Workforce turnover can have negative effects in all organizations but is particularly detrimental in human service fields such as child welfare. Not only is there a financial impact associated with the hiring and training of new staff, but chronic turnover can lead to understaffing and high caseloads in child welfare resulting in negative consequences for those the system is designed to protect, families and children. With national estimates turnover in public child welfare agencies ranging from 20% to 40%, researchers and practitioners are continuing to search for solutions. 1
In Kentucky, there is a unique program that demonstrates the power of partnership in addressing systemic issues such as turnover in child welfare. Kentucky’s Public Child Welfare Certification Program (PCWCP) is a collaboration between the state’s Department for Community Based Services (DCBS), all eight publicly funded universities, and three private universities focused on recruitment, selection, and preparation of highly prepared child welfare workers.