skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Black voters in battleground states are a crucial voting bloc in 2024; Nikki Haley says she's voting for Trump in November; healthcare advocates suggest medical collaboration to treat fibroids; distinct vibes at IU Indianapolis pro-Palestinian protest.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The House GOP moves to strike mention of Trump's criminal trial from the record, and his former rival Nikki Haley endorses him. Meanwhile, Ohio Republicans reject a legislative fix to ensure Biden's name appears on the November ballot.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

STEM model may offer hope for PA child welfare workforce crisis

play audio
Play

Wednesday, April 17, 2024   

The child welfare system in Pennsylvania faces a staffing crisis affecting children and families throughout the system.

The Child Welfare Resource Center said about 30 counties report caseworker vacancy rates of 30% or higher

Terry Clark, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth and Family Services, at a state Senate hearing on child welfare, challenged the Departments of Education and Human Services to work together to develop a STEM-focused model for human services. It could offer young people opportunities for training, apprenticeships and careers in child welfare, juvenile justice and behavioral health.

"We spend a lot of time focusing on colleges and universities," Clark noted. "But we believe we might want to back this up a little bit, and start looking at middle schools and high schools. Try to reinvigorate, get younger students motivated and trying to come into this field."

Clark pointed out some agencies have asked supervisors and even people from other departments to take on casework responsibilities. A recent Philadelphia study found Community Umbrella Agencies had an average 45% turnover rate, with vacancies ranging from 21-60 positions.

Clark observed private providers face workforce challenges similar to the county child welfare agencies. He emphasized counties are beginning to explore more contractual relationships with private providers for needed work.

"Counties are starting to put out RFPs, calls for private providers to help supplement their workforce," Clark stressed. "That means they're asking private providers to take on roles and functions that, in the past, were primarily done by counties themselves."

Clark argued competitive wages are seen as crucial to attract and retain child welfare workers, and county funding often falls short. He added student loan forgiveness and fellowship programs may be promising ways to bring new people into the field, but lawmakers would have to agree.

"There have been House bills and different Senate bills that have been introduced, or at least in draft form over the years," Clark acknowledged. "We hope that there's continued discussion about those, because if we can get some movement on those, we think those will really help."

He told legislators the turnover trends will not change significantly without increased investment in workers.

Disclosure: The Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth and Family Services contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Children's Issues, Education, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Marine research on a recent expedition off of Santa Cruz Island in Southern California mapped the habitat of red gorgonian coral, sea stars and sheepshead fish. (Danny Ocampo/Oceana)

Environment

play sound

Marine researchers just wrapped up the first of three ocean expeditions off the coast of Southern California to map the biodiversity and support effor…


Social Issues

play sound

Michigan's population has hovered around the 10 million mark for the past 20+ years, but the state's latest report outlines projections of a …

Health and Wellness

play sound

As outdoor activities ramp up, May is a good time to think about observing good skin-care practices. More skin cancers are diagnosed than all …


The current lack of cohesive planning has made building new transmission lines difficult, prompting FERC's new rule. (Gregory Johnston/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

A new step from the federal government takes a step toward modernizing the process for building energy transmission lines - while also protecting wild…

Social Issues

play sound

Americans got a bit of a reprieve last month, as food and auto prices dipped for the first time in 90 days. As Texas households continue to deal …

Black women are at particularly high risk of heart disease and stroke during pregnancy, which TaShenma Mack found out firsthand before the birth of her daughter. (Photo courtesy of TaShenma Mack)

Health and Wellness

play sound

North Carolina's maternal death rate is higher than the national average and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among new moms in th…

play sound

The effect of technical glitches in overhauling the student financial-aid form known as FAFSA is still being felt. Issues stemming from a redesign …

Social Issues

play sound

A newly passed Connecticut bill will modernize the teacher certification process. House Bill 5436 is expected to make it easier for educators to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021