Schuylkill County Children & Youth is hemorrhaging some of its critical employees.
Just this year, a total of 18 Children & Youth case workers or case worker supervisors have quit their job with the agency. based on our exhaustive assessment of County Commissioner meeting notes from 2022.
Another 3 have retired. And 1 case worker transferred to another job within County government.
In total, that’s 22 employees who left Children & Youth in 2022, alone.
Schuylkill County is having a hard time finding people to replace them, too. Losing these employees is one thing, but if they’re not replaced, it’s a much bigger issue.
To offset the losses, the County Commissioners have approved just 8 new case worker hires. And at least 1 of those hires quit within the same year.
In an attempt to stop the bleeding in this department, back in September, the Commissioners approved a bonus program for employees who don’t quit.
These bonus payments go out quarterly.
For employees who’ve been with Children & Youth less than a year, they’ll get $500 extra every quarter.
Employees with between 1 and less than 5 years of experience, their quarterly bonuses are $750 each.
Those with less than 10 years of experience with C&Y get $1,125 a quarter extra. And the most tenured employees at Children & Youth – more than 10 years on the job – get $1,500 every quarter.
It’s definitely too soon to know if this bonus program will have an effect on employee retention. But since it was approved, there’s only been 1 resignation among case workers there.
According to a Times-News report, the County says this turnover problem at Children & Youth is relatively new. Last year, a total of 31 employees – including typists and others – left Children & Youth. The agency is on a similar, maybe slightly faster pace this year.
But this problem, the County says in the Times-News report, really only started with the pandemic response. The County says employees are leaving for better pay elsewhere.
Children & Youth case workers are hired at 2 different levels. Here’s the hourly rate for each position:
- Case worker 1: $18.33
- Case worker 2: $19.73
While the County tries to figure out this retention problem, we’re left wondering: Why does a county the size of Schuylkill need so many Children & Youth case workers?
It seems that’s a much bigger problem.