Child welfare caseworkers do vital work for our communities, and for our collective future. Yet this human services profession is at a crossroads. National turnover rates are rising amid complex challenges—from exploding caseloads to burdensome administrative responsibilities—with some states as high as 25 to 35 percent.
Turnover is costly all around. Human services agencies essentially lose time and money spent on recruitment and training. Remaining caseworkers, who are already stretched thin, must fill the gaps when people leave. Children and families lose out too because turnover adversely affects outcomes. So how can human services agencies bring caseworkers back to kids?