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An Audit Report on Caseload and Staffing Analysis for Child Protective Services at the Department of Family and Protective Services

May 2013

Report Number 13-036

Overall Conclusion

The Department of Family and Protective Services' (Department) competitive starting salaries for Child Protective Services (CPS) caseworkers and its recruitment strategies helped it hire 1,704 CPS caseworkers in fiscal year 2012. Despite its hiring efforts, the Department experienced average vacancy rates as high as 15.9 percent and turnover rates as high as 34.3 percent in some regions for the same time period. Although the Department offers competitive starting salaries to CPS caseworkers, the Department loses significant ground on salary competitiveness by the time CPS caseworkers reach the second level of their career tracks, which complicates the Department's efforts to retain tenured staff (see Chapter 1).

While compensation issues are among the most common reasons that departing caseworkers give for leaving the Department, there are other factors that lead to high caseworker turnover that the Department can also address. To reduce vacancy rates and better control caseloads, the Department should improve its efforts to retain qualified caseworkers. Specifically, the Department should:

- Improve the way it rewards caseworker performance.

- Strengthen its oversight of the regional offices to help ensure that administrative processes do not unnecessarily increase caseworkers' workloads.

- Analyze its recruitment and hiring strategies to help ensure that it is hiring caseworkers who are more likely to perform well and stay with the Department.

- Strengthen its processes for selecting, training, and evaluating caseworker supervisors.

Auditors communicated other, less significant issues regarding calculations of caseload performance measures and improvements to the system controls for case approvals and closures separately in writing to the Department.

Contact the SAO about this report.

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