Resources in this section describe efforts to reduce worker turnover and improve retention, including strategies for enhancing supervision, ensuring worker safety, and supporting staff and for training workers, supervisors, and managers to have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide quality services to children and families.
- Retention strategies
- Improving staff retention through supervision
- Worker safety: supporting staff in the delivery of services
Competency-Based Recruitment, Screening, and Selection: Strengthening Workforce Capacity, Retention, and Organizational Resiliency [Video]
National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (2011)
Discusses evidence-based efforts of Buncombe County, North Carolina's Department of Social Services to recruit, screen, select, and retain new frontline child welfare staff in order to build workforce capacity, improve employee retention, and promote organizational resiliency.
540: Supervisor Training Series Module 5: Endings and Transitions: Managing Staff Retention, Satisfaction and Separation
Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center (2012)
Explores strategies to apply the principals of Continuous Quality Improvement to manage endings and transitions—such as promotions, transfers, resignations, and firings—ethically. Strategies to prevent secondary trauma and burnout also are presented.
Developing a Framework for Child Welfare Supervision (PDF - 308 KB)
Landsman & D'Aunno (2012)
Journal of Family Strengths, Special Issue: Centennial of the Children's Bureau, 12(1)
Discusses a framework that supports family-centered practice developed and implemented in the State of Iowa with support from the Children's Bureau through a 5-year grant to improve recruitment and retention in public child welfare. The article presents key elements of the framework; an overview of implementation; and evaluation results regarding knowledge gain, use of skills, and rates of worker retention.
Supervision: The Safety Net for Front-Line Child Welfare Practice Action Brief (PDF - 115 KB)
National Association of Social Workers, Social Work Policy Institute (2011)
Summarizes recommendations from a symposium held in November 2010 that examined the role child welfare supervisors play in supporting and sustaining the workforce, racial disparities in child welfare practice, and initiatives that are underway to enhance supervisory practice.
Assessing Safety Culture in Child Welfare: Evidence from Tennessee
Vogus, Cull, Hengelbrok, Modell, & Epstein (2016)
Children and Youth Services Review, 65
Discusses ways in which child welfare agencies can build physically and psychologically safe cultures among child welfare caseworkers.
Guidelines for Social Worker Safety in the Workplace (PDF - 161 KB)
National Association of Social Workers (2016)
Explains the standard guidelines for social worker safety, which can be used to guide decision making and policy development.
Social Worker Safety
National Association of Social Workers
Discusses how worker safety influences workforce retention and provides resources to increase the safety and efficacy of frontline social workers.