Retaining Staff Key To Keeping Juvenile Programs Effective

Jun 18, 2014

Oneida county courthouse

Retaining qualified  staff working with juveniles is a key goal for the Oneida County Department of Social Services. During an annual report to the Oneida county board on Tuesday supervisor Tom Rudolph wondered if the department needed more staff...

" seems to me that would be one area if we put more support into that effort in the longer term certainly have a positive impact on the county levy..."

Director Mary Rideout said out-of-home placement of juveniles costs a lot of money to the county. She says social work tends to be a high-burnout type of job. She says to provide quality services they need to have fully-trained staff that stay in their jobs...

".....out of home care costs are the driving costs of our budget. That is where a lot of the county tax levy to reduce(the cost) to have good, qualified staff, that helps a lot..."

Rideout says they are adequately staffed, but the key is to maintain the staff. She says turnover tends to cause lower morale.  Retirements are also affecting the number of job openings. She says she and  the county Social Services Committee have been working toward new ways to retain and train staff.

Rideout says the average cost to house a juvenile elsewhere is $9,200 per month. 80 percent of that cost is paid by the county.