Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Burns, Kenneth and Christie, Alastair
Children and Youth Services Review
Employment mobility or turnover? An analysis of child welfare and protection employee retention
WOS: 19 ()
Optional Fields
Job retention turnover child protection and welfare social workers social work gender and employment, Ireland
This article challenges the commonly held assumption that there is a high level of occupational turnover of social workers in all child protection and welfare agencies. By analysing occupational mobility patterns (turnover, retention and attrition) in five child protection social work teams, the article demonstrates how occupational mobility is a complex phenomenon and needs to be understood within wider shifts in employment patterns and the gendering of professions. In this paper we argue that it is important to distinguish between employee turnover and employee mobility, and that an examination of the posts taken up after leaving, at least in Ireland, may provide a different perspective on the narrative of high turnover of workers in this sector. Within the five teams, it is estimated that there was a turnover rate of 8 percent in 2006 and 11 percent in 2010, with 72 percent of child protection workers in post at the end of 2005 being retained and still in post at the end of 2010. While this should not lead to complacency, or a failure to recognise and respond to the stressful nature of child protection, it does raise questions for employers about how they might plan for occupational mobility within a stable workforce made up of largely women, aged between 25 and 35, frequently newly-qualified, who are often the main carers for children and adults outside the workplace.
Grant Details