National Study of Child Protective Services Systems and Reform Efforts. Findings on Local CPS Practices. 2.2 CPS Staffing

05/01/2003

While there is considerable variation in the size of CPS agencies, the national average per agency was 26 staff including 17 social workers or caseworkers, with 3 supervisory staff (Table 2-2). Additional analyses indicate that one-quarter quarter of agencies had approximately 4 or fewer social workers and another one-quarter had 15 or more staff. Other staff, which added another four to five staff per agency, included support staff, case aides, specialist workers and mangers. Less than one Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) employee per category (e.g. caseworker, supervisor, etc.) worked part time, on average, across agencies.

Table 2-2:
CPS Agency Staff
Worker category Average number of full-time workersa Average number of part-time workersb Average number of staff
Estimate
(C.I.)
Estimate
(C.I.)
Estimate
(C.I.)
Social workers or caseworkers 16
(8-24)
<1
(<1-1)
17
(8-26)
Supervisors 3
(2-5)
<1
(<1-<1)
3
(2-5)
Other worker category 2
(<1-4)
<1
(<1-<1)
2
(<1-4)
2nd other worker category 2
(0-4)
<1
(<1-<1)
2
(<1-4)
3rd other worker category <1
(<1-2)
<1
(<1-<1)
<1
(<1-2)
Total 24
(11-37)
1
(<1-2)
26
(12-39)
a Full time refers to the time spent on CPS activities.
b Part time refers to the time spent on CPS activities.

Workers on the staff of CPS agencies are mostly comprised of individuals with bachelor's degrees. Nearly one-half of all supervisors have an advanced degree, with a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) . Agencies averaged 3 staff with less than a Bachelor's degree, 13 staff with a bachelor's degree, 3 with a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree, and 1 employee (or staff person) with some other type of advanced degree. The majority of workers, 11 on average per agency, had a bachelor's degree, and 2 on average per agency had an M.S.W. degree. For supervisors, each agency on average had one supervisor with a Bachelor's degree and one with an M.S.W. In the other worker category, agencies averaged one person on staff with less than a bachelor's degree (Table 2-3).

Table 2-3:
Educational Level of Staff
Worker category Average number with less than bachelor's degree Average number with only bachelor's degree Average number with M.S.W. Average number with other advanced degree
Estimate
(C.I.)
Estimate
(C.I.)
Estimate
(C.I.)
Estimate
(C.I.)
Social workers or caseworkers <1
(<1-<1)
11
(6-16)
2
(<1-3)
<1
(<1-<1)
Supervisors <1
(<1-<1)
1
(<1-1)
1
(1-2)
<1
(<1-<1)
Other worker category 1
(<1-3)
<1
(<1-<1)
<1
(<1-<1)
<1
(<1-<1)
2nd other worker category 1
(0-2)
<1
(<1-<1)
<1
(<1-<1)
<1
(<1-<1)
3rd other worker category <1
(<1-<1)
<1
(<1-<1)
<1
(<1-<1)
<1
(<1-<1)
Total Staff 3
(<1-6)
13
(<1-18)
3
(1-6)
1
(1-2)

It is estimated that only a small number of staff positions were vacant among CPS local agencies at the time of the survey (Table 2-4). On average, each agency had 0.6 vacancies, of which 0.4 were social workers or caseworkers. More than 75 percent of agencies indicated that they had no staff vacancies.

Table 2-4:
Staff Vacancies
Position worker category Average number of staff
Estimate
(C.I.)
Social workers or caseworkers 0.4
(<1-<1)
Supervisors 0.0
(<1-<1)
Other worker category 0.0
(<1-<1)
2nd other worker category 0.1
(<1-<1)
3rd other worker category 0.0
(<1-<1)
Total 0.6
(0-<1)