Report: Competition with Massachusetts hampers private social service employment

Report: Competition with Massachusetts hampers private social service employment

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Demand for services is increasing with an aging population, higher rates of autism and veterans returning from overseas, according to the council.

“These trends are creating a series of downward spirals that are compounding the problem,” said Providers Council President and CEO Michael Weekes, in a statement. “Prolonged vacancies are creating stress and burnout, leading to reduced productivity and more turnover. Desperate efforts by providers to recruit and retain employees are draining scarce resources that could otherwise go toward wages.”

Better paying government jobs in the social service fields siphon off workers from the provider organizations, according to the report.

“Often times, community-based human services organizations feel as if their agencies are a career pipeline for future state employees. Young workers with little or no experience take positions in human services for a short period of time before leaving to work for a state agency, such as the Department of Children and Families or the Department of Developmental Services,” said the report. “Most state jobs can offer better pay and benefits packages with more paid leave, better or lower cost health insurance, and retirement plans. Essentially, this means that human services employers carry the financial burden of recruiting and training young workers to ready them for state government positions.”

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