Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Social case work



Physical Description

1 online resource (174 pages)


This group project represented an attempt to study some factors pertaining to the formation of a system of case classification in a county public welfare agency, Multnomah County Public Welfare Commission, Portland, Oregon. The classification tool was a Case Planning Schedule intended to encourage diagnostic thinking on the part of the caseworker and to enhance planning and service for the client. The focus of the study was limited to two areas: (1) whether or not the use of the Schedule resulted in agreement among caseworkers in classification and in consistency on prognoses, (2) the attitudes of the caseworkers in various departments toward the Case Classification Program and the Case Planning Schedule. Background for the study involved a search of the literature surrounding new approaches to the problems of "multi-problem families" and public assistance caseloads. Consideration was given to agency structure and the circumstances surrounding the creation of the Oregon Program for Case Classification. Five main hypotheses were tested. With one a comparison was made between classification and prognostication of cases with and without a case classification Schedule. The other testable hypotheses were dealt with by administration of an interviewing schedule designed to gather data regarding staff attitudes toward the Program and the Schedule. Appropriate statistical tests of significance were employed and a content analysis was used in connection with an open-ended attitudinal question. Qualitative and quantitative findings were consistent in demonstrating that caseworkers tended to be favorable toward the intent of the Program but critical toward implementation procedures. Divergent viewpoints were shown in comparing responses of workers by categories of work-load assignments departmental assignments, and length of service in the agency. These findings suggest that additional research include an evaluation of the validity of such systems.


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Portland State University. School of Social Work

Persistent Identifier