Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Sharon K. Patten, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Maria Dinis, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Gail Chang Bohr, J.D., M.S.W.


Nonorganic failure to thrive (NOFTT) children are at risk. Their physical, cognitive and social development are threatened. They need more than hospitalized medical treatment, but also long-term intervention that will protect them from further neglect and damage. Through a method of policy analysis this research explores the definition of nonorganic failure to thrive in the context of child neglect, and how social policies protect children with NOFTT from further damaging neglect. This research found strengths in Child Protective Service's ability to receive reports of child neglect and weakness in that many children who are neglected do not receive the needed interventions and services for their well-being. Recommendations for protecting and better serving children and families with NOFTT are discussed, in addition to social work practice implications.


SC 11.MSW.1999.Hoolahan.D