Resource Library - Retention

Research and practice have long supported the notion that effective delivery of public and tribal child welfare services requires a competent, committed workforce. Staff turnover threatens to undermine the effectiveness of these systems, and has proven costly to families, children, and the system. Retention is connected to all areas of workforce development; however, these resources specifically explore burnout and turnover.

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Rethinking Child Welfare RecruitmentThis brief discusses the current workforce crisis and provides recommendations on ways child welfare programs can enhance their recruitment efforts., , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2022
Centering Child Welfare Worker Well-beingThis infographic describes how child welfare organizations can center child welfare worker well-being to better support children and families., , , , , , , , , , , , , 2022
Holding Retention Reviews: NCWWI 1-page SummaryThis product summarizes how leaders can use retention reviews to collect ideas on how to improve employees’ work experiences and …, , , , , , , 2022
How Hope and Resilience Can Lower Burnout Among Child Welfare Workers: NCWWI 1-page SummaryBurnout is a significant concern among child welfare professionals, leading to high turnover and reducing service quality. This document summarizes …, , , , , , , 2022
How Peer Support Can Reduce Burnout and Improve Worker Well-beingThis infographic describes how peer support can reduce burnout and improve worker well-being, including how organizations can champion peer support …, , , , , , , , , , , , 2022
Learning, Leading, Changing: Engaging Emerging Leaders as a Retention StrategyHeld on May 26, 2022, this learning exchange focused on how universities and agencies engage social work students and graduates …, , , , , , , 2022
Learning, Leading, Changing: Advancing Workplace EquityThis learning exchange, held on April 19, 2022, focused on how participants can advance workplace equity in child welfare. Panelists …, , , , , , , , , , 2022
Healing GuidebookThis guidebook provides practical tips & tools for working with children and youth who have experienced trauma (and for the …, , , , 2018
Calculating TurnoverIn this video, Megan Paul, QIC-WD Workforce Team Lead, discusses how to calculate turnover in a child welfare agency., , , 2017
Top 10 Self-Care Resources of 2021Click the links to access the top 10 self-care resources shared on NCWWI social media during 2021, , 2021
How Case Severity and Workplace Resources Impact Worker Retention: NCWWI 1-page SummaryThis document summarizes a study that used survey and administrative data from 485 Oregon Department of Human Services caseworkers to …, , , 2021
Peer Support and Workforce Retention: NCWWI 1-page SummaryThis article explores how different types of peer support are associated with staff retention. The study is based on data …, 2020
Preventing Early Departures Among the Child Welfare Workforce: NCWWI 1-page SummaryEarly caseworker departures can have far-reaching consequences for agencies, leaving families feeling uncertain and wasting hiring and training resources. This …, 2020
Recruitment and Retention of Child Welfare Workers in Longitudinal ResearchA longitudinal panel study that recruits workers at hire and follows them over time provides an opportunity to empirically examine …2017
Satisfactions and Stressors Experienced by Recently-hired Frontline Child Welfare WorkersMany child welfare workers choose their positions due to their interest and commitment in protecting children and derive a sense …2017
Headington Self Care InventoryThis scale examines some of the more effective physical, psychological and spiritual methods of staying balanced and preventing burnout. If …2020
Self-Care Music PlaylistsThis one page document provides examples of music playlists to include in a self-care plan., 2019
Self-Care Resource ListThis one page document lists links to self-care resources., 2019
Self-Care StrategiesThis two page document lists six self-care strategies., 2019
Healthy Organizations Information Packet: How does turnover affect outcomes and what can be done to address retention?This information packet examines the predictors and costs of turnover and strategies to support effective recruitment and retention. The packet …2017
Five Steps to a Stronger Child Welfare Workforce: Hiring and retaining the right people on the frontlineRecognizing that turnover, retention and hiring the right people during organizational stress is difficult, the Annie E. Casey Foundation put …2018
