Methods: A scoping review was carried out, examining existing literature published between 1998-2020 on ToL. Pre-specified search terms were used for searching published literature in PsycInfo (EBSCO), PubMed, CINAHL, and Business Source Premier, with additional filtering using Endnote and relevant terms to focus on helping professions. Secondary search strategies involved identification of relevant studies from prior informal searches, hand searching of ToL review articles, and inclusion of relevant dissertations. After removal of duplications, n = 3804 records were entered into Covidence, a web-based systematic review tool. After limiting records to those focused in child welfare settings, n = 21 publications were included for final data extraction and qualitative synthesis.
Results: Overall, the transfer of 26 skills was assessed in the 21 publications examined in this scoping review. Each of the studies focused on 1-8 skills, with the average number of skills being M= 3.76. The skills which were assessed most frequently were engagement (n=14), interviewing (n= 12, out of which n= 7 focused on Motivational Interviewing), and assessment (n=7). Other frequently assessed skills were case management (n=5) and development of a service plan (n=5). Each of the following was assessed in n=3 studies: Decision making; Relationship and marriage education; and behavioral skills training. Conflict resolution was assessed in n=2 studies. Finally, 15 skills were assessed in one (n=1) study, for example, Clinical supervision; Follow-up; and Joint Investigative Interviewing for Social Workers and Police Officers.
Conclusions and Implications: Findings indicate that some skills are more often focused on in studies regarding ToL in child welfare settings. While, indeed, all skills were highly relevant for child welfare practice, it was noticeable that other skills which are extremely pertinent for child welfare, such as de-escalation, critical thinking or cultural responsiveness, all considered child welfare competencies (DePanfilis, 2018) were not included in any of the studies.
DePanfilis, D. (2018). Child protective services: A guide for caseworkers. US Department of
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