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ERIC Number: ED513081
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 266
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-8423-2
Identifying the Knowledge, Skills, and Values Needed to Perform Entry-Level Child Welfare Work in Utah
Topuzova, Lazarina N.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Utah
Because child welfare workers serve the most vulnerable children and families, it is necessary that they have sufficient knowledge, skills, and values (competencies) to provide quality services. This study focuses on competencies that the Division of Child and Family Services, Utah (DCFS) views as essential for entry-level child welfare work, and competencies that are addressed in the College of Social Work (CSW) baccalaureate program (BSW). The study used a mixed model sequential, three-phase design with a constructivist theoretical framework. The first phase included a focus group with DCFS trainers and interviews with administrators, to elicit a list of competencies. These competencies were used in the second phase to design an online survey containing 119 competencies in 9 sets. The survey asked for worker and supervisor input on mastery of each competency expected in the beginning of the worker's career and approximately one year later. In the third phase, CSW BSW program curriculum was analyzed to determine what competencies were taught through the program, analysis of all data was integrated, and recommendations were generated for DCFS and CSW. Values and engaging skills were considered most important for child welfare work. All participants highlighted the importance of the child and family team, understanding assessment as an ongoing process, and individualizing and negotiating the plan and intervention with families. Competencies related to court and community resources were seen as important and most challenging for new workers. Competencies of lower importance concerned disproportionality and the developmental delays and special needs of children. It was concluded that although generalist in nature, the CSW BSW program prepares students for the child welfare competencies considered most important in Utah. Analysis showed that competencies in six of the nine sets are adequately covered in the BSW program. It is recommended that material on the effects of abuse and neglect on normal child development, attachment, children's developmental disabilities and special needs, and secondary traumatic stress be added to the BSW program. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Utah