Is the client-worker relationship associated with better outcomes in mandated child abuse cases?

Cheryl D. Lee, Cecilia Ayón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this research was to (a) find if there were associations between child welfare outcomes and the client-worker relationship and (b) learn what are the predictors of a positive client-worker relationship. Method: 100 (55 Family Maintenance [FM] and 45 Family Preservation [FP]) clients were interviewed in English and Spanish. Pearson's r, t tests, chi-squares, and a regression analysis were conducted. Results: A majority of the participants were Latino single mothers. Higher scores on the Relationship with Worker Instrument were correlated with better outcomes in discipline and emotional care of children (p <.01).FP clients were more satisfied with their workers than routine FM participants (p < .01). Ability to openly communicate (p < .001), frequency of visits (p < .05), and receipt of public assistance fp < .05) were found to be predictors of good client-worker relationships. Conclusions: This assessment indicates that client-worker relationships and open communication matter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-357
Number of pages7
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004



  • Child welfare outcomes
  • Family maintenance
  • Family preservation
  • Relationship with worker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)

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