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Using Qualitative Data-Mining to Identify Skillful Practice in Child Welfare Case Records

Abstract

Using qualitative data-mining methods, this study analyzed 39 child welfare case records in order to identify examples of skillful practice. Conducted in partnership with a public child welfare agency in northern California, the study found that child welfare workers are implementing many of the practices promoted by statewide and national child welfare practice frameworks. Broad categories of skillful practice identified included: (1) effective communication by social workers, (2) support for client self-determination, and (3) active intervention strategies. Study findings provide support for incorporating case record review processes in training and supervision in order to integrate practice-based expertise with research-based evidence.

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