Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Gretchen Heidemann


This project explores the barriers to reunification with their children for incarcerated mothers in an effort to provide more support to child welfare social workers who engage with this population. Project participants were selected from one regional office of a child welfare agency in Southern California to complete qualitative interviews. Participants included seven Social Service Practitioners (SSPs), two Supervising Social Service Practitioners (SSSPs), and one Data Analysist. Each participant’s interview was digitally recorded, transcribed, and analyzed following the systematic manual coding method with the assistance of Microsoft Word (Ose, S, 2016). Five common barriers were identified: child visitations with incarcerated parents, variances of social worker’s knowledge of services and programs provided by institutions, presence of guidance and support, maintaining contact with incarcerated parents, and length of sentence. At the conclusion of the project, the researcher provided findings to study participants and the Deputy Director of the child welfare agency.

Included in

Social Work Commons