The relationship of child protection worker attitudes to attrition from the field

Child Abuse Negl. 1989;13(3):345-50. doi: 10.1016/0145-2134(89)90074-4.


Child protection workers in 33 states and the District of Columbia participated in a survey conducted by the C. Henry Kempe National Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect to determine the attitudes and attributes of workers who terminate their careers in child protection. A year after the survey, telephone follow-up was done to identify respondents to the survey who had left the child protection field. Attributes and attitudes were then linked directly to whether workers had terminated or continued child protective service. Just 8.0% (15 of 187) of the workers had left the field. There were few differences between workers that departed and those whose services were retained. Both were generally dissatisfied with their profession at the time of the survey. The shrinking social service labor market and worker investment in the field are discussed as factors impeding turnover among child protection workers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude*
  • Child
  • Child Welfare*
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Personnel Management*
  • Personnel Turnover*
  • Social Work*