Child Protection in Texas: Caseworkers Attitudes and Perceptions Towards CPS Services

Date
2007-05
Authors
Zarate, Emilia Maria
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Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this applied research project is to explore caseworkers' attitudes and perceptions towards services provided to children and families in the state of Texas. The research uses working hypotheses as the conceptual framework. Method: Six working hypotheses were created that examine services provided by Child Protective Services (CPS). All working hypotheses and sub hypotheses were tested using group interviews. The sample size included 30 CPS caseworkers (Investigators, Family Based Safety Service workers, or Conservatorship workers). Five group interviews were conducted with 6 caseworkers in each group. The interviewees' responses were recorded and categorized using a Likert scale, from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree and a Not Always response. The interviewees also gave their opinion and experiences about working for CPS. Findings: The interviewees generally agreed that family based safety services have a positive impact on family preservation. The majority of interviewees disagreed that CPS places less emphasis on kinship care. Most interviewees agreed that foster care is fraught with safety concerns. A large number of interviewees agreed that children who are placed in institutions and group homes are there due to extreme behavioral or emotional problems and the children are often medicated, regardless of their ages. The majority of interviewees agreed that permanency planning teams act in the best interest of the families and children. Lastly, most of the interviewees disagreed that parental rights are often terminated unnecessarily.
Description
An Applied Research Project Submitted to the Department of Political Science, Texas State University-San Marcos, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Public Administration Spring 2007.
Keywords
child abuse, neglect, caseworker, Child Protective Services, maltreatment, services, Texas, Public Administration
Citation
Zarate, E. M. (2007). Child protection in Texas: Caseworkers attitudes and perceptions towards CPS services. Masters of Public Administration, Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, TX.