The influence of public child welfare worker's attitude towards the poor on practice decisions

Lenore Mae Parker, Fordham University


The lack of information regarding the attitudes of public child welfare workers towards welfare dependent clients and those clients who live in poverty, coupled with the lack of empirical research on the influence of these attitudes on practice decisions is of concern. This is especially true as the few studies that do exist suggest that attitudes professionals hold towards specific client populations influence their decision making. This explanatory study looked at the influence of public child welfare workers' attitudes towards the poor on their practice decisions. The study population included a stratified, hand-picked purposive sample of public child welfare workers from rural, suburban, and metropolitan counties. Data were collected with a mailed questionnaire consisting of the following sections: (1) personal and professional characteristics of the public child welfare worker; (2) attitudes towards the poor; and (3) a child welfare case vignette under several conditions with questions related to problem identification and case disposition. Data were analyzed using univariate analysis, bivariate analysis, and multivariate analysis. Crosstabulation and multiple crosstabulation with chi-square statistic (significance at the.05 level) and adjusted residuals (significance at 1.64) were used to test hypotheses. Analysis suggests that public child welfare workers' attitude towards the poor, in consort with specific personal, professional, and workload characteristics influences practice decision.

Subject Area

Social work

Recommended Citation

Parker, Lenore Mae, "The influence of public child welfare worker's attitude towards the poor on practice decisions" (1991). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9205001.