Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

James Simon


This study explored the common challenges that residential counselors face when working with dual-status youth, which we defined as any youth with at least one open case with the child welfare system or juvenile justice system (or both) and who have previously had a case with the latter in their lifetime. Data were collected through qualitative interviews with their residential counselors across five different residential treatment centers in southern California.

The most common challenges reported by the residential treatment counselors included multiple roles, role limitation, dual-status youth behaviors, deficiency in training, management, and preparation when working with dual-status youth in a residential treatment facility. This study also found that counselor resiliency served as a buffer against these common challenges.

Findings from this study highlight the importance of considering the challenges residential counselors face while working with their dual-status youth clients in residential treatment facilities because it may affect their clients overall treatment. Furthermore, it emphasizes the importance of continuing to conduct research on short-term residential therapeutic center policy changes; as well as, the experiences of social workers with dual-status youth clients in residential treatment facilities who are served by residential counselors.

Included in

Social Work Commons