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More Kids, More Families:


... the quality of the workforce is improving the quality of the jobs. ... Two recent studies report high levels of job satisfaction for youth workers, but ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: More Kids, More Families:

  • More Kids, More Families
  • Securing the Human Services
  • Workforce for a Growing Arizona
  • Cornerstones For Kids
  • March 9, 2007

HSWI Mission
  • HSWIs mission is to work with others to raise
  • visibility of, and sense of urgency about,
  • workforce issues. We hope to
  • Call greater attention to workforce issues
  • Help to describe and define the status of the
    human services workforce
  • Disseminate data on current conditions
  • Highlight best and promising practices
  • Suggest systemic and policy actions that can make
    a deep, long-term difference

The premises
  • Human services matter they impact the
  • lives of vulnerable children and families,
  • often at critical times.
  • There is a correlation between the quality
  • of the frontline workers and effectiveness
  • of the services they deliver.
  • We cannot produce better outcomes
  • without addressing the workforce.

  • The best policy reforms and program innovations
    will have only minimal impact without quality
    staff to translate reforms into good practice for
    children and families.

We often think that passing legislation or
adopting a new program model will lead directly
to improved outcomes. We forget that it takes
workers to apply policies and deliver services.
The way change really happens. The road to
reform runs through the workforce.
The problem
  • The human services workforce is in crisis --
    characterized by excessive turnover, inadequate
    pre-professional and/or in-service training,
    burn-out, unrealistic expectations and
    antagonistic relationships between line staff and
    administration. And in some ways it is getting

The challenge
  • The challenge is to assure a high quality human
  • service workforce one that is stable,
    motivated, well prepared, subject to realistic
    expectations and well supported by supervisors
    and the organization.
  • There are no quick, easy, inexpensive answers.
  • The key to improving the quality of the workforce
    is improving the quality of the jobs.

Getting and keeping quality staff
  • Good young people consider entering human
    services every day, because they want to make a
  • Large numbers do not commit to a career because
  • compensation and benefits are not commensurate
    with education and importance
  • working conditions are unsatisfactory and
  • there is little recognition.
  • The issues play out differently in the different
    human service fields.

Child Welfare
  • The average tenure of child welfare workers is
    less than two years.
  • 90 of states report difficulty hiring and
    retaining qualified staff.
  • Caseworker turnover is associated with childrens
    multiple placements in foster care, longer
    lengths of stay for children in foster care, and
    lower rates of finding permanent homes for

Child welfare in Arizona
  • In December, 2005 only 35 of Arizonas DCYF
    staff had social work degrees.
  • Only 15 have the preferred degree -- MSW.
  • The largest percentage of staff have Bachelor
  • in related fields (39).
  • There is also an unknown but substantial number
    of staff members who have less than a Bachelor
  • Many staff are relatively new the number of
  • Managers has increased by almost 50 in the last
  • years.

Juvenile justice
  • Absence of national data.
  • The juvenile justice field is changing in some
    jurisdictions from monitoring to mentoring.
  • Disparities between public and private employees
    creates a feeder system, as does movement from
    juvenile corrections to adult.
  • Staff in correctional facilities have very
    different profiles than probation officers.
  • Youth needs are changing prominence of
    substance abuse and mental health issues.

Its not just about public employees
  • Disparities in salaries between public and
    private child welfare workers present a retention
  • In Arizona, private human service agencies,
    providing publicly funded services, pay an
    average of 25 less than a state agency for a
    comparable position.
  • Many private agencies cannot provide retirement
    benefits, which cause staff to leave for state
  • Over 90 of all human service providers reported
    that they frequently or sometimes hire staff
    that dont meet minimum standards.
  • In youth development and early childhood nearly
    all publicly funded services are provided by
    employees of private agencies.

Child Care andEarly Childhood Education
  • Nationally, in 2004, ECE teachers and
    administrators earned only 10 per hour, compared
    to 19.23 for all female college graduates.
  • Nationally, 28 of ECE teachers and
    administrators live at below 200 of the poverty
    level. In Arizona 38 are below this level.
  • The share of U.S. center-based teachers and
    administrators with at least a four-year college
    degree averaged 43 from 1983-85, but only 30
    from 2002-04. In Arizona, the most recent figure
    is 28.
  • Some fear the field is being de-professionalized.
  • (from Losing Ground in Early Childhood Education)

ECE Turnover
  • Because teachers are compensated so
  • poorly, it is not surprising that the ECE
  • workforce is plagued by turnover.
  • At 30 the annual ECE turnover rate stands in
    stark contrast to the 16 among K-12 teachers.

Youth development workers
  • Two recent studies report high levels of job
    satisfaction for youth workers, but they do not
    tend to stay in their jobs for very long.
  • Inadequate pay is cited as the number one factor
    influencing whether people leave the field.
  • For many frontline staff, career advancement
    (especially salary increases) requires job
  • In the absence of organizational career ladders,
    frontline workers committed to staying in the
    field find themselves job-hopping jobs to get the
    recognition and rewards they believe they

The importance of WHO provides the services
  • The right people, with the right skills in the
    right places at the right times.
  • Not interchangeable parts not just warm bodies
    -- not just about filling the positions on an
    organization chart.
  • The importance of experience, judgment,
    temperament, and the ability to build trusting

  • The good news More than most states, Arizona is
    focusing on human service workforce issues.
  • The hard news Arizona faces all the usual
    workforce challenges, plus particularly
    challenging issues of growth and diversity.

