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Journal Article


Davidson-Arad B, Benbenishty R. Health Soc. Care Community 2010; 18(1): 1-9.


(Copyright © 2010, John Wiley and Sons)






The study examines the contributions of workers’ attitudes towards issues in child welfare (removal from home of children at risk, the ability of alternative care to foster children’s development, optimal duration of alternative care, and parents’ and children’s participation in the intervention recommendation) with their risk assessments and intervention recommendations. The study participants were 236 out of 240 licensed child protection workers in Israel (98.3% response rate) who were attending an annual professional conference in November 2005. They were presented with a vignette describing the case of a child at risk and asked to rate the risk and indicate their recommendations for intervention. They also completed an attitudes questionnaire gauging their attitudes. Hierarchical regressions showed that workers’ attitudes explained 11% of the variance of their risk assessments and 18% of their intervention recommendations. More positive attitudes towards removal contributed to higher risk assessments. More positive attitudes towards removal and towards longer duration of alternative care contributed to more intrusive intervention recommendations. Attitudes also had a significant but weak moderation effect on the link between risk and intervention. The findings highlight the need for training and supervision to raise workers’ awareness of their underlying attitudes and values and of how these may bias their judgements.


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