Date of Completion


Embargo Period



JoAnn Robinson, Preston A. Britner

Field of Study

Human Development and Family Studies


Master of Arts

Open Access

Open Access


For families to benefit from services, they must be engaged. A number of factors in child welfare contribute to client engagement, among them individual, parent and family characteristics, contextual influences, and worker variables. The existing literature offers little insight into families who are experiencing problems in both child welfare and housing needs and how this affects engagement in services. This pilot study examined 10 families and compared client engagement across three conditions: (1) Intensive Supportive Housing for Families (ISHF), (2) Supportive Housing for Families (SHF), and (3) child welfare (DCF) business as (BAU), which differ systematically on elements including case management model and intensity, evidence-based interventions, and access to vocational supports. Consistent with the range of factors that influence engagement, this study examined strength orientation of workers its relation to client engagement. Overall, there were no significant differences across the three conditions on engagement or strength orientation; however, engagement was greater for clients receiving treatment (ISHF or SHF) when compared to clients in the BAU condition. Implications and recommendations are discussed.

Major Advisor

Anne F. Farrell