Public Child Welfare Staff Knowledge, Attitudes, and Referral Behaviors for an Evidence Based Parenting Program




Daniel J. Whitaker, Jessica S. Rogers-Brown, Melissa Cowart-Osborne, Shannon Self-Brown, and John R. Lutzker

Brief Type

Journal Publication


  • SafeCare/SafeCare Augmented


Little is known about how the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of the public child welfare workforce influence implementation of evidence-based practice (EBP) as most research has focused on the private workforce. This paper reports on public child welfare staff knowledge, attitudes, and practices in a state implementing the EBP, SafeCare®. A survey of public child welfare staff (N= 222) was conducted to assess knowledge, familiarity, and referral barriers and practices. Knowledge of and familiarity with SafeCare were low, especially among front line staff (case managers). Attitudes toward SafeCare were fairly positive, but somewhat less so than attitudes toward a standard, non-evidenced based parenting program. Case managers were significantly less likely to have made a referral (15%) than other staff (46%). Job tenure had
few effects on familiarity, knowledge, attitudes, or referrals. The strongest predictors of having made referrals were familiarity with SafeCare and job position. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Surveys or questionnaires



For More Information

Whitaker, D. J., Rogers-Brown, J. S., Cowart-Osborne, M., Self-Brown, S., & Lutzker, J. R. (2015). Public child welfare staff knowledge, attitudes, and referral behaviors for an evidence based parenting program. Psychosocial Intervention, 24, 89–95. doi: 10.1016/j.psi.2015.06.001
Author Contact Information:
Daniel J. Whitaker


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