Site Overview


The Washington Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) is a cabinet-level agency focused on the well-being of children, with a vision that "Washington state’s children and youth grow up safe and healthy— thriving physically, emotionally and academically, nurtured by family and community." As a newly established state agency, DCYF oversees several services previously offered through the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and the Department of Early Learning (DEL). These include all programs from the Children’s Administration formerly in DSHS, such as Child Protective Services’ investigations and Family Assessment Response, licensed foster care, and adoption support. Also included are the juvenile rehabilitation institutions, community facilities and parole services, and all DEL services, such as the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program for preschoolers, Working Connections Child Care, and Home Visiting.

In DCYF, the Child Welfare Field Operations (CWFO) is organized into six regions. Each region includes Regional Administrators, Deputy Regional Administrators, Area Administrators (who manage large offices or a constellation of smaller offices), and Social Service Specialists 5 (who are union-represented supervisors, reporting to the Area Administrator and managing approximately 6–8 Social Service Specialist staff). The CWFO employs approximately 2,200 people who are responsible for the direct service to children and families with active child welfare cases. Social Service Specialists, who are union represented, are the frontline staff, and they work in the following units:

  • Intake
  • Child Protective Services (investigations)
  • Child Family Welfare Services (court cases)
  • Family Assessment Response (alternative response)
  • Family Reconciliation Services
  • Family Voluntary Services
  • Licensing Division (licensing and monitoring of placement resources)

Map of Washington phases

QIC-WD Project Overview

The QIC-WD worked with Washington’s Site Implementation Manager (SIM), who organized and led an Implementation Team, to design and implement telework for eligible staff in DCYF Child Welfare Field Operations. The project was designed to more consistently implement telework and make it more widely available, increasing the workforce’s control over their work environment, improving work-life balance and work efficiency, while decreasing stress and burnout. DCYF offices across the six regions were identified as either intervention or control offices to implement telework, with a 9-month delay between the two groups.


The overall turnover rate, including both external turnover and internal movement was 40% (N=665) in 2017. Approximately one-third of this was due to internal movement, and two-thirds was due to departures from Children’s Administration (hereafter called external turnover). Thus, the rate of internal movement was 14% and the external turnover rate was 26%. In the three previous years, this overall rate steadily increased (2014=36%, 2015=37%, 2016=43%), but did not show large variations. The peak in 2016 was the result of an increase in external turnover (2014=21%, 2015=21%, 2016=27%), even as internal movement dropped in that same period (2014=15%, 2015=17%, 2016=16%).

Washington 2017 Annual External Turnover Rate: 26%