Through their lens: Case managers’ experiences of the child welfare system

Heather M. Thompson, Armeda Stevenson Wojciak, Morgan E. Cooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Case managers play a significant role in the child welfare system. Although previous studies have highlighted the multiple demands and requirements for case managers, few studies have utilized the perspective of case managers to highlight practices and areas of need within the child welfare system. The purpose of this qualitative study was to expand the understanding of issues related to child welfare by exploring the perspectives of current and former child welfare case managers. Thirty-one case managers provided their perspectives on their experiences within the child welfare system, perspectives and views of the system, relationships with other parts and persons within the system, and how they developed their knowledge of the intricate child welfare system. Themes related to the roles and responsibilities of case managers, support and collaboration, and learning and growing within the system emerged. Practice, research, and policy implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-429
Number of pages19
JournalQualitative Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Case management
  • child welfare
  • collaboration
  • foster care
  • thematic analysis


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