simple tasks for child welfare administrators. Agencies face a number of challenges, including negotiating budget crises and hiring freezes, addressing worker turnover, finding qualified applicants for open positions, implementing time-intensive best practices, and managing multiple reforms simultaneously (Day & Peterson, 2008). Even the basic determination of what caseloads and workloads currently are and what they should be can be thorny.
Nevertheless, States are addressing these challenges and successfully implementing a variety of strategies to make caseloads and workloads more manageable. Approaches range from adding and retaining staff to improving worker effectiveness to implementing system improvements.
Table of Contents
In an effort to build the workload knowledge base and share lessons learned across States, this information brief provides State child welfare managers with an overview of:
- Caseload: The number of cases (children or families) assigned to an individual worker in a given time period. Caseload reflects a ratio of cases (or clients) to staff members and may be measured for an individual worker, all workers assigned to a specific type of case, or all workers in a specified area (e.g., agency or region).
- Workload: The amount of work required to successfully manage assigned cases and bring them to resolution. Workload reflects the average time it takes a worker to (1) do the work required for each assigned case; and (2) complete other non-casework responsibilities.
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