Characteristics of the front-line child welfare workforce

Frank Edwards, Christopher Wildeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


In this study, we provide new national- and state-level estimates of workload and workforce instability among child welfare agencies using previously unavailable data that includes unique identifiers for US child welfare caseworkers in 46 states and supervisors in 43 states. We identify and describe 139,921 unique caseworkers and 31,124 unique supervisors who were in the child welfare workforce between 2003 and 2015. The median caseworker handles 55 cases annually and is on the job for about 1.8 years. The median state has an annual front-line caseworker turnover rate of between 14 and 22% annually, and a supervisor turnover rate of about 20% annually.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-26
Number of pages14
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Jun 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Characteristics of the front-line child welfare workforce'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this