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GAO Report on Child Welfare Workforce Turnover

4/10/2003:   Last week, the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report on the challenges confronting the child welfare workforce. Based on nearly 600 exit interviews from former child welfare workers, a review of over 27 state child welfare agency reviews, and interviews conducted with CWLA members, the GAO report makes a compelling case to policymakers and the public for supporting the child welfare workforce to better protect children and youth.

The report states that worker turnover has a negative effect on childrenís safety and permanency by delaying the timeliness of investigations and limiting the frequency and length of worker visits with children. Worker turnover also disrupts the continuity of services, and transferring cases to remaining staff often means a delay in permanency decisions.

As states consider cuts that may impact the ability of the child welfare workforce, you may be able to use the reportís findings to make a case for increasing salaries, decreasing caseloads, easing administrative burdens, and strengthening training, to ultimately protect the safety and achieve permanency for children and youth. Itís also important to let your federal officials know of the need for additional federal funding to protect and serve the children and families in your state.

You can access a copy of the GAO report, "CHILD WELFARE: HHS Could Play a Greater Role in Helping Child Welfare Agencies Recruit and Retain Staff" online here. For more information, call Barbara Schmitt at 443/755-9649 or e-mail workforce@cwla.org




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