Research & Data

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Staffing Shortage Survey Data

A survey was conducted July 28 through August 6 of 2021 to better understand the staffing issues reported from partners across the country. A total of 187 respondents completed the survey representing a variety of organization types and sizes. 

Organization type and size charts


When asked what current operational restrictions were in place, the highest percentage of responses (31%) indicated that the organization was operating normally, without restrictions. The second highest response (29%) was having limited hours/access due to shelter policies in place. And 27% of organizations cited more than one restriction in place.

Staffing restrictions table


Staffing is down for 87% of all organizations that responded, 40% are operating with 10-25% fewer employees, 22% are operating with more than 25% fewer employees, and 26% are operating with less than 10% fewer employees. The most cited reason (71%) for the staffing shortage for organizations was “Unable to recruit, hire, and maintain staffing levels.” The next most cited reason (10%) was “Positions frozen due to current budget restrictions.” And 15 organizations cited more than one reason for the staffing shortage.

Reason for staffing shortage chart


74% of organizations cited multiple impacts that the staff shortage was having at this time. The most cited impact of the staff shortage was “Staff is even more stressed than usual” (75% of all organizations and 26% of all responses). Additionally organizations cited staff shortages as impacting their ability to provide good service in areas of adoption/foster support (57% of all organizations and 20% of all responses). 

Staffing shortage impact chart


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Check out our recent editorial on how to Get Out of the Staffing Shortage Rut for more information on how to address these issues.