A Quick Guide to Workforce Analytics for Child Welfare Agencies

Child welfare agencies continue to seek resources to help them better understand their workforce data. The Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD) developed several valuable resources for public child welfare agencies working to build partnerships between child welfare and human resources (HR) professionals to address child welfare workforce challenges. These resources were created for jurisdictions participating in the QIC-WD Child Welfare Workforce Analytics Institutes 1.0 and 2.0 but can be used by any jurisdiction. These resources aim to help agencies build their workforce data analytics capacity and improve practice.


When conducting workforce analytics, agencies are encouraged to adopt a team approach and involve various experts and stakeholders. A workforce analytics team includes a mix of people with a variety of skills and HR, data management, and child welfare knowledge who can work together to understand, analyze, and interpret a variety of data sources. (We created a blog post that includes a video and provides additional context on the role of the team.) An early goal of the team is to create a workforce analytics action plan to support workforce planning, including the development of a SWOT analysis. (We have another blog post and video that provides additional advice and examples to support action planning.)


It is important to ensure that any data that will be used for workforce analytics are accurate and can be trusted. To do so, agencies should consider several data quality criteria. It is also valuable to segment and visualize your data to enhance understanding of the data. Data segmentation is the process of breaking down “big” data into smaller, more meaningful groups, called segments, which represent groups of people with similar characteristics. Data visualization strategies can help leaders to present workforce data in a useful way to improve understanding.

Workforce Metrics

There are various metrics related to employee well-being, performance, and retention that can be used to assess workforce needs and examine workforce-related processes, interventions, and outcomes. We created an introduction to workforce metrics to describe these data points. Our team developed a resource on calculating and tracking workforce metrics that includes over 90 metrics related to recruitment and selection, education, work hours, work arrangements, caseload capacity, supervision, career development, performance, turnover and tenure, and costs. In addition to HR measures, there are also child welfare workforce metrics. These measures fall into three categories: caseload/workload, case continuity, and worker- and unit-level variability.

Workforce analytics teams are encouraged to use a workforce scorecard to track key performance indicators and link key strategic goals to workforce-related initiatives. (For more information read our blog post and watch a short video.)

When conducting workforce analyses, it is valuable to capitalize on data from both HR databases and child welfare information systems. Each can be useful on their own, but additional information can be learned when the two types of data are connected. Very few agencies have linked HR and child welfare data systems, but by linking human resources and child welfare data, you can tell a more complete workforce story. Our blog post and the associated video provide additional guidance on how to link data for workforce analytics.