Caseworker family-focus and parent engagement in foster care

Date of Completion

January 2007


Social Work|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies|Sociology, Public and Social Welfare




Social work theorists support a family-centered approach to casework with parents of children in foster care. It is believed that family-centered practice is the best way to engage parents in the foster care process, and that parent engagement is essential for family reunification. However, little research exists on the extent to which foster care caseworkers deliver family-centered service, and the degree to which parents feel in receipt of this sort of casework. The present investigation attempts to fill in this research gap by examining the relationship between caseworker family-focus and parent engagement in foster care. In addition, the study considers foster parent, demographic, and case-related variables as possible predictors of parent engagement. Implications for policy, practice, and future research are discussed.^