Methods: We have employed a coordinated effort across sites to collect common data elements. Our designs leverage the ability to link staff survey data with child welfare and human resource administrative data. Study designs include cluster randomized control trials, interrupted time series, pretest-posttest non-equivalent groups design, and mixed methods. As applicable, we will include how each intervention and evaluation study was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and what adjustments we made.
Results: Changes over time in secondary traumatic stress, burnout and resilience among casework staff in Nebraska were not significantly different between intervention and control groups. However, sub-analyses indicate slight, protective impacts of Resilience Alliance in mitigating burnout among newer workers and increasing resilience among intake workers. Ohio - workers who participated in the intervention (supportive supervision and Resilience Alliance) were significantly more likely than the comparison group to engage in positive coping strategies, perceive better work-life balance, have more job satisfaction, have a greater intent to stay, and experience less STS. In Virginia, where technological supports such as transcription services and tablets have been introduced, we analyzed patterns of caseworker documentation over time, perspectives about and dynamics of tablet use, and turnover rates and timing by race/ethnicity of the caseworkers. In Louisiana we are testing a variety of case practice and workforce outcomes associated with job redesign. Feedback from caseworkers and supervisors indicates that the redesign has reduced time spent on administrative duties, reduced stress, and allowed them to better serve families. Preliminary analyses of survey and administrative data have shown positive impacts on work-related stress and have suggested that the redesign may play a part in reducing rates of foster care admission in experimental versus comparison parishes. Cross-site: Across two state and 10 county administered child welfare agencies involved with the QIC-WD needs assessment process, we found that African American workers experienced significantly lower levels of secondary traumatic stress, especially symptoms of arousal than white workers. We will discuss several hypotheses regarding why this might be so.
Conclusions and Implications: Site results increase the availability of rigorous, replicable social work science that examines a variety of interventions targeted at reducing child welfare staff turnover.