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Study to follow 1,500 new hires in child welfare for five years

Beginning this month, Devereux CBC and all the state's Lead Community Based Care Agencies will participate in a five-year study of newly hired child-welfare professionals.

The study will follow select case managers and child-protective investigators for the first five years of their careers in an effort to improve retention in the child-welfare field.

Jointly coordinated by the Florida Institute for Child Welfare, the Department of Children and Families and the Florida Coalition for Children, the statewide study is designed to reveal individual and organizational influences on employee retention and, ultimately, on child and family outcomes.

Recruitment into the study begins this month and will last for a year. Researchers will follow approximately 1,500 new hires in an effort to determine how education, personal characteristics, beliefs and behaviors impact worker retention as well as family and child outcomes.

"The recruitment and retention of highly skilled staff is a critical part of achieving the best possible outcomes for the children in Circuit 19," said Nicky Smith, director of organizational training and education for Devereux CBC. "In particular, it leads to the timely achievement of permanency for children in the child welfare system."

Other questions the study hopes to answer include:  

  • When do workers start to consider leaving the job? 
  • If they don't leave, what job or personal attributes make them stay?
  • What strategies can prevent turnover?
  • How does the work affect personal lives? 
  • What workload issues impact job satisfaction?
  • What worker background characteristics influence turnover?

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September 4, 2015
Contact: Christina Kaiser
(772) 528-0362