How can we have stability and sustainability with up to 45% staffing turnover?

Stability and sustainability are critical to adequate care for everyone and most important for our most vulnerable.  With staffing turnover rates of up to 45% where is the stability for those who most require it?

This is the graph from the Division of Developmental Disabilities survey.  King  County has higher wages than the surrounding area – maybe this explains the lower turnover rate?  SOLA’s are state employees and this setting does provide more stability in staffing when compared to non-profit and private supported living homes.

The graph below is taken  from the same survey which indicates the high rate of staff leaving within the first 6 months of employment.  What does this rapid cycling of new staff not only do to the clients but how does it affect the training and staffing costs to the agencies?  Why are these people leaving so quickly?  Is it lack of training, lack of support, inadequate orientation, poor fit to the job, poor wages?

I’ve looked at the IRS 990 Tas Returns for at least 65 non-profit agencies which work with people with developmental/intellectual disabilities in our state.  You can view this excel workbook here:

non profits and financial statements

It is interesting to see the profits of some of these agencies – I can only wonder what the above graphs could look like if some of these agencies with large profit margins could increase the wages of the caregivers just a tad – would that help reduce this rapid cycling of staffing turnover?  Maybe just by slowing the turnover rate a bit the training and education costs would also decrease so the profits may not actually decrease – wouldn’t that be a win-win situation for all?

This is just wishful thinking in my part, I’m sure but I still can not help but think that it could be a possibility?  What do you think?

3 comments on “How can we have stability and sustainability with up to 45% staffing turnover?

  1. holly homan says:

    of course an increase in pay, good benefits (medical, retirement, etc.) are all good ways to retain staff. The biggest thing is lack of support. I’ve worked in the private and public sector and when there is lack of support, it creates a worse environment than the low pay/benefits factor. When profit is put ahead of humanity, everyone loses (except the CEO making millions). For this reason, we should not have private, for profit companies providing care and support for our most vulnerable citizens


    • Yes, I know that lack of staff support and backup in some smaller community settings is one of the biggest problems. This is not only a safety risk for clients but also for staff. I did not address that issue in this posting but it is one of my major concerns regarding care of our msot vulnerable.

      I can only imagine what the private, for profit companies are making – I do not have access to their IRS information but do know what DDD pays them and given the expense cost reports these agencies submit to DDD I do know that they are bringing in large profits.


  2. […] 7.  Have them look at the issues of, lack of stability and sustainability of our caregivers, which directly affects the health and safety of our loved ones. (…) […]


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