Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Joseph Rigaud


The COVID-19 pandemic took the world by surprise and adversely impacted service delivery in both the public and the private sector. This qualitative study asked two significant questions: 1) What are child welfare caregivers’ perceptions of the impact of COVID--19 on child welfare visitation across the United States? How did child welfare caregivers’ cope with child welfare visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic across the United States? A sample of five child welfare professionals who conducted visitations during the pandemic were interviewed (N = 5). Thematic analysis yielded the following five major themes: 1) COVID-19 took the visitation sector by surprise; 2) child welfare workers found it hard to provide visitation services during the pandemic; 3) COVID-19 has created both challenges for family visitations but also opportunities for social workers to obtain new skills, especially in the area of technology; 4) participants wished they received training (or were more prepared) for the impacts of the pandemic on family visitations; and 5) communication among all parties involved is essential for successful family visitations. The findings in this study hold major implications for child welfare stakeholders, including parents, social workers, community leaders, and child welfare officials at local, state, and federal level.

Included in

Social Work Commons