Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Simon, James


The purpose of this study was to examine the contributing factors of family reunification (FR) according to social workers and other professionals working in child welfare. Existing research highlights the importance of the social worker’s relationship with the person with substance abuse as a contributing factor to FR; however, there is little research as to what influenced the social worker and other professionals from their perspective.

A quantitative self-administered survey was distributed to social workers and professionals in San Bernardino County and Riverside County that included questions about the participant’s background, experience, possible contributing factors, and influences potentially impacting family reunification in child welfare for persons with substance abuse. The participants were instructed to focus on a past case with a family involved with child welfare due to substance abuse and comparisons were made between families that did and did not reunify (n=145). By utilizing bivariate analyses and multivariate logistic regression models, the researchers were able to identify significant variables associated with self-reported family reunification.

Familiarity with the substance abuse treatment process and the social worker’s belief in their clients to maintain sobriety emerged as significant contributing factors to FR suggesting that persons with substance abuse should be supported, empowered, and approached from a strengths-based perspective by a social worker or another professional who is also knowledgeable about the substance abuse treatment process. Further research is still needed regarding what other practice approaches and substance abuse treatment options could be implemented to increase FR.

Included in

Social Work Commons