Mich. Child-Welfare Agency Plans Hiring Drive

LANSING (AP) – Michigan’s child-welfare agency says it wants to hire more than 500 new college graduates as it tries to comply with an agreement to improve foster care, protective services and other responsibilities.

The Department of Human Services says it will hold recruitment events in February and March at Northern Michigan University, Michigan State University, Oakland University, Marygrove College and Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids. The first will be Feb. 8 in Marquette.

Human Services Director Maura Corrigan said Friday she’s committed to meeting the terms of a 2008 consent decree aimed at improving child-welfare programs. A court-appointed monitor gave the department poor marks under former Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

Students who expect to graduate in spring or summer are invited to attend. For more information go to http://www.michigan.gov/dhsjob.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.

  • Christine James-Brown

    Clearly, the staffing crisis in America’s child welfare system calls for intensifying efforts to recruit professionals with relevant degrees in social work. However, along with the plan to increase the size of the workforce, proactive strategies to retain and transform novice workers into skilled practitioners are paramount.

    As new child welfare workers, college graduates need access to leaders who support them as they transition into their work. They must be trained to make critical decisions that keep children safe and strengthen families, and they need continuous guidance for a sustained commitment to the field. Additionally, if the child welfare system wants to retain these employees, it’s important to efficiently manage the large influx of new hires coming out of college and help them turn education into practical skills in child welfare.

    Expanding the workforce is a step in the right direction. But, the goal of quality public child welfare systems nationwide can only be accomplished with a stable child welfare workforce that is trained in practice excellence and well supervised in a supportive environment.

    Christine James-Brown
    President and CEO
    Child Welfare League of America
    1726 M Street, NW – Suite 500
    Washington, DC 20036

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