Publications & Resources

Examining Practices of Staff Recruitment and Retention in Four High-Functioning Afterschool Programs: Extended Study from the National Afterschool Partnership Report

Mar 2010

Denise Huang, Jamie Cho, Hannah H. Nam, Deborah La Torre, Christine Oh, Aletha Harven, Lindsay Perez Huber, Zena Rudo, and Sarah Caverly

This study describes how staff qualifications, decisions on staffing procedures, and professional development opportunities support the recruitment and retention of quality staff members. Four high-functioning programs were identified. Qualitative procedures and instruments were designed to capture staff and parents’ emic perspectives about relationships and professional development. Study findings revealed that all staff across the four afterschool programs consistently reported an intrinsic reason for working in their program. Interview data implied that program incentives such as a career ladder and an ascending pay scale were not enticing enough to recruit or retain staff. The decisions to stay with a program tend to be altruistic in nature, such as to provide academic, social, or emotional support for the students. Thus, at these four programs, the motivation for the staff to stay with the programs could be the organized environments, clear program structures, open communication, clear program goals, consistent expectations, positive relationships, and program climates that foster staff efficacy in “making a difference” in their students’ lives. Thus, promoting strategies in enhancing staff efficacy, such as empowering staff with decision-making and providing professional development opportunities to enhance their professional skills could help programs to recruit and retain quality staff members.

Huang, D., Cho, J., Nam, H., H., La Torre, D., Oh, C., Harven, A., … Caverly, S. (2009). Examining practices of staff recruitment and retention in four high-functioning afterschool programs (CRESST Report 769). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).