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What Is the Relationship between Worker Skills and Outcomes for Families in Child and Family Social Work?

Forrester, D; Westlake, D; Killian, M; Antonopolou, V; McCann, M; Thurnham, A; Thomas, R; ... Hutchison, D; + view all (2019) What Is the Relationship between Worker Skills and Outcomes for Families in Child and Family Social Work? The British Journal of Social Work 10.1093/bjsw/bcy126. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Communication skills are fundamental to social work, yet few studies have directly evaluated their impact. In this study, we explore the relationship between skills and outcomes in 127 families. An observation of practice was undertaken on the second or third meeting with a family. Practice quality was evaluated in relation to seven skills, which were grouped into three dimensions: relationship building, good authority and evocation of intrinsic motivation. Outcomes at approximately six months were parent-reported engagement (Working Alliance Inventory), Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS), an eleven-point family life satisfaction rating, the Family Environment Scale and General Health Questionnaire and service outcomes from agency records including children entering care. Relationship-building skills predicted parent-reported engagement, although good authority and evocation had stronger relationships with outcome measures. Where workers visited families more often, relationships between skills and outcomes were stronger, in part because workers had more involvement and in part because these families were more likely to have significant problems. The relationship between skills and outcomes was complicated, although the findings provide encouraging evidence that key social work skills have an influence on outcomes for families.

Type: Article
Title: What Is the Relationship between Worker Skills and Outcomes for Families in Child and Family Social Work?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcy126
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcy126
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Communication, motivational interviewing, outcomes, engagement, children’s services
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10080426
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