Existence, relatedness, or growth? Examining turnover intention of public child welfare caseworkers from a human needs approach
Research suggests pay and benefits are ineffective to sustain a stable workforce in public child welfare. It is important to know what other mechanisms would motivate caseworkers to stay at the job. However, the relation of factors contributing to the prevalent problem of turnover in public child welfare remains unclear in part due to a lack of theoretical base in research. This study therefore develops a conceptual framework based on the human needs theory of Alderfer (1969, 1972) to examine what motivates caseworkers' turnover intention. The three categories of needs are existence needs regarding pay and benefits, relatedness needs regarding at-work relationships and life-work balance, and growth needs regarding career development and fulfillment. With a secondary dataset of 289 caseworkers in a northeastern state, our structural equation modeling results show the dynamics between caseworkers' needs and their differential impact on turnover intention. The effect of existence needs on turnover intention is completely mediated by growth needs. Moreover, the variable of growth needs is found to have the strongest total effect among the three need categories. Administration and management may attenuate turnover intention by enhancing caseworkers' growth needs with respect to meaningfulness of daily practice, contingent rewards, and development of personal career goals.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ellett, Alberta J., 2009. "Intentions to remain employed in child welfare: The role of human caring, self-efficacy beliefs, and professional organizational culture," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 78-88, January.
- DePanfilis, Diane & Zlotnik, Joan Levy, 2008. "Retention of front-line staff in child welfare: A systematic review of research," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 995-1008, September.
- Ryan, Joseph P. & Garnier, Philip & Zyphur, Michael & Zhai, Fuhua, 2006. "Investigating the effects of caseworker characteristics in child welfare," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 993-1006, September.
- Strolin-Goltzman, Jessica, 2010. "Improving turnover in public child welfare: Outcomes from an organizational intervention," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1388-1395, October.
- Smith, Richard J. & Clark, Sherrill J., 2011. "Does job resource loss reduce burnout and job exit for professionally trained social workers in child welfare?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1950-1959, October.
- Hopkins, Karen M. & Cohen-Callow, Amy & Kim, Hae Jung & Hwang, Jeongha, 2010. "Beyond intent to leave: Using multiple outcome measures for assessing turnover in child welfare," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1380-1387, October.
- Faller, Kathleen Coulborn & Grabarek, Marguerite & Ortega, Robert M., 2010. "Commitment to child welfare work: What predicts leaving and staying?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 840-846, June.
- Auerbach, Charles & McGowan, Brenda G. & Ausberger, Astraea & Strolin-Goltzman, Jessica & Schudrich, Wendy, 2010. "Differential factors influencing public and voluntary child welfare workers' intention to leave," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1396-1402, October.
- Ellett, Alberta J. & Ellis, Jacquelyn I. & Westbrook, Tonya M. & Dews, Denise', 2007. "A qualitative study of 369 child welfare professionals' perspectives about factors contributing to employee retention and turnover," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 264-281, February.
- Smith, Brenda D., 2005. "Job retention in child welfare: Effects of perceived organizational support, supervisor support, and intrinsic job value," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 153-169, February.
- Gomez, Rebecca J. & Travis, Dnika J. & Ayers-Lopez, Susan & Schwab, A. James, 2010. "In search of innovation: A national qualitative analysis of child welfare recruitment and retention efforts," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 664-671, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:10:p:2088-2093. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.