What will the study explore?

  • What does the overall system for providing child welfare services in MN look like?
  • What workload demand variables impact the intensity of caseworker workload?
  • How can the current monitoring system be revised to provide a fuller assessment of case and workloads for Tribes and counties to plan?
  • What are the existing case/workloads?
You can find more information on these questions and the purpose of this study in the Minnesota Department of Human Services' RFP (page 5).

How you can participate

Child Welfare Services Caseload and Workload Survey - September 28-October 19, 2021

Workshop 4: Feedback on the case & workload data collection plan (completed) - September 2021

Workshop 3 series: Revise and Design the Workload Monitoring System (completed) - July 2021

Caseworker Survey on Workload Intensity (closed) – June-July 2021

Workshop 2 series: Workload Intensity Variables (completed) – May-June 2021

Click here for a summary of Workshop 2 results.


Minnesota is one of nine states with a state supervised, county and tribally administered child welfare system. This study is being conducted because it is recognized that child welfare caseloads and workloads are high and there are systemic issues which impact each agency’s workforce differently. As a result, MN Department of Human Services (DHS) contracted with The Improve Group, and their partner, Bowman Performance Consulting, to conduct a study to understand and design a method to feasibly and regularly monitor workforce resources deployed across Minnesota child welfare agencies.

The contacts for this study are:

DHS is committed to conducting a holistic study that accurately reflects the unique challenges and opportunities that lead agencies—both counties and tribes—face while administering child welfare services. With your help, we want to create an agency-supported process to monitor agency-level staffing, staff caseloads/workloads, and relevant workload demand variables. We request your participation in this important study and encourage you to contact The Improve Group or DHS with questions.

Why this Study?

DHS knows child welfare case and workloads are too high but don’t know the extent of the problem, or what factors to consider to better adjust the load.

What will change?

By knowing case and workloads across the state–and the variables that affect them–lead agencies and DHS can start to address high case & workloads. The data we collect will be used to create a continuous monitoring system across counties and (potentially) tribes to understand staffing, case/workloads, and relevant workload demand variables. It will not develop new workload standards or recommendations for changes to the workforce.


  • Inform the design of the monitoring system to minimize your burden.
  • Communicate how much work you truly have.

When will the study occur?

March – August 2021 (timeline for participation in early design; sharing data on workload will likely be in the fall).


For questions or to participate, you can contact:

Sara McGarraugh, The Improve Group