AMARILLO, TX - Many employees who cared for some of the most at-risk citizens of Texas quit their jobs in 2013.
The State Auditor's Office released a report showing 2013 had more turnover in state jobs than any of the past five years, with a turnover rate of 17.6%. The majority of those separations were from positions that deal with disabled or mentally un-stable patients, criminals, or troubled children.
Former Child Protective Services caseworker Keith Howard says that's likely because of high stress and low pay. "When you're talking about individuals who deal with human lives on a daily basis, there's a natural stress created there because you get into this field because you want to help people, you want to change lives, but what you realize when you get in there is that that can be pretty consuming," he said.
The highest turnover rate was within the Department of Aging and Disability services, but juvenile correction officers, psychiatric nurses and social workers also had higher than average turnover last year.
The auditor's report found the majority of folks left due to a "poor working environment." Though the high turnover in those high stress jobs leaves the strapped, it's also a sign of an improving economy because more people feel able to quit their jobs to seek a better one.