Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work

Document Type



The purpose of this study was to determine if there is an association between the caring attitudes and commitment toward clients of child welfare workers and their clients’ completion of a parenting education program. This line of inquiry is intended to expand the scope of research on caring attitudes associated with child welfare workers intent to remain employed. A logical extension of identifying characteristics associated with child welfare workforce retention is to determine if those characteristics are also associated with positive client outcomes. Part of the examination of worker caring attitudes involved testing the Child Welfare Inventory (CWI), a modified version of the Revised Human Caring Inventory (RHCI) developed by Ellis, Ellett, and DeWeaver (2007). Associations between caseworker caring attitudes, selected client demographic characteristics, changes in clients’ parenting attitudes, and selected worker characteristics were also examined. A survey of child welfare employees in Louisiana (n=1,159) resulted in 388 completed surveys, yielding a response rate of 34%. Principal components analysis (PCA) was used to evaluate the factor structure of the CWI. The factor structure differed substantially from the structure of the RHCI on all but one factor. The CWI was identified as having four factors that retained 38 of 44 items on the inventory. All four factors demonstrated moderate to strong internal reliability (Cronbach’s alpha 0.75 to 0.89). Logistic regression revealed a significant association between the Professional Responsibility subscale and client completion of a parenting education program. No significant associations were found between caseworker caring attitudes and changes in clients’ parenting attitudes as measured by the Adult Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI-2), levels of education, income, employment, number of maltreatment investigations or number of valid maltreatment investigations. There was a significant but weak association between the years of experience of child welfare workers and their caring attitudes.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Page, Timothy



Included in

Social Work Commons