Over the last couple of years Burnett County has spent over $100,000 just on turnover costs for social workers, according to county officials.
County Administrator Nate Ehalt said Burnett County loses three to four social workers every year.
“This is a state-wide issue and its happening in a number of states,” Ehalt said. “There’s a shortage of social workers and they aren’t just leaving the county because of workload or pay.”
According to Ehalt, the county spends $6,600 for the first 90 days of hiring a social worker. If that happens three to four times a year, it can cost the county over $25,000 just bringing new people in every year.
This trend has been continuing for over four years and that is how Ehalt came to the $100,000 figure being spent on turnover. He added those costs do not include overtime in the department.
Ehalt has been speaking with social workers and Burnett County Department of Health and Human Services Director Allison Fern on solutions to these issues.
“There are great solutions out there,” Ehalt said. “It’s just a matter of figuring out which one works best for us.”