Why social workers do not implement decisions to remove children at risk from home

Bilha Davidson-Arad, Dorit Englechin-Segal, Yochanan Wozner, Rosy Gabriel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: The study explores why social workers do not always implement their decisions to remove children at risk from their homes.

METHOD: Social workers in Israel filled out questionnaires for 96 children at risk at two points of time: when they began to consider whether or not to remove the child, they completed questionnaires tapping their own, the parents', and the children's features. Six months later, they reported their decision, whether or not they had carried it out, and if not, why not.

RESULTS: Some 21% of the workers' decisions were not implemented, almost all of them decisions to remove. The main reasons given were the objections of the parents and/or the child. Decisions were implemented for all the children whose mothers were alcohol or drug addicts. Implementation was lower for older children, children who were uncooperative with the social worker, and for children whose parents were uncooperative. It was also lower among experienced workers than novices.

CONCLUSIONS: Further study is required to examine the generalizability of these findings to other countries, to understand better the reasons for the non-implementation, and to follow-up on the consequences of the non-implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-97
Number of pages11
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Abuse/prevention & control
  • Child Custody/statistics & numerical data
  • Child Welfare
  • Child of Impaired Parents
  • Child, Preschool
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Professional-Family Relations
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Assessment
  • Social Work/methods
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


Dive into the research topics of 'Why social workers do not implement decisions to remove children at risk from home'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this