2016 State Roundtable Report: Caseworker Retention Workgroup (Pennsylvania)This report explores the data and impact of retention and turnover of Pennsylvania’s child welfare caseworkers. Also included in the …2016
Child Welfare Information Gateway: Burnout/TraumaThis webpage provides resources to address the challenges professionals face and ways to cope with secondary trauma when working in …2019
Secondary Traumatic Stress Informed Organization Assessment Tool (STSI-OA)This webpage provides a tool to evaluate the degree to which an organization is STS-informed, and able to respond to …, 2012
Staff Retention in Child and Family Services Workbook 6: Recruiting and Selecting the Right Staff in Child and Family ServicesThis workbook in the series provides information on promising practices and tools for recruiting and selecting front line staff; includes …2007
Recruitment & Retention: NCWWI 1-page SummaryThis document summarizes the article “In Search Of Innovation: A National Qualitative Analysis of Child Welfare Recruitment and Retention Efforts”, …, , , 2012
Commitment in Public Child Welfare: NCWWI 1-page SummaryThis document summarizes three journal articles that highlight findings of research exploring influences on recruitment and retention of public and …, 2012
Developing Models of Effective Child Welfare Staff Recruitment & Retention Training – SynthesisThis paper summaries project activities, from eight university programs, to develop, field test, revise, implement, evaluate, and disseminate an effective …, 2009
Factors Influencing Retention of Child Welfare Staff: A Systematic Review of ResearchThis paper provides a systematic review of research and outcomes studies to examine “what works” in regard to recruitment and …2005
Child Welfare Information Gateway: RetentionThis section provides resources on the challenge of retaining workers in child welfare, describing the factors that contribute to worker …2019
Minnesota Child Welfare Workforce Stabilization Study: Child Protection Summary ReportThis summary specifically focuses on the child protection workforce to better understand the state of Minnesota in order to develop …2016
Staff Retention in Child and Family Services Workbook 1: The Role of Leaders in Staff RetentionThe manual is a tool to enhance capacity for more effective child welfare recruitment, selection, training, and retention practice. The …2007
SMARRT Manual: Strategies Matrix Approach to Recruitment & Retention TechniquesThis manual is designed to enhance capacity for more effective child welfare recruitment, selection, training, and retention practice, by providing …2006
Balancing Head & Heart California’s Child Welfare WorkforceThis newsletter from the California Child Welfare Co-Investment Partnership examines the valuable and complex work performed by California’s child welfare …, 2017
2017 State Roundtable Report Caseworker Retention Workgroup – PennsylvaniaThis report contains several resources to examine local caseworker retention to include guidance for calculating the cost of turnover within …2017
A State and Local Government Leaders Guide to Building the Public Workforce of the FutureThis guide has examples of effective strategies that can serve as a roadmap to help state and local government agencies …2018
Child Welfare Staff Engagement & Retention in Washington DC: Alternative Work Schedules, Telecommuting & Other Supports (1-page Summary)This document summarizes a NCWWI webinar that shares essential elements for employee engagement and retention strategies. Link to webinar is …, , , 2018
Casework Teaming to Manage Workload, Enhance Effectiveness and Boost Morale (1-page Summary)This document summarizes a NCWWI webinar on casework teaming designed reduce caseworker isolation and workload; improve workforce retention; and strengthen …, , 2014
No Time to Wait: Building a Public Service for the 21st CenturyThis paper proposes that the federal government establish a new human capital system that would strengthen the ability of federal …2017
Child Protective Services Workforce Analysis and RecommendationsThis report identifies challenges faced by Texas’ Child Protective Services’ to attract and retain a quality workforce, including recommendations for …2017
Turnover Intention Predictors: NCWWI 1-page SummaryThis paper summarizes a meta-analysis of the existing literature on the turnover intentions of public child welfare caseworkers in the …, 2017
Retention: NCWWI 1-page SummaryThis document highlights findings of a ten-year study examining the personal and organizational factors that impact length of employment and …, 2016
Why People Stay and Why They Leave (5 minute microlearning)Our workforce is our most important resource and yet recruitment and retention continues to be an issue for many child …, 2016
