The turnover problem (in Milwaukee)

They are the eyes, ears and hands of the child welfare system, the front-line workers serving Milwaukee County children who have been abused and neglected.

And according to a report released Friday, more than half of them left their jobs during 2013.

It is the worst migration of these in-the-trenches social workers — they’re called ongoing case managers — from the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare since 2008. It is the fifth time in a decade the bureau has lost more than half its case managers in a single year.

In detail:

According to Friday’s report, 202 case managers were working for the bureau at the start of 2013. Over the next 12 months, 111 left, a 55% turnover rate.

Some 59% of the bureau’s case managers left their positions in 2008. Half or more of the bureau’s case managers left their jobs in 2004, 2005 and 2007.

Source: Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.