Study Provides Details about State’s Child Welfare Workforce

CalSWEC has released the results of its California Public Child Welfare Workforce Study in the form of five data briefs, below. One otther brief, The Effects of the Economic Recession on Child Welfare Services and Staff Data Brief, is in progress.


In 1992, CalSWEC administered the first Workforce Study to obtain a baseline measurement of the proportion of MSWs working as social workers in local child welfare agencies; at the time, counties estimated MSWs constituted 20.5% of that workforce.

Since then, the Workforce Study, part of the CalSWEC’s Program Evaluation & Workforce Research (Tier 1), has been conducted every three years. It assesses California’s population of child welfare staff by collecting administrative data from the local county child welfare agencies along with information about vacancies, needs for MSWs and bilingual workers and, for the first time this year, information about how the recession has affected hiring. The population data are then compared to data gathered from the individual workers about their demographics, educational levels, desire for more education and training, and service assignments.

In 1993, CalSWEC Title IV-E Stipend Program graduated its first MSWs. From 1993 to spring 2012, 4,634 MSW students graduated from the program. Using two online surveys in 2011, CalSWEC estimated that the proportion of MSWs in the child welfare social work staff was 40.5%.

For more information, please contact Dr. Sherrill Clark,, Program Evaluation Specialist.