Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Lanesskog, Deirdre


In this study, the researchers explored child welfare workers’ perceptions on placement changes for youth in foster care and the impact these changes had on youths’ overall outcomes. Using a Post Positivist paradigm, qualitative research was completed using snowball-sampling procedures. The researchers conducted in-depth interviews with sixteen members from their personal networks of child welfare social workers that have direct contact with foster youth. The research participants included current child welfare social workers from two counties in Southern California. The study’s findings suggest that children’s behaviors and foster parents’ reactions to those behaviors impacted placement changes. Further, participants felt that these changes significantly impacted youths’ educational outcomes. Participants identified a variety of interventions they used to try to mitigate placement changes, some with more or less success. Finally, workers identified barriers within the child welfare system, including communications and compensation, that might have an impact on placement changes. Implications for social work practice, policy and research are discussed.

Included in

Social Work Commons