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ERIC Number: EJ852920
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1070-5309
Measuring Parent Engagement in Foster Care
Alpert, Lily T.; Britner, Preston A.
Social Work Research, v33 n3 p135-145 Sep 2009
Today, child welfare agencies widely endorse a family-centered approach to foster care casework. This approach centers on a collaborative parent-caseworker relationship as a mechanism for maintaining parents' engagement in services and presumes that continued engagement will propel parents toward reunification. However, despite the importance of engaging parents, parents of children in foster care are understudied. The existing literature offers little insight into parents' experiences of the foster care process, and even less in terms of quantitative analysis of parent engagement. The present study addresses this research gap by testing a new measure of parent engagement. The 46 parents of children in foster care in the study sample were mostly female, either black or Hispanic, and at the time of study had an average open case length of 30 months. The piloted measure showed good reliability. Results suggest that parent engagement is significantly negatively related to distance from the parent's home to the child welfare agency and length of time the parent spent working with his or her longest running caseworker. Implications for further measure development and directions for future research on parents of children in foster care are presented.
National Association of Social Workers (NASW). 750 First Street NE Suite 700, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-227-3590; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A