• September 2018
  • Vol. 19, No. 7

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Turnover Among Wraparound Care Coordinators

Frequent turnover among wraparound care coordinators can have a negative impact on the children, youth, and families they serve as well as on other wraparound services staff. A recent article from the National Wraparound Initiative and the National Wraparound Implementation Center features a study that focused on the causes and impact of turnover and retention among wraparound care coordinators.

The study used an online survey to collect data about the respondents, their agencies, and what they thought were the reasons behind staff turnover and retention. A total of 331 complete responses were received from wraparound stakeholders in 39 states. The survey also asked if respondents were willing to participate in a follow-up interview that delved deeper into the potential causes of turnover at the individual, organizational, and larger system (e.g., county, region, or state) levels. For each level, researchers included questions that asked about specific factors that were particularly relevant at that level, such as burnout as an individual factor, job demands as an organizational factor, and  state policies as a system factor. The researchers also asked the interviewees to give suggestions on the best ways to reduce turnover.

The study reported the following findings:

  • About 40 percent of organizations experienced a turnover rate of less than 25 percent in the past year, whereas more than 25 percent reported  they had to replace at least half of their staff in the past year. 
  • Forty-three percent of wraparound coordinators reported they had been at their job for less than 1 year.
  • Sixty-seven percent of respondents replied that turnover hurts employee morale.
  • Low pay was frequently cited as a reason for leaving the job, and care coordinators felt that their salaries were too low for the skill level required.
  • Seventy-eight percent of interviewees reported that stress and burnout were the main reasons for staff leaving their jobs.

Respondents made the following suggestions to improve staff retention:

  • Many respondents stressed the importance of having supportive and knowledgeable supervisors.
  • Respondents felt that hiring practices should be improved by including a detailed and honest description of what the job of a wraparound coordinator entails.
  • Step-structure pay increases and a clear career path entice employees to remain in their jobs.
  • Respondents reported they felt more loyalty toward organizations that sought to lighten their burdens by, for example, implementing technology that makes the job easier and supporting wellness and self-care.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration produced a companion webinar, "Turnover Among Wraparound Care Coordinators: Rates, Causes, Impacts and Remedies," that highlights key findings from the report as well as presents questions and discussion. It is available at https://nwi.pdx.edu/previous-nwi-webinars/.

To read the article Turnover Among Wraparound Care Coordinators: Perspectives on Causes, Impacts, and Remedies, visit https://nwi.pdx.edu/pdf/Turnover-Among-Wraparound-Care-Coordinators.pdf (1,015 KB).

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