The relationship between caseworker assessments of clients’ social networks and child welfare placement outcomes

Journal article
Canadian CW research

Brisebois, Kimberly
Trzcinski, Eileen
Marsack, Christina

Journal of Family Social Work, 18(2), 90-105

Policy changes in Ontario, Canada, emphasized the role of social supports as a protective measure for children at risk. The authors examined the relationship between worker assessments of total number and type of social support and whether an infant is removed from the mother’s care. Analyses indicated that infants were less likely to be removed from the mother’s care when caseworkers viewed maternal social supports as positive. This association was strongest when the caseworker identified only positive supports, with nonnegative contacts. Results suggest that caseworkers’ distinctions between positive and nonpositive social networks influence removal decisions.

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