Do social work education, job description, and cultural competence foster child-welfare caseworkers' therapeutic alliances?

Tyrone Cheng, Celia C. Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


We explored whether the strength of caseworkers' engagement with families in the child-welfare system was associated with the caseworkers' academic degrees, job responsibilities and environments, and/or ethnicity. We extracted data from a national data set describing 1,714 caseworkers. Results confirmed significant association between caseworkers' confidence in their engagement with families and (a) master's- and bachelor's-level social work education, (b) adequate supervision at work, (c) cultural-diversity training, (d) job focus (screening/investigation, out-of-home placement, or reunification), and (e) homogeneous race/ethnicity of caseworker and client.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-442
Number of pages8
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2018



  • child welfare
  • cultural perspectives
  • partnership/empowerment
  • social work education

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