Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Davis, Thomas


Various levels of research over the past three decades have concluded that children are harmed by constant changes to where they reside when they are removed from the care of their parents. Regardless of that, minimal research has been conducted to investigate this problem from the perspective of the social worker. This study explores the problem of placement instability among adolescent populations from the perspective of foster family agency social workers in Riverside County, California. Interviews with foster family agency social workers were conducted using a digital voice-recording device. The audio files were transcribed to text and thematically analyzed for relevant commonalities among participants. The data provided more detailed information regarding what the social workers believed to be the factors involved in placement instability. Four main categories were observed and explored in detail; trauma, inter-agency communication, mental health access and foster parent education were consistent themes of the data set. This research provides the groundwork for further research from people who work in a central role that is pivotal to lessening the instances of placement instability.

Included in

Social Work Commons