Developing Models of Effective Child Welfare Staff Recruitment and Retention Training

A federally-funded child welfare training project at the Michigan State University School of Social Work

Success in recruiting and retaining qualified child welfare staff is directly related to the goals of Michigan's child welfare system and our hopes for children and families. The ability to assure the safety of children is anchored in the quality of the professionals who perform child welfare services. The best formulated protocols or programs are compromised without the supervisory skills that contribute to a positive work environment resulting in the recruitment, selection and retention of competent committed staff. Permanency planning for children is jeopardized by worker turnover and the lost planning momentum, knowledge of and relationship with the child and family and knowledge of permanency options and legal requirements. A succession of workers compounds attachment and relationship challenges for the child that already faces difficulties due to abuse and/or neglect. Although the primary reasons for addressing recruitment and retention of the child welfare workers is the impact on child safety, permanency and well-being, there are other high costs for child welfare organizations to consider. The cost of continually recruiting and training workers, and inefficiencies due to the loss of experienced workers are very expensive for child welfare agencies. The quality of the workforce is central to achieving the objectives of the child welfare system.

This federal grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Adminstration for Children and Families will assist Michigan agencies in addressing recruitment and retention of qualified child welfare staff. The project will:

  • build our knowledge of the factors that contribute to recruiting competent and committed workers and retaining well qualified staff
  • develop curriculum and deliver training that is relevant to recruitment and retention
  • work with individual agencies to address their interests to recruitment and retention
  • This web site will provide access to the resources developed by this project, information about activities in relation to this project, and increase communication and collaboration between persons with an interest in promoting the welfare of children

Thank you for your interest and involvement. We hope this site is useful to you and we welcome your feedback and suggestions for how to improve and strengthen efforts focused on recruiting and retaining child welfare workers.

Please visit our Resources for more information.