Why social workers do not implement decisions to remove children at risk from home

Bilha Davidson Arad, Dorit Englechin-Segal, Yochanan Wozner, Rosy Gabriel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: The study explores why social workers do not always implement their decisions to remove children at risk from their homes. Method: Social workers in Israel filled out questionnaires for 96 children at risk at two points of time: When they began to consider whether or not to remove the child, they completed questionnaires tapping their own, the parents', and the children's features. Six months later, they reported their decision, whether or not they had carried it out, and if not, why not. Results: Some 21% of the workers' decisions were not implemented, almost all of them decisions to remove. The main reasons given were the objections of the parents and/or the child. Decisions were implemented for all the children whose mothers were alcohol or drug addicts. Implementation was lower for older children, children who were uncooperative with the social worker, and for children whose parents were uncooperative. It was also lower among experienced workers than novices. Conclusions: Further study is required to examine the generalizability of these findings to other countries, to understand better the reasons for the non-implementation, and to follow-up on the consequences of the non-implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-697
Number of pages11
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2003

Keywords

  • Children at risk
  • Decision making
  • Implementation
  • Removing from home

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