National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children

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Child Welfare Social Workers’ Knowledge of Substance Abuse and Self-Efficacy in Working with Substance Abusing Clients

National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children

Krahn, Nicole Ashley – 2019

Drug use in the United States is a growing epidemic whose consequences affect more than just users, but our most vulnerable- our children. Research suggests between 50 and 90% of all families involved with Child Protective Services agencies around the nation struggle with drug use issues (Osterling & Austing, 2008; SWERT, 2008). Madera County sits in a federally classified high intensity drug trafficking area, where child welfare social workers regularly encounter families who are involved with drugs. Child welfare social workers make decisions with these families that affect family separation or family preservation. Because of this, it is important for child welfare social workers to be familiar with substance abuse and have confidence in their ability to engage with and work effectively with drug using individuals and families; this confidence is described as self-efficacy. This study used quantitative, descriptive methods to assess knowledge and self-efficacy in working with substance abusing clients in 19 Madera County child welfare social workers. The data suggest social workers have a general knowledge of substance abuse and moderately high self-efficacy; however, most respondents reported feeling they had received inadequate training on this topic.