Abstract: Measuring Family Centered Practice in Child Welfare: A Confirmatory Factor Analysis (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

304P Measuring Family Centered Practice in Child Welfare: A Confirmatory Factor Analysis

Friday, January 18, 2019
Continental Parlors 1-3, Ballroom Level (Hilton San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Yanfeng Xu, MSW, PhD student, University of Maryland at Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
Haksoon Ahn, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Maryland at Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
Daniel Keyser, MSW, Doctoral Student, University of Maryland at Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
Background and Purpose: The family-centered practices, known as family support and family preservation services, have been widely implemented in child welfare across the United States. Although family-centered practice has been implemented for decades in child welfare, measures for evaluating family-centered practice have not been well-established. The purpose of this study is to examine the factor structure of the measurement of the Family-Centered Practice Questionnaire and provide a validated measure to assess the family centered practice model.

Methods: This study used secondary data from a statewide family-centered practice follow-up online survey among child welfare workers (n = 307) in 2011. The online survey aimed to assess child welfare staff’s family-centered practice efforts and their personal attitudes toward family-centered practice. The Family-Centered Practice Questionnaire uses a four-point scale (1 = never to 4 = almost always) with seven factors (Craft-Rosenberg, Kelley, & Schnoll, 2006). This study examined the factor structure of the 39-item and revised 31-item versions of the Family-Centered Practice Questionnaire by conducting confirmatory factor analyses in Mplus 8.0.

Results: The majority of participants were female (n = 272; 88.6%) and White (n = 239; 77.9%). Almost three-quarters had MSW degrees (n = 226; 73.6%) and most were between 25 and 54 years old (n = 242; 78.8%). Participants’ primary service areas included child protective services, in-home family services, and foster care. Factor analysis indicated that the original one-factor, seven-factor, and second-order seven-factor models with 39 items yielded overall poor model fit. The five-factor and second-order five-factor models of the revised 31 items both demonstrated adequate fit. The five-factor model (RMSEA = 0.043, CFI = 0.968, TLI = 0.965, and χ 2 = 659.968, df = 424, with p = 0.000) and second-order five-factor model (RMSEA = 0.042, CFI = 0.969, TLI = 0.966, and χ 2 = 661.844, df = 429, with p = 0.000) with 31 items had an adequate overall fit based on the fit indices. The five factors were mutual trust, shared-decision making, family as a unit, strengths-based practice, and cultural competence and sensitivity. The items were significantly loaded on each factor, with coefficients ranging from 0.633 to 0.923.

Conclusions and Implications: The revised five-factor structure of the 31-item and the second-order five-factor structure of the 31-item were statistically comparable and treated as alternative models. However, we recommend using the second-order five-factor structure because this model is supported by family-centered practice theories suggesting family-centered practice is a core concept, and it is composed by other sub-concepts, which are the five factors of this Family-Centered Practice Questionnaire (Child Welfare Information Gateway, n.d; Epley, Summers, & Turnbull, 2010; Lietz, 2011; Allen & Petr, 1998). Using a second-order five-factor Family-Centered Practice Questionnaire can measure the full dimensions and each aspect of family-centered practice.