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Staff reports filed in DCFS job satisfaction survey cite 'unrealistic expectations' among other concerns

1 month 3 weeks 3 days ago Monday, December 05 2022 Dec 5, 2022 December 05, 2022 5:13 AM December 05, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Amid a slew of child deaths and a radical change in leadership, the newest weekly audits released Monday included discouraging reports of low employee satisfaction at the Department of Children and Family Services. 

The audit, which was released Friday but embargoed until Monday, included anecdotes and sympathies from staff that painted a picture of a workplace where proper compensation and manageable workloads simply did not exist. 

While the Monday audit went into great detail regarding the following statements, below is a summary of the results obtained from the examination of the DCFS staff:

Survey respondents indicated that the most important issues that need to be addressed at DCFS include pay, caseload and unrealistic expectations, and a lack of support and respect from supervisors and managers.

Survey results show that 88.8% of respondents are passionate about the work they do, but only 54.1% are satisfied with their job. Respondents in some regions – such as Lake Charles and Lafayette – and some work areas – such as Home Development, Adoption, and Family Services – are more satisfied than others. In addition, survey respondents are generally more satisfied with the way they are treated by their immediate supervisor than by managers and supervisors in general or CW leadership.

According to our survey, respondents are concerned that high caseloads and limited resources prevent them from providing quality services to children and families. Other barriers that affect respondents’ ability to do their job include lack of support from supervisors and managers and a lack of transportation.

Generally, half of respondents agree that individuals in CW leadership positions model qualities such as accountability, respect, and empathy. Examples of concerns with leadership positions include promotions that are not based on achievement and performance, CW (child welfare) employees not being held accountable when they behave inappropriately, and the belief that issues will not be addressed.

DCFS has proposed and already begun work on a range of initiatives to address issues with job satisfaction, job
performance, and leadership. Examples of initiatives include establishing a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Unit and Council to ensure employees have a direct line to and voice with agency leadership; developing a 24/7 coverage model to allow more work/life balance; hosting hiring fairs; streamlining the hiring process; adjusting pay structures; creating a Leadership Professional Development Program; and contracting for an Employee Assistance Program to help mitigate the level of stress, anxiety, and secondary traumatic stress that CW staff experience. 

This is a developing story. 

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