Preparation of this study was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse grant R03DA032863. Data in this article are drawn from the National Survey on Child and Adolescent Well-Being, which was developed under contract with the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services (ACYF/DHHS) and provided to the authors by the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect.
Social Service Review
Child welfare--United States, Social service
In this article, we examine child welfare caseworkers’ housing-related service strategies when they serve culturally similar versus culturally dissimilar clients. Testing hypotheses drawn from representative bureaucracy theory and using data from the second cohort of the National Survey of Child and AdolescentWell-Being, we find that when non-Caucasian caseworkers share the same racial/ethnic background as caregivers, caseworkers use more active strategies to connect caregivers to needed housing services. The relationship between racial/ethnic matching and frontline workers’ repertoire of service strategies is most pronounced when the need for housing has been registered formally via referrals and case plans and thus legitimated institutionally. These results reinforce basic tenets of representative bureaucracy theory and provide evidence of the benefits of racial and ethnic diversity in the human service workforce. Our findings also highlight the need for research identifying institutional and frontline organizational factors that enhance the quality of service provision.
Blakeslee, Jennifer E.; Chuang, Emmeline; Bunger, Alicia; and McBeath, Bowen, "Under What Conditions Does Caseworker-Caregiver Racial/Ethnic Similarity Matter for Housing Service Provision? An Application of Representative Bureaucracy Theory" (2014). School of Social Work Faculty Publications and Presentations. 97.