Child Welfare Worker Characteristics and Job Satisfaction: A National Study (Report) by Social Work

Child Welfare Worker Characteristics and Job Satisfaction: A National Study (Report)

By Social Work

  • Publication Date: 2008-07-01
  • Genre: Social Science

Book Summary

Concern over the quality of child welfare work appears regularly in the popular and scholarly press. The child welfare worker role involves dealing with high levels of uncertainty, danger, and emotion (Gustavsson & MacEachron, 2002; Regehr, Hemsworth, Leslie, Howe, & Chau, 2004). Some members of this workforce have educational preparation for the work that they are doing, but most do not (American Public Human Services Association [APHSA], 2005). The General Accounting Office (GAO) (GAO, 2003) has documented the difficulties agencies face in trying to attract and retain a qualified workforce. The work that child welfare workers do is undeniably important, and there is significant demand for it. According to the Children's Bureau, using 2003 data, child welfare agencies receive nearly 500,000 calls a month concerning child maltreatment, 50,000 reports of maltreatment are accepted by child welfare services for evaluation each week (almost 3 million a year), and about 1 million cases are opened for child welfare intervention annually (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005). These numbers are over and above the roughly 550,000 children who have ongoing involvement in foster care each year, and a larger number formerly in foster care and now adopted or in guardianships.

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