Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Maria C. Dinis, Ph.D., MSW

Second Advisor

Lois Bosch, Ph.D., MSW

Third Advisor

Terry Schellinger, MSW


Although many agencies and professionals identify their services as family-centered very few have evaluated their practice to determine the legitimacy of this claim. This exploratory quantitative study elicited survey responses from a random sample of 75 parents and/or guardians of children with severe emotional disturbances who have received family services through Catholic Charities Day Programs. Parents and/or guardians used the Family-Centered Behavior Scale to evaluate the professional behaviors of the family service providers, and rate the importance of these behaviors in the service process. The results indicate that the level of satisfaction with the family practitioner directly correlates with the family-centered professional behaviors of encouraging parental involvement, listening to the family, and identifying family strengths. The study concludes with an overview of the professional behaviors that these parents found most important to them in the service process. This study is particularly important for day treatment programming as the literature identifies effective family services as the strongest predictor of a successful outcome for children receiving this level of services.


SC 11.MSW.2000.Torborg.CA

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Social Work Commons