Because the Workforce Matters.
The workforce is the most critical and essential resource of any child welfare agency.
By recruiting and retaining a skilled and diverse workforce reflective of the wide-ranging backgrounds of communities, an agency is more likely to achieve its mission to effectively serve children, youth, and families.
High staff turnover and inexperienced, unprepared staff are costly.
A recent study issued by the Sunset Advisory Commission (2014), on behalf of the Texas State Legislature, found that the cost to the state of each caseworker leaving the child welfare agency was estimated to be $54,000. More importantly, turnover and inexperienced staff impact positive outcomes for children, youth, and families. Studies demonstrate that high worker turnover contributes to delays in timeliness of investigations, reduced frequency of worker visits with children, and a reduction in the percentage of children achieving permanency (U.S. GAO, 2003; Flower, McDonald, & Sumski, 2005; Leung, 2010).
Research has also demonstrated the distinct but intertwined relationship between diversity and inclusivity in the workplace and the complex but clear impact on organizational commitment, job satisfaction, intent to stay, and turnover (Hwang & Hopkins, 2014; Brimhall, Lizano, & Mor Barak, 2014).
In order to effectively recruit and retain the workforce of the future, agencies must create a welcoming and inclusive culture and climate, where staff experience mutual trust and respect and perceive themselves to be a valued part of the organization.