Portland State University. School of Urban and Public Affairs.
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies
Urban Studies and Planning
4, viii, 174 leaves 28 cm.
Oregon Children's Services Division, Child welfare -- Oregon, Social work with children -- Oregon
The purpose of this study was to develop and test an instrument to measure client satisfaction among families who are clients of a child protective services agency. With the growing numbers of families coming into contact with CPS agencies, the burgeoning numbers of children in foster care, and the increasing attention to the effectiveness of services within this population, client feedback is one approach that has been largely ignored by CSP administrators. The basic problem this dissertation addressed is the issue of obtaining feedback from the involuntary client, such as the family in a child abuse case. Specifically, this dissertation addressed the following four research questions: 1. Can a client satisfaction instrument be developed for CPS clients largely through the input of the clients? 2. What are the domains of satisfaction that are applicable to CPS families? 3. How much involvement do the CPS families feel that they have in the planning and decision-making in their cases? What impact does this have on their overall level of satisfaction? 4. What are the relationships among the various domains of satisfaction and the overall level of satisfaction? Two rounds of interviews were held with families who had been clients of the CPS agency serving the State of Oregon, Children's Services Division. These interviews served as the major source of information for the identification of satisfaction domains and for the development of a closed-ended instrument to measure these domains. The responses to the interviews were content analyzed and four specific domains of client satisfaction were identified. These were: (a) Helpfulness, (b) Partnership, (c) Choice, and (d) Information Sharing. Items were also developed to comprise a "General Satisfaction" domain. A closed-ended instrument was constructed and pre-tested in two large Branch offices of the agency. This instrument included five items to address the interest of the agency in the issue of "convenience." It also included seven items to gather information concerning the opinions of clients on the agency mission and goals. Results of the pre-test were analyzed and the instrument revised. The final instrument was mailed to a population of 4,337 CPS families. Surveys were returned by 489, or 11%, of the families. Analyses, including correlational analysis, factor analysis, and internal consistency reliability analysis, provided empirical support for the domains identified through the client interviews Analysis provided very little support for the "convenience" domain. Satisfaction on the four scales measuring the four domains of satisfaction was positively correlated with measure of overall satisfaction. The overall theme which ran through the entire client survey instrument was that of empowerment. Three of the four domains of satisfaction which were identified were: Ca) "Partnership," (b) "Choice," and (c) "Information Sharing." The challenge is for CPS agencies to incorporate these issues into their practice.
White, James Michael, "The Development and Testing of an Instrument to Measure Client Satisfaction of Child Protective Service Families" (1991). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1289.