Philadelphia’s child welfare system faces age-old crisis of staff shortages

By Metro Philadelphia, Resolve Philly, Julie Christie, | June 3, 2023

Stoneleigh Fellow Steve Volk and his Resolve Philly colleague Julie Christie have published an article for Metro Philadelphia discussing long-term staffing shortages in child welfare.

Usually, a stranger called Lexi Andino on her cellphone — “They would just tell me I’m getting a new caseworker.”

Andino, now 25, received that call throughout her 11 years in foster care. “I would guess it was 15 or 20 caseworkers I had. I stopped counting.”

Philadelphia deploys a two-pronged system to provide family and child services — government-employed staff, to investigate alleged child abuse and neglect cases; and private, contracted agencies that take the cases from there, providing in-home services to families or placements in foster care.

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