Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Lois Bosch

Second Advisor

Laura Boisen

Third Advisor

Michelle Chalmers


The strengths perspective has received significant attention in recent years in both academic and practice settings. Examining its implementation will provide important information about how it can function as a practice model, and therefore facilitate the development of this emergent model. The present study focuses on the implementation of a pilot project designed to incorporate the strengths perspective in therapeutic foster care. The study examines how the strengths perspective affects social workers' roles and responsibilities in therapeutic foster care, and what can be learned about the strengths perspective by examining its implementation in an agency setting. The findings show that social workers perceived substantial changes in their role in the therapeutic foster care process. It was also found that although the social workers had to struggle to discern a clear understanding of the strengths perspective, they were inspired once they had done so. In addition to indicating that the strengths perspective offers a promising alternative for therapeutic foster care, these findings point to the importance of struggling to develop a meaningful understanding of the strengths perspective. Although successfully incorporating the strengths perspective requires willingness on the part of social workers to stretch themselves, the finding from this study provide a persuasive argument for doing So.


SC 11.MSW.2000.Kent.JM

Included in

Social Work Commons