Child Protective Service Worker Retention: A Systematic Review

The purpose of this systematic review was to explore the empirical literature conducted on factors that influence worker retention of public child welfare child protective service workers. This systematic review analyzed the content of 19 empirically researched articles written within the last 10 years. The articles were examined for variables correlated with retention and turnover of workers in the Public Child Welfare (PCW) system. Most of the literature found for retention in Public Child Welfare (PCW) included the variable of organizational structures and supervision. There was more limited information in the literature about educational programs such as the Title IV-E program. The least amount of literature was found on intrapersonal factors, but what was found did imply they have an impact on PCW retention and therefore more research should be done to look into what factors relate to retention the most. The findings from the present review indicate that social workers’ contribution to this research area is improving but limited to some extent, as discussed here with the limited information about educational programs and intrapersonal factors. Recommendations for future research on interventions for Child Welfare worker retention are also presented.