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Help Wanted: The Future of the Human Services Workforce in Massachusetts

Author: Providers' Council

Publication Date: Apr. 05, 2006

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This report sheds light on the human services sector in two seemingly opposed ways: the industry’s strong economic impact on the Commonwealth and its communities; and the current and future workforce crisis facing human services. Workforce issues have led the Providers' Council agenda for reform.

Some human services agencies report turnover rates as high as 60 percent for direct care staff. Anecdotal data show a concurrent increase for services coupled with a decline in potential staff; Massachusetts is one of few states with a population currently in decline, a trend that is expected to continue. This report is intended to ferret out the truth and/or misconceptions of the anecdotal data, and to provide a base from which all stakeholders can plan next steps and act accordingly.

On behalf of the Council and its members, we hope this report helps to elevate discussion, engage in seeking solutions, ameliorate the crisis and restore the promise of the Commonwealth to serve our most vulnerable citizens.

Hard copies of the report can be ordered for a small charge by calling the Council at 617-428-3637.