Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Anthony Bibus III, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Curt Paulsen, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Patricia Harmon, M.S.W., L.I.S.W.


Prior studies have found a positive relationship between contact of birth family and foster children and reunification, as well as with children's well-being, adjustment, and development during and after foster care. Law requires and research validates social work practice which places children in the least restrictive, most normative living situation possible to meet their needs. Examining records of 188 youth discharged from treatment foster care from Human Service Associates from January 1, 1995 to December 31, 1996, this investigation discovered that birth parent participation in placement planning meetings and quarterly reviews, one indicator of birth family involvement, was related to discharge of those youth to less restrictive settings. Given practical, systemic, and interpersonal barriers to birth family involvement, the study concludes with guidelines for encouraging parental partnerships in planning for youth in treatment foster care.


SC 11.MSW.1998.Hulteen.KA

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Social Work Commons