Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Lanesskog, Deirdre.


As of 2018, approximately 442,995 children are in the foster care system in the United States according to the federal statistics from the Children’s Bureau. Entry into the foster system involves the removal of children from their home, making it a traumatic experience. The purpose of this study was to examine social workers’ perceptions of what trauma informed practice means and what it looks like in child welfare removals. The study also clarifies what trauma informed practice (TIP) is and how it can be applied in child welfare’s organizational structure. This was a qualitative study in which child welfare social workers from southern California agencies were interviewed. Interviews with experienced child welfare workers revealed many themes including the complexities of workers’ experiences during removals, the impact of removals on workers, social workers’ perceptions on TIP and suggestions on how to make removals more trauma informed for children. The findings from this project identified ways trauma may be minimized during detainment procedures in child welfare. All participants voiced that they felt the trauma informed removal (TIR) PowerPoint guide was beneficial to their learning and practice and that a training with this guide would be ideal for their agencies. Additionally, the findings shed light on the need for future research on creating a more trauma informed child welfare system and the need for policy implementation and or change.