The health and stability of the child welfare workforce is a national concern, particularly in the delivery of quality and essential services to families. There is a significant body of literature examining the experiences of workers to identify the most salient contributors to workforce health and stability (e.g. turnover/retention, burnout, self-care). However, that research is often limited by findings from single agencies with narrow areas of focus. The purpose of this roundtable is to announce the forthcoming public availability of two different comprehensive datasets for workforce researchers - The Florida Study of Professionals for Safe Families (FSPSF) and the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI). Key investigators from each project will lead a discussion on their respective studies, focusing on a methodology overview and providing brief examples of completed studies using these datasets. This roundtable will also explore supports needed to help social work researchers and students successfully access and use these data, as well as invite participant discussion on how these data can be used to advance workforce health and stability.
The FSPSF is a prospective, longitudinal study of newly hired child welfare workers in Florida funded through the Florida Institute for Child Welfare (N=1,500). Workers were recruited during pre-service training between September 2015 and December 2016. Electronic surveys were distributed to participants every six months through eight waves of data collection - approximately 3.5 years post-baseline. Lead investigators will present information on recruitment, the sample, the conceptual model and resulting concepts under study, along with data collection strategies that resulted in response rates between 82% to 87% across all waves. Sample research briefs will include a focus on predictors of 6-month departure, physical and mental health changes over the first 18-months of employments, and experiences of client-perpetrated violence.
Funded through the Children's Bureau, NCWWI works with public, private, and tribal child welfare agencies that have partnered with schools of social work to build the capacity of agencies to strengthen their workforce. As part of these efforts, NCWWI conducts a Comprehensive Organizational Health Assessment (COHA) with each agency to identify strengths and gaps in their workforce through data collected about organizational, contextual/community, and individual worker-level factors. Within COHA's mixed-methods design (2013-2019), NCWWI gathered survey data from over 2,000 child welfare frontline staff, supervisors and managers across 2 states and 1 county programs. Lead investigators will present information on the COHA workforce domains, instrument reliability, and research that has come from these assessments. Investigators will also discuss the archiving of COHA data through the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect and the opportunity to access additional data from recent NCWWI COHA assessments.