Preparing Child Welfare Practitioners: Implications for Title IV-E Education and Training Partnerships

Austin Griffiths, David Royse, Kristine Piescher, Traci LaLiberte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


High rates of child welfare practitioner turnover remain a national problem with significant consequences. Title IV-E education and training programs prepare child welfare practitioners for this line of work with the intent that they will create long term careers. This study analyzed qualitative data from a 2016 statewide electronic survey launched to obtain frontline child welfare practitioner feedback about workforce turnover and assist the agency in retention efforts. Practitioner insight resulted in 189 responses specifically related to improving the state’s Title IV-E supported education and training program–the “Academy.” A qualitative thematic analysis identified three main themes: making it more realistic and hands on (n = 104), needing additional training and specific content (n = 45), and feeling overwhelmed with the experience (n = 40). Practitioner feedback illustrated the existing tensions with using a blended model to educate and train the workforce. Implications for Title IV-E education and training partnerships are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-299
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Public Child Welfare
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 27 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the support of Adria Johnson, Commissioner of Kentucky’s Department for Community Based Services. Commissioner Johnson’s leadership is currently using the voices of her workforce to revamp and improve Kentucky’s Title IV-E training and education program. Further, the authors would like to acknowledge the Western Kentucky University College of Health and Human Services for their support in this state-wide study.


  • Child welfare
  • education
  • partnerships
  • title IV-E
  • training

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