Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study: caseworker contact and relationships with children in out-of-home care

Stream: Pathways of care longitudinal study
Date: Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Time: 3.45 pm – 5.05 pm


Other than the quality of care children receive, the services children in out of home care (OOHC) receive are perhaps the most important modifiable factors influencing their outcomes in care. Perhaps the most important of these is the casework relationship. Caseworkers often provide direct support to children and carers, and also link them to specialist services such as psychologists and paediatricians, as well as providing practical support and arranging respite care etc. Caseworkers are also involved when children move placements and in planning for children to leave care. Despite the key role of caseworkers, there is very little research which examines the relationship between children and their caseworkers, and virtually none which examines how this relationship is associated with children’s outcomes. This paper will present an analysis of this association based on findings from 3 Waves of the POCLS. The findings indicate that many children have very little contact with caseworkers, but those who do have contact with caseworkers are generally positive about the contact. Interestingly socio-emotional wellbeing over the 3 Waves was not highly associated with the quality of caseworker contact.


Ilan Katz (Presenter), UNSW Sydney
Professor Katz joined SPRC in January 2005. He has many years of policy, practice and research experience in children and family services in the UK. He started his career as a social worker and manager, working in several local authorities and NGOs in London. He was head of Evaluation, Practice development and Research at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. After spending some time as a civil servant he returned to research to become Deputy Director of the Policy Research Bureau.