Turnover of frontline workers, as well as supervisory and management staff, is a major concern in many child welfare agencies. In some jurisdictions, worker turnover is as high as 90 percent per year, while in others, turnover is fairly minimal. Turnover of senior managers and administrators also presents challenges for agencies, and greater attention is being given to succession planning and leadership development. The following resources focus on the causes of turnover and some proposed solutions, including State and local examples.
Child Welfare Policy Briefing: Child Welfare Workforce (PDF - 788 KB)
Kelleher, Chávez, & Sciamanna (2011)
Explores ways to set appropriate standards to improve child welfare agencies' practices and system functioning and outcomes for children and families by using workload management studies to determine how workers are spending their time.
Existence, Relatedness, or Growth? Examining Turnover Intention of Public Child Welfare Caseworkers From a Human Needs Approach
Chen, Park, & Park (2012)
Children and Youth Services Review, 34(10)
Discusses a study that developed a conceptual framework to examine what motivates caseworkers' turnover intention. The article also addresses how administrators and management can attenuate turnover intention by enhancing caseworkers' growth needs with respect to meaningfulness of daily practice, rewards, and the development of personal career goals.
Organizational Inclusion, Commitment, and Turnover Among Child Welfare Workers: A Multilevel Mediation Analysis
Hwang & Hopkins
Administration in Social Work, 36(1), 2012
Focuses on an attitudinal variable of organizational commitment as a mediator and examines why turnover intention among child welfare workers would be affected by worker's perception of inclusion, at the organizational level, at different organizations using multilevel analysis. Includes the results of the study showing that individual worker's organizational commitment plays a mediating role between organizational inclusion and individual turnover intention.
Child Welfare Workforce Turnover: Frontline Workers' Experiences With Organizational Culture and Climate, and Implications for Organizational Practice (PDF - 1,332 KB)
Provides research findings based on secondary data from a workforce study conducted by the Child Welfare Partnership at Portland State University's School of Social Work where child welfare caseworkers in Oregon were asked directly to answer the following question: "What are the organizational factors that lead frontline child welfare workers to stay or leave the agency, and what, then, are the implications for agency administrators?"
Improving Outcomes for Children and Families Served by DSHS Children's Administration Through Savings and Reinvestment of Services (PDF - 231 KB)
Washington Federation of State Employees, AFSCME Council 28 (2010)
Discusses the high caseloads, staff turnover, and inconsistent resources hampering child welfare services in Washington State, and makes recommendations for improving services.