Population Growth
  • While the US population grew 5.3 from 2000-05,
    Arizonas population increased 15.8.
  • The 2030 Census estimate projects a further
    increase of nearly 5 million more people in the
    next 25 years.
  • Today's population is estimated at nearly 5.9
    million. Growing to 10.7 million in the next 25
    years would be almost an 83 percent increase.
  • People 65 and older are expected to be a huge
    component of growth, surging from 13 percent of
    the state's population in 2000 to an estimated 22
    percent in 2030.
  • Although the number of children under 18 is
    projected to grow by at least 1.1 million, to 2.6
    million, that pace is no match for the 65-plus
    age group.

Competition for staff
  • Baby boom impact on the workforce.
  • Human services are not alone health care,
    education, other professions are competing for
    candidates and addressing their own workforce

  • Latinos constitute 28 of the Arizona
    population and 42 of those receiving state
    funded services.  Most human service agencies
    have less than 10 Latino staff.
  • Successful services are built on communication
    language skills and cultural competency are

Big problems require big solutions
  • We need to reject piecemeal, quick fixes that
    have at best marginal impact.
  • We need to adopt a long term set of goals that
    address whole systems.
  • We need to understand that attracting and
    maintaining a high quality staff is a forever job
    and doing it well should be a normal part of
    doing business.

What to Do?Comprehensive workforce planning
  • A mechanism that provides managers and leaders
    with data to make decisions.
  • An accepted model used by business and
  • It establishes goals, timetables, resources
    needed and fixes responsibility.
  • Helps to build a partnership between human
    services, human resources and political

A Workforce Planning model.
Gap-Closing Strategies
Strategy Assessment
Environmental Scan
Gap Analysis
Workforce planning
  • Strategy Assessment
  • Establish Leadership Commitment and Resources.
  • Review Strategic and Operational Plans.
  • Determine Workforce Implications Related to
    Strategic and Operational Plans.

Environmental Scan
  • Data Collection
  • Forecast Trends
  • Conduct Internal and External scans
  • Describe Current Workforce
  • Project Workforce Supply and Demand
  • Identify Competencies

The frequent absence of data
  • Most jurisdictions lack even rudimentary data
  • about their workforce
  • Who works for us?
  • What are their qualifications?
  • Where are they coming from?
  • How long are they staying?
  • What trends are we seeing?
  • How do they feel about their jobs? What factors
    are contributing to job satisfaction?
  • How is the work we are doing changing, and what
    changes will be needed in the workforce?

  • What does it take to do this job well?
  • What are the characteristics of successful front
    line workers?
  • What skills, attributes, competencies do they
  • How can we spot these attributes in the selection
    process, what recruitment techniques are most
  • What can we do to nurture, reward and develop
    these behaviors?

The turkey joke
  • Some things cannot be taught some can be taught
    but only with great difficulty
  • You can teach a turkey to climb a tree
  • But it probably makes more sense to hire a

Gap Analysis
  • Data Analysis
  • Compare Current Talent to Future Talent Needs
  • Identify Gaps and Surpluses

Gap-Closing Strategies
  • Recruitment
  • Retention
  • Restructuring jobs
  • Succession Planning
  • Training
  • Performance Management

  • Continuing Review and Assessment
  • Monitor and Review Implementation
  • Evaluate Outcomes and Processes and Revise as

A Workforce Planning model.
Gap-Closing Strategies
Strategy Assessment
Environmental Scan
Gap Analysis
Advantages of a plan
  • Relating workforce needs to strategic plans
  • Workforce implications of reforms
  • Clearly stated, publicly known goals
  • A tracking system, monitoring benchmarks
  • Identifying unintended consequences

Some action ideas
  • The workforce needs to be seen as everyones
    problem program administrators, executive
    branch leaders, legislators, professional
    associations, universities all need to be on
    the same page.
  • Partnership between human services and human
    resources is vital.
  • Some things not rocket science living wage
    reasonable hours career ladders recognition
    good supervision.
  • Get really serious about job satisfaction
    changing the system so that human services
    professionals get to do the work that brought
    them into the field.
  • Assess the impact of public-private disparities.
  • Focus on caseload, but not only caseload.

Actions, continued
  • Learn how to provide services that are not quite
    so dependent on the stand-alone skills of
    individuals greater use of protocols decision
    tools quality assurance more effective
  • But be mindful that staff are already drowning in
  • Look to new sources of professional staff.

Actions, continued
  • Recruitment innovations
  • Get em early
  • Loan forgiveness
  • Teach for America
  • Provide greater support.
  • Look at new ways to do the work.
  • Streamline Court processes.
  • Deal with bogus referrals.

What can elected officials and other leaders do?
  • Recognize that very little in human services will
    get done well in the absence of facing the
    workforce crisis.
  • Tackling the workforce requires uncommon
    leadership to take on a long term, not very sexy,
    potentially expensive and controversial subject.
  • Focus on data and hard-headed analysis set
    goals make decisions include stakeholders keep
    the subject alive don't settle for quick fixes
    don't forget the private agencies.
  • Ask the workforce questions, over and over.
  • Lead, lead, lead.