The Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth, and Family Services (PCCYFS) has released a report on The Workforce Crisis Affecting Behavioral Health & Child Welfare Services: Analysis & Recommendations, which enumerates the challenges that children’s services providers have been experiencing. While other sectors are specifically struggling with workforce challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the children’s services sector faced these difficulties even prior, and the pandemic has brought this issue to crisis levels.
“For far too long, provider agencies have had to find creative ways to support their workers when public funds did not support livable wages for those working on the front lines.” said PCCYFS President and CEO, Terry L. Clark, “It’s no wonder that providers are challenged by the need to find and retain high-quality workers. These essential workers are expected to overcome the daily stresses of working with families who have experienced trauma, pay off their student loans, and do so while earning a salary that is comparable to those working for large retailers. As the premier state association for children and family services providers, PCCYFS believes it is imperative to tell the story of and propose solutions for the incredibly challenging circumstances under which these individuals work in order to sustain Pennsylvania’s communities.”
The report highlights the workforce challenges that providers have been struggling with and the ways in which the problem has been compounded by the pandemic. It presents an evaluation of data from the provider community regarding workforce challenges and provides constructive recommendations on ways in which all stakeholders can help support those who sustain our communities.