Social workers' decisions on removal: Predictions from their initial perceptions of the child's features, parents' features, and child's quality of life

Bilha Davidson-Arad*, Dorit Englechin-Segal, Yochanan Wozner, Rachel Arieli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examined whether social workers' decisions on removal could be predicted by features of the children, the parents, and the children's quality of life as the workers perceive and assess them at the beginning of their decision making process. The study was carried out on 99 children at risk, between three and thirteen years old, most of whom suffered from neglect and/or psychological injury. The findings show that the examined features of the parents and children had only limited predictive power and the early quality of life assessments none-even though quality of life assessments made after the decision (on a different but analogous group of children) did distinguish between children that the workers decided to remove and those they decided to keep at home. The low predictive power of the studied variables suggests that the information available to social workers at the beginning of the process is inadequate for making decisions on removal and that time is needed to gather the information they need. The study findings also contribute to our understanding of the "gray area" in which most children who come to the attention of social service agencies are located.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Social Service Research
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

Keywords

  • Children at risk
  • Quality of life
  • Removal from home

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