Pennsylvania Releases Child Welfare Workforce Study

The Pennsylvania Office of Children, Youth, and Families released a child welfare workforce recruitment and retention study, analyzing the trends, challenges, and needs to stabilize the system. Several partners were engaged in developing the report, including 10 county child welfare agencies, the Child Welfare Resource Center, Pennsylvania Children and Youth Administrators, Pennsylvania Council for Children, Youth, and Families, the Civil Service Commission, and OCYF. Some leading factors contributing to the significant turnover in the field include compensation, organizational culture, working conditions, and partner/stakeholder relationships. The report concludes by outlining 43 recommendations across six themes: cross-cutting, compensation, recruiting, caseworker workloads, training, and safe, supportive workplaces. It is further recommended that a recruitment and retention investment fund and a working group be created to strategize on each recommendation. With the staffing crisis impacting many child welfare agencies across the commonwealth, it will be important for the administration, policymakers, and stakeholders to partner and make these recommendations achievable.