Problems in Recruiting and Retaining Child Welfare Professionals

June 10, 2003

With more than 800,000 children estimated to spend some time in foster care each year, the federal government allocates approximately $7 billion annually to states to investigate abuse and neglect, place children in safe homes, and deliver services to keep families together. But low salaries, high caseloads and excessive paperwork make recruiting and retaining good staff difficult, according to the General Accounting Office, which recommends that HHS take action.