A culturally relevant measure of client satisfaction in child welfare services

Journal article
Canadian CW research
Authors
Mundy, Crystal
Neufeld, Amanda N. 
Wells, Susan J
Source
Children and Youth Services Review 70, 177-189
Abstract

Child welfare professionals increasingly recognize the importance of the client's perspective in evaluating service outcomes, but there is a dearth of well-developed instruments that meet the needs of service providers and planners. This article describes the implementation of a measure of primary caregivers' satisfaction with mandated child welfare services. This measure is significant for its flexibility regarding the nature of the child welfare population to be surveyed and for its attention to cultural aspects of the clients' experience. The instrument is an adaptation of Harris, Poertner, and Joe's (2000) client satisfaction measure and includes selected items from related instruments in the field. The measure was developed with the help of an Aboriginal child welfare agency and piloted with that agency's clients. The adapted instrument also includes items requested by the pilot testing agency to reflect high quality child welfare practice including specific attention to the clients' racial, ethnic, and cultural identity. This project furthers Harris et al.'s (2000) prior work by using the instrument in another country (Canada) and with diverse populations, thereby adding to the body of evidence supporting the development of this measure. Future research with larger samples could further enhance the validation of the measure and its usefulness to policy makers and practitioners.
 

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