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Services Received vs Services Needed by Families in Child Welfare Systems

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International Journal on Child Maltreatment: Research, Policy and Practice Aims and scope Submit manuscript


This article compares and contrasts the services needed by families in child welfare systems with the services that families receive. A mixed-methods approach was used to triangulate data from a variety of sources, including administrative databases, case file reviews, and focus groups with child welfare caseworkers and clients. Through this analysis, four overarching themes are explored: (a) perceptions of system-involved families’ needs, (b) engagement of families in service planning, (c) availability and accessibility of services, and (d) the quality and appropriateness of services provided to families. Findings suggest that considerable gaps and barriers exist that prevent system-involved families from receiving the services they need. The manuscript concludes with research and practice recommendations about meeting the service needs of families in child welfare systems.

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Correspondence to Mary I. Armstrong.

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Armstrong, M.I., Johnson, M.H., Robst, J. et al. Services Received vs Services Needed by Families in Child Welfare Systems. Int. Journal on Child Malt. 2, 165–181 (2019).

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