Western Regional Recruitment and Retention Project (WRRRP)

Project Overview

Project Overview

The Western Regional Recruitment and Retention Project is based on the premise that improved recruitment, selection and retention of child welfare staff will ultimately result in improved outcomes and services to children and families in the system.

Project Timeframe/Years: October 1, 2003 – September 30, 2008

Project Summary:

The Western Regional Recruitment and Retention Project (WRRRP) developed models of training for child welfare agencies on recruitment, selection, and retention. The Butler Institute for Families served five sites in the greater Rocky Mountain region – specifically in Colorado, Arizona, and Wyoming under this Children’s Bureau Grant. The sites represented both urban and rural child welfare agencies. We completed comprehensive organizational assessments of each agency identifying issues that impacted their recruitment, selection, and retention. Planning teams in each agency, completed a thorough planning process creating site-specific plans of needs, priorities and training intervention strategies based upon the prioritized site-specific issues. Project outcomes included increased quality and quantity of applicants, improved selection processes, and increased retention of qualified staff through the development of curricula and models for practice and policy.

Grant Partners:

Jefferson County (Colorad0) Department of Human Services, Mesa County(Colorado) Department of Human Services, Rock Springs( Wyoming) Department of Children’s and Family Services, Talavi ( Arizona)Arizona Department of Economic Security, Casa Grande( Arizona)Arizona Department of Economic Security.

Funded/Sponsored by:

The Western Regional Recruitment and Retention Project was funded through grant from the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children & Families, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Contact Information: Charmaine. or (303) 871-6336

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Resources & Publications

Resources & Publications

We have designed and created the following products for this project. Please contact or (303) 871-6336 if you would like more information on these products.

  • WRRRP Bibliography 2006.pdf
    • The WRRRP conducted an extensive literature review and developed a bibliography and annotated bibliography with over 150 references from the human services, educational, and business literature. Full citations are contained in the bibliography and are differentiated by domain.



  • SMARRT Manual.pdf
    • The SMARRT Manual (Strategies Matrix Approach to Recruitment and Retention Techniques) is a tool to enhance capacity for more effective child welfare recruitment, selection, training, and retention practice. The manual includes research-based findings, as well as a wide range of experiential information and practical “how-to” information from published literature and internet sites. The purpose of the SMARRT Manual is to give child welfare professionals practical, hands-on tools and information, new ideas, and sufficient background information on complex topics to ask informed questions, know where to turn for additional resources, and begin the process of implementing these strategies in their own agencies. The SMARRT Manual is organized into four domains: recruitment, selection, training, and retention. Within each domain, conditions or factors that affect that domain are presented, along with strategies for addressing that condition.


  • WRRRP Final Report.pdf
    • This Final Report describes results of a project to develop, field test, revise, implement, evaluate, and disseminate effective and comprehensive training models for recruiting and retaining a competent workforce in public child welfare agencies in four States in the Rocky Mountain Region.


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