Public child welfare workers-especially those working in the "trenches" -are the life blood of child protection. Yet, the ever present challenge is keeping committed and talented professionals in the field. This article is based on a 1990 study which examined the phenomena of staying in the field through the eyes of the professionals who have done so. The study investigated the life histories and work experiences of 18 selected child welfare workers in a mid-western state through data gathered from in-depth written and oral life histories. Findings provide insight into the world of the child welfare worker.

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