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Soc Work. 2008 Jul;53(3):199-209.

Child welfare worker characteristics and job satisfaction: a national study.

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School of Social Work, University of Maryland at Baltimore, 21201, USA.


The education, recruitment, training, and retention of a quality child welfare workforce is critical to the successful implementation of public policy and programs for the nation's most vulnerable children. Yet, national information about child welfare workers has never been collected. The National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being is a study of children who are investigated for child maltreatment that also offers information about the child welfare workers (unweighted N = 1,729) who serve them in 36 states and 92 counties. These cases represent the national population of child welfare workers, estimated at more than 50,000, serving children approximately 12 months after a case was opened. Child welfare workers having any graduate or social work degree in a nonurban setting were more satisfied than their peers. Regression results indicate that worker satisfaction is associated with quality of supervision and urban setting but does not have a clearly independent relationship with having a degree in social work. Practice implications are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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