Collaborative Alliance of Parent and Child Welfare Caseworker

Tyrone Cheng, Celia C. Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This secondary analysis of data describing 3,035 parents, drawn from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being II, identified factors fostering the collaborative alliance of parents and caseworkers within the child welfare system. We used generalized least squares random effects modeling for panel data. We sought associations between caseworker engagement as perceived by parent and parent’s interpersonal capacities, intrapersonal dynamics, problem severity, and racial/ethnic background, and between that perception and caseworker turnover. Parents in our sample had been substantiated for maltreatment of their children. Results showed that parent’s perceived caseworker engagement was associated positively with seven factors: parent’s social support, parent’s mental health, kinship care, out-of-home placement, parent’s African American ethnicity, parent’s Hispanic ethnicity, parent/caseworker shared ethnicity, and family income. Perceived engagement was associated negatively with caseworker turnover (i.e., number of caseworkers assigned, by turns, to parent’s case). Implications for practicing social work within the child welfare system are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-161
Number of pages10
JournalChild Maltreatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2020


  • child welfare services
  • child welfare workers
  • longitudinal research
  • parents/adults


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