Resilience and Burnout: NCWWI 1-page SummaryThis document summarizes a journal article that highlights retention and turnover issues in child welfare through a comprehensive literature review of …, 2015
Staff Transition & Retention ChecklistThis checklist operationalizes the strategies found in the fact sheet, “Achieving Program Stability Through a Focus on Staffing,” to address …2012
Modification to Sunset Issue 2 on the Department of Family and Protective Services (TX)This report highlights the changes and recommendations proposed by the CPS Operational Review and Sunset Commission to address the issues …2015
When Child Welfare Works: A Proposal for Financing Best PracticesThis report highlights strategies for the reinvestment of federal child welfare funding aimed at supporting better outcomes for children and …, 2013
Ideas to Prevent Pathways to Burnout in Child Welfare ServicesThis publication explores the potential impact of worker burnout on practice with children and families; discusses primary pathways to burnout …2011
Child Welfare Workforce Turnover: Frontline workers‘ experiences with organizational culture & climate, and implications for organizational practiceThis workforce study explores links between organizational factors and turnover in a sample of Oregon public child welfare workers and …2010
When Child Welfare Works: A Working PaperThis paper outlines a policy framework and recommendations to encourage best practices in four areas: permanence and well-being; quality family …2013
Child Welfare Social Worker Recruitment and Retention: Influential Factors and Promising Practices – Review of the ResearchThis paper summarizes numerous studies and literature from across the nation on the various factors that impact the readiness and …2009
Staying Power! A Supervisor’s Guide to Child Welfare Staff RetentionThis supervisory curriculum is one of three resources and training components of the project, “Child Welfare Staff Recruitment and Retention …2009
Casework Teaming to Reduce Workload, Enhance Effectiveness & Boost MoraleThis webinar provides an in-depth overview of all aspects of casework teaming; highlights the development, implementation, and outcomes of this effective …, 2013
Retention Planning to Reduce Workforce Turnover in New York State’s Public Child Welfare Systems: Developing Knowledge, Lessons Learned, and Emergent PrioritiesThis university-based project in New York State aims to improve recruitment and retention of the child welfare workforce through the …2005
Recruitment & Retention – Making a Difference in the Lives of Children & Families in MaineThis project by the University of Southern Maine’s Child Welfare Training Institute aims to increase and improve the recruitment and …2007
Kansas Child Welfare Comprehensive Workforce PlanThe report presents results of a state-wide assessment and preliminary plan to address agency and systems-level workforce issues. 2010
Child Welfare Staff Engagement & Retention in Washington DC: Alternative Work Schedules, Telecommuting & Other SupportsThis webinar shares how the Office of Youth Empowerment, in strong partnership with the Department of Human Resources, has sustained …, , 2013
The Retention of Public Child Welfare WorkersThis curriculum addresses the issue of worker turnover in public child welfare agencies; presents knowledge from the existing literature on …2006
Training Series: Staff Retention in Child & Family Services (Workbook Curriculum)This training series consist of six workbooks on the following subjects: the role of leaders in staff retention; the practice …2006
Tool-Kit – Competency-Based Retention StrategiesThe tool-kit is designed for public-sector and non-profit child welfare administrators and Human Resources Management professionals who are trying to …2008
SMAART Manual: Strategies Matrix Approach to Recruitment & Retention TechniquesThis manual is designed to enhance capacity for more effective child welfare recruitment, selection, training, and retention practice, by providing …2006
Respect & Worker Retention: NCWWI 1-page SummaryThis document summarizes the article “Respect in the Workplace: A Mixed Methods Study of Retention and Turnover in the Voluntary …, 2013
Internal and External Job Resources: NCWWI 1-page SummaryThis document summarizes a study that used the Job Demands and Resources (JD-R) Model with 1,917 caseworkers from three states …, 2018
Championing the Role of Child Welfare ProfessionalsThis document provides strategies for improving workforce satisfaction and retention by proactively championing the difference that child welfare professionals make …2017