Caseworker Retention Workgroup

In 2015, the Pennsylvania State Roundtable commissioned the Caseworker Retention Workgroup in an effort to better understand the impact of caseworker turnover on the child dependency system, including child permanency. Each time a family is presented with a new caseworker, they have to tell their story again and relive the trauma of the events.  In addition, critically important facts may be lost during the caseworker transitions.  Because the court makes child safety, well-being and permanency decisions based upon evidence provided, including caseworker testimony, the accuracy of presented facts is critical. 

Because the issue impacts multiple entities, representation on the Workgroup includes child welfare agencies, county leaders, state leaders, courts and other key partners.  The Workgroup began its efforts by examining various state and national perspectives: How does turnover affect state/county government, child welfare agencies and families? The workgroup also examined Pennsylvania county activities that are making a positive impact on retaining staff and provided a general overview of such in its 2016 State Roundtable Report.

This included the administration of a statewide “Stay Interview” survey to Child Welfare Caseworkers in order to determine reasons current staff stay in their jobs, what would make them want to continue to stay and reasons they would leave.  An astounding 1359 Casework staff responded. 

To view the Caseworker Retention Workgroup reports to the State Roundtable, Click here.

Reducing Caseworker Stress in the Courtroom