PCWCPPublic Child Welfare Certification Program
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At 6 months the PCWCP graduates rated themselves highly on job preparedness, which was measured by a mean score across all 26 items related to specific job duties.
There was a significant difference between PCWCP graduates' overall preparedness scores between urban and rural workers, t(198)=2.45, p<.05.
Tasks that PCWCP supervisors felt graduates were most prepared to accomplish included presenting a positive attitude toward social work, remaining respectful during the referral process, and demonstrating knowledge of time frames for investigation.
Overall, PCWCP graduates at 6 months postemployment and 2 years postemployment felt that the program prepared students well.
Thirty-nine percent of all PCWCP graduates who responded are presently pursuing or have completed a master's degree.
The average retention rate for the nine cohorts of PCWCP graduates who had been out of the program 2 years or longer was 75% (n=360 as of the study cutoff date).
When asked whether the PCWCP graduates would choose the same work if they could start their working life over, 50% responded yes, 17% responded no, and 32% responded they were unsure.
There was a significant positive relationship between commitment to the CHFS (likelihood of remaining for 5 years) and recommending that other students participate in the PCWCP, r(83)=.360, p<.001.
The analysis of these data has provided key information regarding the effectiveness of the PCWCP, including preparation for the job and the impact on worker commitment and retention in child welfare.
In addition to preparedness for practice, this research found that about half of PCWCP graduates reported the intent to remain with the child welfare agency for at least 5 years.
The strengths of this research include the fidelity of the intervention (PCWCP) being evaluated, collection of longitudinal data over 10 years, use of numerous standardized scales to evaluate outcomes and potential mediators, and the linkage of program evaluation data to the key organizational outcome of retention.
Given these low response rates, there is some concern that the workers who chose to complete the surveys may not be representative of all PCWCP graduates.