Workforce

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.

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How was Safety Organized Practice implemented in San Diego County?

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How can mindful organizing promote a safety culture in child protection agencies?

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How did Arizona safely reduce its investigation backlog?

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Please explore the related resources below and at Questions from the field to learn more about the workforce.

Related Resources

Effective supervision contributes directly to improved outcomes. This issue brief explores how to design an effective supervisory training.

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Too often, the field has operated reactively instead of proactively. Learn more about organizational change management.

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This document provides key themes and lessons learned from five states on practices involving intake screeners in their child welfare systems.

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High staff turnover is common in child welfare. It affects agencies, children and families. Explore factors and mitigation strategies.

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Investing in supervisory quality can help an agency protect itself from high turnover; this resource list provides guidance.

LEARN MORE

This brief summarizes Texas Department of Family and Protective Services strategies to decrease caseworker turnover in just over one year.

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Director Donald describes her leadership strategies, which have transformed the District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency.

LEARN MORE

In two videos, Tiffany Goodpasture explains how mindful organizing is being used at the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

LEARN MORE

These brief videos describe why establishing feedback loops for staff to provide input on policy and practice changes helps build trust.

LEARN MORE

These two short videos featuring experts on safety offer insights on how to promote a culture around safety within child welfare agencies.

LEARN MORE

Scott Modell, Noel Hengelbrok, and Michael Cull introduce the concept of safety science and offer ways child welfare can respond differently to create a safety culture.

LEARN MORE

These two brief videos highlight the importance of building trust with staff when developing a safety culture.

LEARN MORE

Effective supervision contributes directly to improved outcomes. This issue brief explores how to design an effective supervisory training.

READ STORY

Too often, the field has operated reactively instead of proactively. Learn more about organizational change management.

READ STORY

This document provides key themes and lessons learned from five states on practices involving intake screeners in their child welfare systems.

READ STORY

High staff turnover is common in child welfare. It affects agencies, children and families. Explore factors and mitigation strategies.

READ STORY

Investing in supervisory quality can help an agency protect itself from high turnover; this resource list provides guidance.

READ STORY

This brief summarizes Texas Department of Family and Protective Services strategies to decrease caseworker turnover in just over one year.

READ STORY

Director Donald describes her leadership strategies, which have transformed the District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency.

READ STORY

In two videos, Tiffany Goodpasture explains how mindful organizing is being used at the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

READ STORY

These brief videos describe why establishing feedback loops for staff to provide input on policy and practice changes helps build trust.

READ STORY

These two short videos featuring experts on safety offer insights on how to promote a culture around safety within child welfare agencies.

READ STORY

Scott Modell, Noel Hengelbrok, and Michael Cull introduce the concept of safety science and offer ways child welfare can respond differently to create a safety culture.

READ STORY

These two brief videos highlight the importance of building trust with staff when developing a safety culture.

READ STORY
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