Johnson, V. (2016). Improving Outcomes for Families Involved in Child Protective Services Through an Enhanced Understanding of Residential Mobility's Impact on Caregiver-Child Relationships. Unc Charlotte Electronic Theses And Dissertations.
Reducing residential mobility among families involved in Child Protective Services (CPS) has the potential to alleviate some of the negative consequences associated with child maltreatment by reducing families’ stress and minimizing disruptions in their relationships with others. However, there is very little research that informs CPS decision-making and guides interventions that balance housing and neighborhood quality considerations and the potentially negative impact of residential mobility. Thus, the present study focuses on understanding the specific contributions of residential mobility and neighborhood quality to caregiver-child relationships and how a Family Partner program may potentially address frequent residential mobility with CPS-involved families.Study findings indicate that residential mobility is a symptom of a much larger issue among CPS-involved caregivers who tend to lack financial resources for meeting their families’ needs. A key way to reduce residential mobility is to address their financial needs or help them secure more affordable, long-term housing. CPS interventions aimed at resolving families’ lack of financial resources are critical because most of the social support or Family Partner assistance that caregivers receive typically do not assist caregivers with their financial needs. Additionally, caregivers’ generally limited options do not afford the opportunity to incorporate neighborhood quality or social support considerations into the housing that they identify, and CPS workers could aid families in this area to ensure that residential mobility results in quality of life improvements for families, ultimately with the goal of reducing the risk of subsequent child maltreatment.