Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Simon, James


This research project examined the client-worker relationship to examine whether five factors related to engagement positively or negatively affected family reunification. Qualitative data were gathered during face-to-face interviews with seven Parent Partners who currently work in the field of child welfare and witness daily interactions between social workers and their clientele; this third-party- perspective is based on their interactions during which they assist clients with information, guidance, and support during the reunification process. These interviews were transcribed and then coded using directed content analysis to confirm whether these five dimensions of engagement were present in their child welfare cases.

Based on the qualitative data gathered, the researcher found that all five dimensions of engagement were important and that the absence of these core dimensions had a direct impact on a client’s ability to successfully reunify as reported by the Parent Partners. Furthermore, although all five dimensions were present, trust and transparency were the most common and appeared to have the highest influence on the relationship. These implications add to the existing literature regarding the client-social worker relationship by highlighting how these dimensions of engagement are present among families with successful reunification and rehabilitative case plans as reported by the Parent Partners.

Included in

Social Work Commons