Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Sar, Bibhuti K.
Decision-making; Child protection; Disproportionality; Race; Socioeconomic status; Family structure; Child protective services
Child welfare workers
This study examined intake and post-investigative disposition decision making among professionals engaged in child protective services to understand disproportionality and disparities in the child welfare system. Using child welfare, decision making, and attribution theories as a framework, a multivariate 2x2x2 factorial vignette design was used to examine intake and post-investigative disposition decision making among 400 child protective caseworkers and supervisors employed in a Midwestern state. Data were gathered through an online self-administered survey. Among the key variables of interest--race, socio-economic status, and family structure--only the family's socio-economic status was found to influence the intake decision but none were associated with the disposition decision. As expected, participants in this study who endorsed the child's removal were more likely to attribute the cause of the maltreatment to a parent's internal characteristics rather than any external circumstances; and this was more so when the family was described as either two-parent or middle socio-economic status. Plus, prior involvement of a family with CPS was found to be a key predictor of both screen-in and removal. Implications of these findings for practice and future research to understand disproportionality and disparities in the child welfare system are discussed.
Johnson, Lisa Michele, "Correlates of intake and disposition decisions by child protective services professionals." (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 700.