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. Resources include State and local examples.
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.
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 generationâ€™s personal and professional characteristics, ensuring agency policies apply to a multigenerational workforce, fostering intergenerational teams and mentoring opportunities, and supporting professional development.
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.
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.
Child Protective Services Workforce Analysis and Recommendations (PDF - 1,669 KB)
Patel, McClure, Phillips, & Booker (2017)
Texas Association for the Protection of Children (TexProtects)
Discusses causes of high turnover rate for child welfare workers in Texas and suggests solutions for addressing this challenge.
Keeping Track of Our Most Valuable Resource: Using Workforce Data to Improve Child Welfare Programs [Video, Transcript, and Descriptive Audio]
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau (2014)
Discusses the use of data as a means of assessing knowledge and informing workforce decisions in child welfare.
Leading Change: Partnerships to Improve the Child Welfare Workforce (PDF - 1,167 KB)Dickinson & Fisher (2015)
Policy & Practice, 73(1)
Discusses the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute's partnerships, which are designed to create a unified and stable workforce.
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.