When families come in contact with the child welfare system, nothing has the power to impact them more than the professionals who serve them every day. Maintaining a high-performing, engaged, and committed workforce is vital to providing families with the quality supports they need to stabilize, reunify, and thrive. Research and practice wisdom suggest that positive child welfare outcomes depend largely on the capacity and competence of the child welfare workforce. However, the recruitment, hiring, and retention of dedicated staff remain persistent challenges for child protection agencies across the country. For the past 15 years, child welfare turnover rates have been estimated between 20% and 40%.
Children and families deserve to be connected with staff who are committed to teaming and professional excellence. To address workforce-related challenges, jurisdictions are implementing a range of innovative approaches, including workforce analysis and data-driven capacity planning, adopting a safety culture, investing in supervision and staff recognition, and building comprehensive training and workforce development systems to strengthen staff competencies and skills.