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In this section of our website we will highlight the recent productivity of the LifeSkills Center for Child Welfare Education and Research with respect to publications. With a primary focus on the dissemination of translational research, we are making creative efforts to share our research findings with the community. For example, each of the peer-reviewed publications below includes a comprehensive infographic that is a simple and informative avenue for illustrating key aspects and findings. LCCWEAR believes that the innovative dissemination of research findings is an important step forward and as we build we are working to create a more advanced infrastructure to share the findings of our important work. If you have any suggestions for improving this important aspect of our mission, please contact:

Austin Griffiths, PhD, CSW, MSW

Director, LCCWEAR

(270) 745-2676

austin.griffiths@wku.edu

Infographic

Foster parents are a critical resource and make a significant difference in the lives of children. This article examines the quantitative feedback on the Foster Parent Perception and Satisfaction Scale (FPPSS) from a statewide sample of public and private foster parents (n = 255) in a southern state. Results indicate that perceptions of accomplishment and personal impact were the primary predictors of overall role satisfaction. However, the foster parents’ willingness to accept the placement of a child that is a) LGBTQ or b) different than themselves (e.g. religion, race/ethnicity, and other requested preferences such as age, special need, sibling group) also significantly predicted their overall satisfaction though inversely with respect to LQBTQ foster children. Significant differences were found between the public and private foster parents with respect to their satisfaction with their state caseworker, preparedness, foster agency, overall level of satisfaction, and their willingness to accept the placement of a teenager and of a child with a difference. Implications for training further research with public and private foster agencies are provided.

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Griffiths, A., Holderfield-Gaither, E., Funge, S., & Warfel, E.  (In press).  Satisfaction, willingness, and well-being: Examining the perceptions of a statewide sample of public and private foster parents. Children and Youth Services Review.

Infographic

Turnover in the child welfare workforce remains a problem with detrimental consequences. While a robust body of literature has explored the influence of job factors on employee retention, and the presence of secondary traumatic stress and other related experiences in this population, little is known about the impact of such factors on the physical health of the practitioner. This manuscript is a first step in documenting the relationship between worker characteristics, perceptions of their job, and their self-reported health status. Utilizing the Child Welfare Employee Feedback Scale (CWEFS), a Binary Logistic Regression model identified Workload and Job Impact as significant predictors of poorer self-reported health status in a statewide sample of child welfare workers (n = 511). Additionally, respondents working in urban areas and outside of their home county were approximately 1.5 times more likely to report a poorer health status. Findings suggest avenues for future research and agency administrator consideration.

Griffiths, A., Royse, D., Flaherty, C., & Collins-Camargo, C.  (In press).  Perceptions of workload and job impact as predictors of child welfare worker health status.  Child Welfare. 

Administrator Perception Final

Child maltreatment impacts society on multiple levels, and consistent turnover in the child welfare workforce creates financial challenges and problems associated with service delivery. This study explores the qualitative survey findings from a statewide sample of child welfare administrators in one state (n = 86). When asked to provide suggestions for improving workforce retention, nine overarching themes emerged: compensation, decreased workload, organizational culture, job factors, professional development, frontline supervision, performance management, leverage external partners, and competent and engage leadership. A comparative analysis ensues, where these strategies are juxtaposed with those of frontline supervisors and frontline workers. Similarities, differences, and implications are explored.

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Citation: Griffiths, A., Collins-Camargo, C., Horace, A., Gabbard, J., & Royse, D. (2020). A New Perspective: Administrator Recommendations for Reducing Child Welfare Turnover. Human Service Organizations Management Leadership & Governance, 1-17.

 Supervisor Turnover

Frontline child welfare supervisors are a vitally important component for providing leadership in service delivery and workforce stability. This statewide study of public child welfare supervisors uses a modified version of a previously developed instrument (the CWEFS) to examine job satisfaction and factors influencing supervisors’ intention to leave. A consistent negative perception of salary was found but a stratified pattern of dissatisfaction emerged across other variables when examined by intention to leave (Stayers, Undecided, and Leavers). A Hierarchical Binary Logistic Regression Model identified two factors that predicted intention to leave: dissatisfaction with administrative support and workload impact. Full Article.

Citation: Griffiths, A., Murphy, A., Desrosiers, P., Harper, W., & Royse, D. (2019). Factors influencing the turnover of frontline public child welfare supervisors. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 1-17.

Supervisor Stress Infographic

Using data from a state-wide survey of frontline supervisors from a state child welfare agency, this study qualitatively examined how stress from their positions may have affected their perceived health. With a response rate of 44%, 117 frontline supervisors participated and provided 240 comments describing health consequences in their physical health, mental health, work-life balance, and development of unhealthy habits or behaviors. Implications from this study are discussed in the context of workplace stress and employee turnover.Full Article.

Citation: Griffiths, A., Harper, W., Desrosiers, P., Murphy, A., & Royse, D. (2019). “The stress is indescribable”: Self-reported health implications from child welfare supervisors. The Clinical Supervisor, 38(2), 183-201.

 Supervisor Wisdom

Child welfare supervisors have a unique vantage point, leading local service delivery efforts while representing a larger organiza­tional bureaucracy. They also play a key role in workforce stability, as high caseworker turnover remains a real problem that affects clients, communities, and agency bud­gets. Using a qualitative thematic content analysis to analyze data collected from a sample of public child welfare supervisors in a southern state (n = 117), findings from this study provide suggestions for systematically addressing work­force turnover through the unique perspective of the child welfare supervisor. Supervisors made recommendations to improve agency infrastructure, organizational climate, and organizational culture as areas for immediate consideration to address this significant problem. 

Citation: Griffiths, A., Desrosiers, P., Gabbard, J., Royse, D., & Piescher, K. (2019). Retention of child welfare caseworkers: The wisdom of supervisors. Child Welfare, 97(3), 61-83

Title IV-E Education

Chapter 3: Preparing Child Welfare Practitioners: Implications for Title IV-E Education and Training Partnerships, Austin Griffiths, David Royse, Kristine Piescher & Traci LaLiberte

Citation: Griffiths, A., Royse, D., Piescher, K., & LaLiberte, T. (2020). Preparing child welfare practitioners: Implications for Title IV-E education and training partnerships. In P. Leung, P. & M. Cheung  (Eds.), Title IV-E child welfare education: Impact on workers, case outcomes and social work curriculum development (pp. 49-67). Routledge.

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Child Welfare Book Cover

Child Welfare and Child Protection: An Introduction prepares future child welfare professionals to tackle the complex and challenging work associated with responding to child maltreatment. Developed by a former child protection professional and a social work scholar, this book draws upon current research and features cases that simulate those child welfare professionals are likely to encounter in the field. 

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 Last Modified 9/22/21