Criteria social workers employ in making child custody recommendations

Froneman, Anna Petronella (2000) Criteria social workers employ in making child custody recommendations. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




During this study, an attempt was made to investigate the process employed by social workers in conducting child custody evaluations and making decisions related to the process, as well as to provide insight into which criteria are currently being used. The goal was to explore the perceived usefulness of these criteria from the perspective of social work, and to assess the adequacy of the requirements of the custody report in reflecting the above process and decision-making. In order to meet this goal, literature and empirical studies were conducted. The literature study focuses on the history of child custody matters, custody decision-making and legislation, types of custody arrangements, criteria social workers employ in making child custody recommendations, evaluator bias and custody evaluation reports. During the empirical research phase, a non-probability purposive sampling procedure was adopted. Five family counsellors from the office of the family advocate serving the Eastern Cape were selected. After an interview schedule was compiled to cover certain topics and their sequence, semi-structured interviews were conducted with the family counsellors. In order to compare the criteria stated in the interviews with the criteria applied in the custody reports, three cases from each family counsellor were selected and the final custody report and recommendation were studied. This study has revealed the following: some of the family counsellors experience proqlems with the process of custody evaluations; certain aspects regarding the process are not in line with some ofthe literature; some of the criteria used by the family counsellors are not evident in the custody reports and are not discussed in detail; a lack of training exists for the family counsellors; and the family counsellors experience some form of bias. Finally, based on the research findings, recommendations were made regarding the process of custody evaluation, the criteria social workers employ when conducting child custody evaluations, training and bias of family counsellors, the role of the family advocate and possible future research.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Child custody, Children, South Africa
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities
ID Code:2443
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:03 Feb 2012 13:59
Last Modified:03 Feb 2012 13:59
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