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Human Services


Sally Brocksen


Child welfare has been part of American society since the early 1900s and continues to play a pivotal role in response to troubled families. Although there is a need for qualified child welfare staff, the process of maintaining staff is a constant struggle for many child welfare agencies. Many states are experiencing high turnover rates within the child welfare system, and Florida has been acutely impacted. Researchers have demonstrated that the nature of the work, supervision, and other organizational factors continue to contribute to job satisfaction among child welfare professionals. Guided by the social exchange theory as the theoretical framework, which is based on intraorganizational relationships and workplace behavior, this quantitative study determined which indices of job satisfaction influenced retention among workers in Palm Beach County, Florida. It also examined how job satisfaction impacted different worker groups. Using Spector's Job Satisfaction Survey and additional demographical questions, data were analyzed to measure job satisfaction among the different worker groups (n = 18). A 2-tailed t test, analysis of variance, and multivariate analysis of variance indicated that adoption workers were more satisfied than were dependency workers in each of the 9 indices measured and that having a degree in social work did not influence job satisfaction among the different worker types. By understanding the factors related to job satisfaction in Palm Beach County, Florida, child welfare agencies can implement measures and procedures geared at increasing retention among child welfare workers.

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