Date of Conferral
Counselor Education and Supervision
Most youth receiving care in residential treatment centers (RTCs) have experienced significant childhood trauma and require intensive mental health treatment to recover from their traumatic childhood experiences. Staff turnover is one factor that can negatively affect outcomes for these children and adolescents. Understanding factors that predict the turnover of professional counselors providing counseling to youth in RTCs can help counselors, supervisors, and counselor educators address barriers to staff retention. The purpose of this quantitative cross-sectional study was to explore the relationship between the turnover of professional counselors providing counseling to youth in RTCs and their perception of the work environment, burnout, vicarious trauma, and self-care. The theoretical framework for this study was constructivist self-development theory, which described the impact of working with traumatized youth in RTCs. Professional counselors working in RTCs for youth across the United States received an online survey to measure the study variables and obtain data for the study. Results of the multiple regression data analysis indicated that the combination of perception of work environment, burnout, vicarious trauma, and self-care predicted counselor turnover. Independently, perception of work environment, burnout, and self-care also predicted turnover. This information may help to increase counselor retention in residential treatment centers and improve outcomes for the vulnerable youth receiving care in those settings. This research will contribute to positive social change by improving the quality of life for this marginalized population of youth and decreasing the long-term social and financial burden placed on the community at large.